Can v. Calgary Chief of Police et al.,

JudgeConrad, O'Brien and Wakeling, JJ.A.
Neutral Citation2014 ABCA 322
Citation2014 ABCA 322,(2014), 584 A.R. 147,560 AR 202,315 CCC (3d) 337,584 AR 147,(2014), 584 AR 147,584 A.R. 147
Date06 May 2014
CourtCourt of Appeal (Alberta)

Can v. Police Chief (2014), 584 A.R. 147; 623 W.A.C. 147 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2014] A.R. TBEd. OC.057

Jim Can (appellant/plaintiff) v. Jack Beaton acting as the Chief of Police for the Calgary Police Service, Douglas Andrus, John Manahan, John Brydges and John Miller (respondents/defendants) and Attorney General of Alberta, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta, Alberta Minister of Justice, John Doe, Jim Doe, and Emmanuel (Mac) Vomberg (not parties to the appeal/defendants)

(1301-0154-AC; 2014 ABCA 322)

Indexed As: Can v. Calgary Chief of Police et al.

Alberta Court of Appeal

Conrad, O'Brien and Wakeling, JJ.A.

October 10, 2014.

Summary:

Can was arrested and charged with extortion and forcible confinement. The Crown stayed the charges. Can commenced an action against the Chief of Police for the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and members of the CPS for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and negligent investigation. The defendants applied for summary judgment to dismiss the claims on the basis that there were reasonable and probable grounds for Can's arrest.

A Master of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported at (2012), 541 A.R. 159, granted the application for summary dismissal. Can appealed.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported at (2013), 560 A.R. 202, dismissed the appeal. Can appealed.

The Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Criminal Law - Topic 3212

Compelling appearance, detention and release - Arrest - Arrest without warrant - [See both Police - Topic 3063 ].

Police - Topic 3063

Powers - Arrest and detention - Without warrant - Reasonable and probable grounds - Can was arrested and charged with extortion and forcible confinement - It was subsequently learned that the complainant (Sarvucci) had a conviction for perjury - The Crown stayed the charges against Can - Can commenced an action against the Chief of Police for the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and members of the CPS for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and negligent investigation - The defendants applied for summary judgment to dismiss the claims on the basis that there were reasonable and probable grounds for Can's arrest - A Master granted the application and the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed Can's appeal - Can appealed - The Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - There were reasonable and probable grounds to arrest Can - Information concerning Can's alleged involvement in criminal activities was provided by Sarvucci when he was interviewed by Detectives Andrus and Brydges late on the day of the complaint and in the early hours of the following day before Can's arrest - That interview was audio and videotaped - Sarvucci subsequently provided a written statement, which appeared to repeat and perhaps enlarge upon what he had told the police in his oral interview - The mere fact that Detective Andrus did not yet have the formal written statement at the time of the arrest did not mean that he could not rely on the information gleaned from Sarvucci through the earlier interview - Furthermore, interviews conducted with Sarvucci's wife and an office assistant before the arrest tended to corroborate Sarvucci's complaint in certain material aspects and to demonstrate the consistency of his allegations - See paragraphs 6 to 7.

Police - Topic 3063

Powers - Arrest and detention - Without warrant - Reasonable and probable grounds - Can was arrested and charged with extortion and forcible confinement - It was subsequently learned that the complainant (Sarvucci) had a conviction for perjury - The Crown stayed the charges against Can - Can commenced an action against the Chief of Police for the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and members of the CPS for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and negligent investigation - The defendants applied for summary judgment to dismiss the claims on the basis that there were reasonable and probable grounds for Can's arrest - A Master granted the application and the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed Can's appeal - Can appealed - The Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - The court (Conrad and O'Brien, JJ.A.) stated that "While the evidence at the time of Mr. Can's arrest concerning his involvement in the alleged criminal activities was not overwhelming, in the sense of establishing a prima facie case for conviction, and additional investigation was ongoing and necessary, such evidence as there was at the time provided the necessary objective justification to support Det. Andrus's subjective view that Mr. Can was a participant in the alleged extortion scheme. Whatever the precise measurement of the degree of certainty required for a warrantless arrest, here the information disclosed to Det. Andrus prior to the time of arrest was sufficient to allow a reasonable person in his position to conclude that there were reasonable and probable grounds to arrest Mr. Can. It follows that there is no genuine issue for trial" - See paragraph 9.

Police - Topic 5031

Actions against police - Negligence - Conduct of investigation (incl. negligent investigation) - [See both Police - Topic 3063 ].

Police - Topic 5047

Actions against police - For false arrest - Defence of reasonable and probable grounds - [See both Police - Topic 3063 ].

Police - Topic 5073

Actions against police - For false imprisonment - Defence of reasonable and probable grounds - [See both Police - Topic 3063 ].

Practice - Topic 5719

Judgments and orders - Summary judgments - To dismiss action - Can was arrested and charged with extortion and forcible confinement - The Crown stayed the charges - Can commenced an action against the Chief of Police for the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and members of the CPS for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and negligent investigation - The defendants applied for summary judgment to dismiss the claims on the basis that there were reasonable and probable grounds for Can's arrest - A Master granted the application and the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed Can's appeal - Can appealed - The Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - The court (Conrad and O'Brien, JJ.A.) stated that "In our view the analyses undertaken by both the Master and the Queen's Bench judge was correct. Their judgments reflect an appreciation both of the relevant facts and applicable law. They concluded that there were no genuine issues for trial. While current Rule 7.3 (1)(b) is framed in terms of a claim being 'without merit', such a finding flows when a claimant has not established any genuine issue for trial. In other words, the new Rule has not substantively changed the test for summary judgment from that under former Rule 159 (3) which spoke in terms of 'no genuine issue for trial'" - See paragraph 10.

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Wong v. Kryiacou - see Wong v. Toronto Police Services Board et al.

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Hussien v. Chong Fook Kam, [1970] A.C. 942 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 159, footnote 117].

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R. v. Jacques (J.R.) and Mitchell (M.M.), [1996] 3 S.C.R. 312; 202 N.R. 49; 180 N.B.R.(2d) 161; 458 A.P.R. 161, refd to. [para. 166, footnote 124].

Lister v. Perryman (1870), L.R. 4 H.L. 521, refd to. [para. 170, footnote 128].

Maxwell v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. et al. (2013), 573 A.R. 123; 2013 ABQB 625, refd to. [para. 173, footnote 131].

Kellman v. Iverson et al., [2012] O.T.C. Uned. 3244; 2012 ONSC 3244, refd to. [para. 173, footnote 131].

Lawrence v. Peel Regional Police Force et al., [2009] O.T.C. Uned. 945 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 173, footnote 131].

Wiles v. Police Complaints Commissioner, [1997] O.J. No. 6274 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 173, footnote 131].

Trudgian v. Bosche, [2004] 1 W.W.R. 324; 235 Sask.R. 16 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 173, footnote 131].

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P.H.E. v. Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Service et al., [2003] O.T.C. 811; 2003 CarswellOnt 3402 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 174, footnote 134].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 495 [para. 24].

Rules of Court (Alta.), rule 7.3 [paras. 10, 23].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Alberta, Law Reform Institute, Summary Disposition of Actions, Consultation Memorandum No. 12.12 (August 2004), p. xv [para. 86, footnote 32].

Asprey, M., Plain Language for Lawyers (4th Ed. 2010), p. 140 [para. 173, footnote 133].

Bacigal, Ronald, Making the Right Gamble: The Odds on Probable Cause (2004), 74 Miss. L.J. 279, pp. 282 to 283 [para. 128, footnote 86]; 334 [para. 144, footnote 109].

Barrett, Edward, Jr., Police Practices and the Law - From Arrest to Release or Charge (1962), 50 Calif. L. Rev. 11, p. 14 [para. 119, footnote 73].

Bryant, Alan W., Lederman, Sidney N., and Fuerst, Michelle K., Sopinka, Lederman & Bryant: The Law of Evidence in Canada (3rd Ed. 2009), p. 204 [para. 131, footnote 89].

Canadian Bar Association, Report of the Task Force on Systems of Civil Justice (1996), pp. 15 to 16 [para. 73, footnote 15]; 41 [para. 88].

Colb, Sherry, Probabilities in Probable Cause and Beyond: Statistical Versus Concrete Harms (2010), 73 Law and Contemp. Prob. 69, pp. 69 to 73 [para. 133]; 71 to 72 [para. 157, footnote 116]; 73 [para. 114, footnote 58].

Coughlan, Steve, and Luther, Glen, Detention and Arrest (2010), pp. 1 [para. 122, footnote 77]; 76 to 78 [para. 141]; 78 to 80 [para. 158]; 80 [para. 153; footnote 111].

Galanter, Marc, The Vanishing Trial: An Examination of Trials and Related Matters in Federal and State Courts (2004), 1 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 459, pp. 459 to 460 [para. 73, footnote 15]; 483 [para. 75, footnote 16].

Hall, Jerome, Legal and Social Aspects of Arrest Without a Warrant (1936), 49 Harv. L. Rev. 566, pp. 566 [para. 134, footnote 95]; 586 [para. 117, footnote 66]; 588 [para. 115, footnote 59]; 589 [para. 118, footnote 70].

Issacharoff, Samuel, and Lowenstein, George, Second Thoughts About Summary Judgment (1990), 100 Yale L.J. 73, p. 74 [para. 88, footnote 36].

Kerr, Orin, Why Courts Should not Quantify Probable Cause, George Washington University Public Law and Legal Theory Paper No. 543 (March 27, 2011), generally [para. 124, footnote 81].

LaFave, Wayne, Arrest: The Decision to Take a Suspect into Custody (1965), pp. 248 [para. 171; footnote 130]; 249 [para. 122, footnote 77]; 250 [para. 153, footnote 112]; 251 [para. 159, footnote 117].

LaFave, Wayne, Search and Seizure: A Treatise on the Fourth Amendment (5th Ed. 2012), vol. 2, p. 84 [paras. 126, 157, footnote 116].

Leigh, Leonard, Police Powers in England and Wales (1975), p. 62 [para. 153, footnote 112].

Louis, Martin, Federal Summary Judgment Doctrine: A Critical Analysis (1974), 83 Yale L.J. 745, p. 769 [para. 88, footnote 36].

McCauliff, C.M.A., Burdens of Proof: Degree of Belief, Quanta of Evidence, or Constitutional Guarantees? (1982), 35 Vand. L. Rev. 1293, pp. 1302 [para. 124, footnote 81]; 1302, fn. 45 [para. 141, footnote 106]; 1304 [para. 122, footnote 76]; 1309 [para. 132, footnote 91]; 1332 [para. 139; footnote 99]; 1335 [para. 128, footnote 85].

Millar, Robert, Three American Ventures in Summary Civil Procedure (1928), 38 Yale L.J. 193, generally [para. 88, footnote 37].

Ontario Law Reform Commission, Rethinking Civil Justice: Research Studies for the Civil Justice Review (1996), vol. 1, p. 127 [para. 73, footnote 15].

Packer, Herbert, Two Models of Criminal Process (1964), 113 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1, p. 26 [para. 141, footnote 107].

Penney, S., Rondinelli, V., and Stribopoulos, J., Criminal Procedure in Canada (2011), pp. 127 to 128 [para. 156].

Redish, Martin, Summary Judgment and the Vanishing Trial: Implications of the Litigation Matrix (2005), 57 Stan. L. Rev. 1329, pp. 1335 [para. 88, footnote 36]; 1339 [para. 75, footnote 18]; 1356 [para. 124, footnote 81].

Rothstein, Linda, Centa, Robert, and Adams, Eric, Balancing Probabilities: The Overlooked Complexity of the Standard of Proof, in Special Lectures of the Law Society of Upper Canada 2003: The Law of Evidence (2004), p. 459 [para. 131, footnote 89].

Sankoff, Peter, and Perrault, Stéphanie, Suspicious Searches: What's So Reasonable About Them (1999), 24 C.R.(5th) 123, p. 126 [para. 122, footnote 76].

Simmons, David, Jacobs, Stephen, O'Malley, Daniel, and Tami, Richard, The Celotex Trilogy Revisited: How Misapplication of the Federal Summary Judgment Standard Is Undermining the Seventh Amendment Right to a Jury Trial (2006), 1 Fla. A. & M.U.L. Rev. 1, p. 3 [para. 75, footnote 16].

Starkie, T., Practical Treatise of the Law of Evidence (8th Am. Ed. 1860), p. 724 [para. 122, footnote 76].

Stevenson, William A., and Côté, Jean E., Alberta Civil Procedure Handbook (2010), pp. 7 to 11 [para. 75, footnote 18].

Twohig, John, Baar, Carl, Myers, Anna, and Predko, Anne Marie, Empirical Analyses of Civil Cases Commenced and Cases Tried in Toronto 1973-1994, in Ontario Law Reform Commission, Rethinking Civil Justice: Research Studies for the Civil Justice Review (1996), vol. 1, p. 127 [para. 73, footnote 15].

Welsh, Michael, Judging the Summary Trial Rule (1986), 44 The Advocate 173, pp. 174 [para. 88, footnote 34]; 176, 179 [para. 88].

Williams, Glanville, The Mathematics of Proof-1, [1979] Crim. L. Rev. 297, generally [para. 141, footnote 106]; pp. 340, 353 [para. 124, footnote 81].

Yungwirth, Debbie, Summary Trials in Family Law: A Reasonable Alternative (2012), p. 17 [para. 88, footnote 38].

Counsel:

N.D. Anderson and C.K. Jones, for the appellant/plaintiff;

S.H.D. Bower, for the respondents/defendants.

This appeal was heard on May 6, 2014, before Conrad, O'Brien and Wakeling, JJ.A., of the Alberta Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal delivered a memorandum of judgment on October 10, 2014, including the following opinions:

Conrad and O'Brien, JJ.A. - see paragraphs 1 to 12;

Wakeling, J.A. - see paragraphs 13 to 175.

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67 practice notes
  • Samson Indian Band v. Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) et al., [2015] F.T.R. TBEd. JL.031
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Federal Court (Canada)
    • July 9, 2015
    ...Ontario courts to exercise. [17] For all of the foregoing reasons, like the Alberta Court of Appeal in Can v. Calgary (Police Service) , 2014 ABCA 322, 560 A.R. 202, I conclude that Hryniak does not change the substantive content of our procedures. However it does remind us of the imperativ......
  • Warman et al. v. Law Society of Alberta, (2015) 609 A.R. 83
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • October 9, 2015
    ...599 A.R. 98; 643 W.A.C. 98; 62 C.P.C.(7th) 260; 2015 ABCA 10, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 14]. Can v. Calgary Chief of Police et al. (2014), 584 A.R. 147; 623 W.A.C. 147; 315 C.C.C.(3d) 337; 2014 ABCA 322, refd to. [para. 28, footnote Beier et al. v. Proper Cat Construction Ltd. et al. (20......
  • Stoney Tribal Council v Canadian Pacific Railway, 2017 ABCA 432
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • December 18, 2017
    ...compelling that the likelihood it will succeed is very high such that it should be determined summarily”); Can v. Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322, ¶104; 315 C.C.C. 3d 337, 388 per Wakeling J.A. (“summary judgment is appropriate if the moving party’s position is so compelling that the ......
  • R v SLW, 2018 ABCA 235
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • June 29, 2018
    ...to the fact that judges are legally trained and have imposed hundreds of thousands of sentences”); Can v. Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322, ¶134; 315 C.C.C. 3d 337, 405-06 per Wakeling, J.A. (“Can it be assumed that if a police force consists of trained professionals, that its members ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
59 cases
  • Samson Indian Band v. Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) et al., [2015] F.T.R. TBEd. JL.031
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Federal Court (Canada)
    • July 9, 2015
    ...Ontario courts to exercise. [17] For all of the foregoing reasons, like the Alberta Court of Appeal in Can v. Calgary (Police Service) , 2014 ABCA 322, 560 A.R. 202, I conclude that Hryniak does not change the substantive content of our procedures. However it does remind us of the imperativ......
  • Warman et al. v. Law Society of Alberta, (2015) 609 A.R. 83
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • October 9, 2015
    ...599 A.R. 98; 643 W.A.C. 98; 62 C.P.C.(7th) 260; 2015 ABCA 10, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 14]. Can v. Calgary Chief of Police et al. (2014), 584 A.R. 147; 623 W.A.C. 147; 315 C.C.C.(3d) 337; 2014 ABCA 322, refd to. [para. 28, footnote Beier et al. v. Proper Cat Construction Ltd. et al. (20......
  • Stoney Tribal Council v Canadian Pacific Railway, 2017 ABCA 432
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • December 18, 2017
    ...compelling that the likelihood it will succeed is very high such that it should be determined summarily”); Can v. Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322, ¶104; 315 C.C.C. 3d 337, 388 per Wakeling J.A. (“summary judgment is appropriate if the moving party’s position is so compelling that the ......
  • R v SLW, 2018 ABCA 235
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • June 29, 2018
    ...to the fact that judges are legally trained and have imposed hundreds of thousands of sentences”); Can v. Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322, ¶134; 315 C.C.C. 3d 337, 405-06 per Wakeling, J.A. (“Can it be assumed that if a police force consists of trained professionals, that its members ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
4 firm's commentaries
  • In Summary: It's Still A Balance Of Probabilities
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • February 15, 2019
    ...2014 SCC 7 ("Hryniak"), the test for summary judgment in Alberta has been unclear. The majority cited the Can v. Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322 ("Can") and Stefanyk v. Sobeys Capital Incorporated, 2018 ABCA 125 ("Stefanyk") decisions as illustrative of this riff discussed at paragrap......
  • Birss v Tien Lung Taekwon-Do Club
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • November 7, 2017
    ...of probability, the burden will shift to the non-moving party to show there is merit to their claim. (Can v Calgary Police Service¸ 2014 ABCA 322 (CanLII) at para 80, citing Beier v Proper Cat Construction Ltd, 2013 ABQB 351 (CanLII) at paras 66-67). Master Smart held that the evidence in f......
  • Melting Pot Or Mosaic? The Ongoing Culture Shift Since Hryniak
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • June 17, 2015
    ...in British Columbia, and does not render the jurisprudence from our Court of Appeal obsolete"). [5] Can v Calgary (Police Service), 2014 ABCA 322 at para 77 [6] Windsor v Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, 2014 ABCA 108 at paras 13-14. [7] Can, supra note 5 at para 98 (per Wakeling JA, concurrin......
  • Defence & Indemnity - October 2017: II. LIABILITY ISSUES A.
    • Canada
    • JD Supra Canada
    • November 17, 2017
    ...of probability, the burden will shift to the non-moving party to show there is merit to their claim. (Can v Calgary Police Service¸ 2014 ABCA 322 (CanLII) at para 80, citing Beier v Proper Cat Construction Ltd, 2013 ABQB 351 (CanLII) at paras Master Smart held that the evidence in favour of......
4 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Torts. Sixth Edition
    • June 25, 2020
    ...[2004] 2 All ER 995 (HL) ............................................................................288 Can v Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322 .................................................. 310 Canada (Attorney General) v Livingstone, [2003] AJ No 1638, 2003 ABQB 1036, rev’d [2004......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Law of Torts. Fifth Edition
    • August 30, 2015
    ...[2004] 2 All E.R. 995 (H.L.) ........................................................................ 284 Can v. Calgary Police Service, 2014 ABCA 322 .................................................. 306 Canada (Attorney General) v. Livingstone, [2003] A.J. No. 1638, 2003 ABQB 1036, rev’d......
  • Intentional Torts
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Torts. Sixth Edition
    • June 25, 2020
    ...where the imposition of liability would permit the plaintiff to proit from 160 Ibid , s 494(2). 161 See Can v Calgary Police Service , 2014 ABCA 322 for an extensive discussion of the degree of certainty on the part of the arrestor (subjective) and of a reasonable arrestor in the belief tha......
  • Intentional Torts
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Law of Torts. Fifth Edition
    • August 30, 2015
    ...v. Wynrib 151 that the defence is applicable 146 Ibid. , s. 494(1). 147 Ibid ., s. 494(2). 148 See Can v. Calgary Police Service , 2014 ABCA 322 for an extensive discussion of the degree of certainty on the part of the arrestor (subjective) and of a reasonable arrestor in the belief that an......

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