Jul 10, 2018

Criminal Law: Search Warrant; Smartphone Swipe Patterns 

R. v. Talbot, 2017 ONCJ 814 (CanLII)
Mr. Talbot was charged with second-degree murder. The police seized his smartphone incident to his arrest. When they attempted to execute a search warrant to retrieve data on the phone, they discovered it is locked using a digital swipe pattern. The police applied ex parte for a search warrant and an assistance order compelling Mr. Talbot to produce the swipe pattern. The application judge granted the search warrant but denied the assistance order, without prejudice to the Crown to re-apply with notice to Mr. Talbot. The Crown re-applied with notice. The motion judge dismissed the application for an assistance order. 'The application for leave to appeal...is dismissed for want of jurisdiction.'