Mar 18, 2014

Summary of R. v. Bingley

R. v. Bingley, 2010 NSPC 72 (CanLII)
The accused applied for a determination of the legality of a search and seizure at her residence, conducted under the authority of a warrant obtained pursuant to the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act. The Information To Obtain ('ITO') set out that the police had received three complaints about various dogs at the accused's premises between certain dates, a letter of warning had been issued and an officer had made four rechecks but nothing had been done.Given the insufficiency of the ITO, the search and seizure violated the accused's s. 8 Charter rights. The deficiencies in the ITO were substantial and significant, the seriousness of the conduct was amplified by the fact that the location of the search was clearly a private residence and given the nature of the search and the importance of the collected evidence to the Crown's case, the impact upon the accused was significant; the evidence seized will be excluded. Some examples of the insufficiency of the ITO included that it failed to set out the exact dates of the complaints and whether they came from sources with first-hand information; there was no evidence to provide the issuing justice with any degree of legal certainty that the address given was a property owned or occupied by the accused or what conditions prevailed at the address when the officer made the rechecks; although it was stated that two complaints were received by the Society about the accused after the complainants responded to a Kijiji ad, there was nothing stating how the officer came into that information, when the complainants responded to the ad or any indication that any effort had been made to determine whether the information provided by the complainants was accurate; and there was nothing in the ITO that specified where on the property the complainants had made their observations, which was significant because the ITO referred to the property to be seized as being 'in the dwelling and buildings' on the property.