Whats the process for suing officer for Charter Violation

Lawsuits against police and police-related pertinent court decisions.

Whats the process for suing officer for Charter Violation

Postby shrekjeffshrek » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:20 pm

So I understand you can file a complaint within 6 months of incident with the OIPRD.

But what about going after damages for a charter violation? Is this a small claims court or civil court matter?

What kind of awards have Judges been willing to give?

Would you even cover your costs, if you did win?


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Re: Whats the process for suing officer for Charter Violatio

Postby Gkuke » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:16 pm


I would definitely not make a complaint to OIPRD. Keep in mind that police complaints require a higher burden of proof than a criminal offense, and on top of that, judgement will be made by a police officer hence the common phrase "police, policing the police". Your complaint will be unsuccessful and it will help with losing a judgement in civil court. Boycott the OIPRD.

If you are suing for a single offense that was fairly minor like an unlawful arrest that was not violent or an unlawful imprisonment for a short time, you would be best to take it to small claims court. I think that an award in small claims are up to $25,000, but it may be more, you will have to check.

Go to any courthouse, you can ask someone at the counter for paperwork on how to sue in small claims court. If you tell them that you are suing a cop they will not be very helpful.

Without knowing the allegations against the officer, I cannot refer you to any case law on appropriate awards but if you go to this web site http://www.canlii.org/en/ you can start searching the site for appropriate cases. Try to find cases that are from your province and have similar allegations of charter violations.

Here is another site with info on suing cops in small claims court http://www.charneylaw.ca/suepolice.html

I hope that you go ahead with holding the cop or cops accountable.
Last edited by Gkuke on Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whats the process for suing officer for Charter Violatio

Postby shrekjeffshrek » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:02 pm

Thanks Gkuke for information. I was wondering if there were any lawyers that specialized in suing the police.

The charneylaw site you mentioned also recommends this site: http://www.c4pa.ca/legal/ with further information on suing the police.

My question about suing the police is two-fold.

First I was more curious about what types of awards are typical for say something like a charter violation at a RIDE checkpoint (detaining further without giving a reason, intimidation with comments like "if you don't put your window all the way down we will find something wrong with your car and have it towed"). I do not drink and do not do drugs, but I still disagree with RIDE checkpoints, and I refuse to answer any questions that a police officer asks me because it's my right to not answer. I also usually will only put my window down 2-inches so this (along with "no comment" to all their questions) usually gets them a little upset. I am familiar with court process and have no problem taking any tickets I get to court, but am installing a dash cam so I can record encounters with police. You have to be able to afford Justice in this country, so just would be interesting to know what the smallest settlements have been, in order to determine if it's even worth pursuing suing them or not. At least now I have a lawyer that I could discuss issues with if they arise.

Second point has to do with somebody else. They were arrested (as a minor) and held in a cell for several hours without being read rights/caution by police. Evidence includes the officers notes (no mention of reading rights/caution) and another person involved in a diversion program who the officer told "I held in the cell for a few hours to scare him". I did file a complaint on his behalf, however it had occurred about 18 months prior to me filing complaint. Usually you only have 6 months to file a complaint (gee, I wonder who's favor that works in?), but with the case of a minor they can still investigate if they want to. The OIPRD chose not to investigate and dismissed the complaint.


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