Mar 18, 2014

Summary of R. v. Russell

R. v. Russell, 2010 NSSC 323 (CanLII)
The police seized over 200 cartons of unstamped cigarettes from the accused's vehicle and a garage at his residence after obtaining two search warrants. The warrants were quashed on the basis that insufficient grounds had been presented to the Justice of the Peace and all the cigarettes seized were excluded from evidence, with the court finding that each instance involved the negligent presentation of insufficient grounds to a judicial officer who had failed to identify the insufficiency of the grounds presented. The Crown appealed.Appeal allowed; the trial judge appeared to focus on what was not contained in the Information To Obtain (ITO) as opposed to what was included; although there was minimal information provided to support the ITOs, it could not be said that there was not 'some evidence sufficient as a matter of law' to provide reasonable grounds to issue the warrants. Even if the information provided was inadequate, this was not a situation where the evidence should be excluded as the trial judge had not found the ITOs to be 'misleading in their wording' and there was no basis to suggest that the officer was negligent or of any deliberate and egregious police conduct.