After months of rescheduled arraignment hearings, a date has been set for a disposition on Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm's assault charge.
The matter is set to go before a judge for a disposition hearing the afternoon of Feb. 27, after an arraignment hearing Jan. 17.
A disposition is a type of legal hearing in which a matter before the courts is disposed of, court officials say. In a disposition, an accused person can plead to the charges. The hearing could also be adjourned for another day, or a trial date can be set.
"It's so wide open until it actually happens," said Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver-based defence lawyer, when asked about the purpose of disposition hearings.
Pimm's arraignment—the proceeding where an accused enters a plea—was delayed seven times since the charge was laid in Dawson Creek Aug. 13. According to the Dawson Creek court registry, Pimm has yet to enter a plea.
A publication ban was ordered early on in the proceedings to prevent media from identifying the alleged victim. Pimm has not been found guilty of the offence.
The case was most recently delayed after Greg Cranston, his lawyer, fell ill and was unable to continue with the case.
Pimm is now being represented by Patrick Beirne. Michael Klein, a senior Vancouver lawyer in private practice, was appointed special prosecutor because of Pimm's status as a member of the legislature.
Pimm stepped down from the B.C. Liberal caucus shortly after the charge was laid. He will represent the region as an independent through May, when a new MLA for Peace River North will be elected.