Hillsburgh man suing province after OPP raid on cannabis fac

Lawsuits against police and police-related pertinent court decisions.

Hillsburgh man suing province after OPP raid on cannabis fac

Postby Thomas » Sun Jan 28, 2024 3:54 pm

Hillsburgh man suing province after OPP raid on cannabis facility

Civil claim alleges OPP trespassed, damaged property when executing search warrant

GUELPH – A Hillsburgh man is suing the province for $2 million following an OPP raid on his Wellington North property in August 2021.

According to a statement of claim filed with Guelph Superior Court last October, David Warren (and numbered corporations) allege the police trespassed and damaged property, ultimately interfering with his ability to make money, all because of a negligent police investigation.

None of the allegations contained in the claim have been tested in court.

On Aug. 11, 2021, police searched a Sideroad 5 West property, near the Riverstown landfill in Kenilworth, that is owned by a numbered corporation listing Warren as a director, the claim states.

According to the claim, Warren was being investigated for “unlawful possession of cannabis for the purpose of distributing it” despite having a Health Canada licence to grow cannabis.

Plus, his claim states, the township had granted a zoning bylaw amendment to permit a commercial, medical cannabis production facility on the 15-acre property.

A warrant gave police authority to search for cannabis, paraphernalia, cell phones and computers, video systems, money and documents “related to the purchase and trafficking of controlled substances,” the claim states.

Officers then “damaged the building … and also damaged and seized personal property,” the claim alleges, noting the seized property hasn’t been returned.

The investigation into Warren was concluded in January 2023 without charges being laid, according to the statement.

“The property has remained closed and is not operating, which has caused [Warren] economic damages in the form of expenses and loss of revenues and profits,” the claim states.

The claim also contends police acted without care, and suggests there weren’t grounds to believe an offence was committed.

Warren’s legal counsel, James Macdonald of Brampton-based law firm Davis Webb, did not respond to two emails requesting comment for this story, nor was the Advertiser able to reach Macdonald by phone.

The allegations in the claim hinge on a branch of law giving people the chance to be compensated for property damage or personal injury caused by wrongdoing, especially by those with a duty of care to another person.

Claim figures are invariably inaccurate and must be substantiated in court, and civil actions rarely make it to trial; most are either withdrawn or settled out of court.

The province has filed a notice of intent to defend itself against the claims, but no statement of defence had been filed with the court as of Jan. 25.

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