A Montreal judge has ruled that the manner in which STM fines are handed out is a violation of human rights.

Last year over 4,000 commuters were fined for not having an STM ticket: at over $100 per fine, that’s almost $600,000 for the transit authority.

“The way the bylaw is written, you can't defend yourself if you don’t have that little tab. They assume that you didn’t pay but that’s not the case. There are situations where you paid your ticket and you just lost your tab,” said lawyer Eric Lamontagne of Contravene Experts.

“It’s against the presumption of innocence and the municipal court in Montreal said that it's unconstitutional to do so,” he added.

The STM declined CTV Montreal’s request for an interview, since they plan on appealing the judge’s decision.

In plain view on the metro pass, it says transit users must retain their tickets to avoid a fine.

It's not, however, indicated anywhere else in the metro station. Lamontagne said that's the problem.

“They need to have big signs and reinforce security when you’re going through the metro to make sure that people don’t find a way to go without paying,” he said.

The transit corporation said it will continue to fine those who they suspect didn't pay – so keep your ticket, just in case.