Cloutier v. Langlois and Bédard, (1990) 105 N.R. 241 (SCC)

JudgeLamer, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateFebruary 01, 1990
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1990), 105 N.R. 241 (SCC);1990 CanLII 122 (SCC);30 QAC 241;46 CRR 37;JE 90-314;[1990] SCJ No 10 (QL);53 CCC (3d) 257;[1990] 1 SCR 158;[1990] ACS no 10;[1990] CarswellQue 110;105 NR 241;74 CR (3d) 316;AZ-90111017

Cloutier v. Langlois (1990), 105 N.R. 241 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

.........................

Richard Langlois and Jean-Pierre Bédard v. Pierre Cloutier

(20519)

Indexed As: Cloutier v. Langlois and Bédard

Supreme Court of Canada

Lamer, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ.

February 1, 1990.

Summary:

Two police officers arrested Cloutier for failure to pay highway traffic fines. After the arrest the officers "frisk" searched Cloutier. Cloutier alleged that the search was illegal. Cloutier charged the officers with assault under s. 245(b) of the Criminal Code. The Court of Sessions of the Peace acquitted the officers. Cloutier appealed.

The Quebec Superior Court dismissed the appeal. Cloutier appealed.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, in a decision reported at [1987] R.J.Q. 1479; 7 Q.A.C. 169, allowed the appeal and convicted the officers. The officers were given an absolute discharge. The officers appealed their conviction.

The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal and restored the verdict of acquittal.

Civil Rights - Topic 1234

Security of the person - Unlawful search - What constitutes - Cloutier was arrested by police because of un paid traffic fines - Cloutier became verbally abusive - Police then "frisk" searched Cloutier - Cloutier charged the officers with assault - Cloutier submitted that the police could not search unless they had reasonable and probable cause - Officers claimed that they had the power to search an accused once he was lawfully arrested - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the police had the right to search an accused once he was lawfully arrested.

Droits et Libertés - Cote 1234

Sécurité - Fouille et perquisition il légales - Eléments constitutifs - [Voir Civil Rights - Topic 1234].

Criminal Law - Topic 7603

Summary conviction proceedings - Appeal to court of appeal - What constitutes a question of law (s. 771) - Cloutier was arrested for failing to pay traffic fines - Police "frisk" searched Cloutier - Cloutier claimed that the police lacked reasonable grounds to search and charged officers with assault - Officers were acquitted - Crown obtained leave to appeal on question of law alone under s. 771 of the Code - Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and entered a conviction - Officers appealed on the ground that the Court of Appeal exceeded its jurisdiction because the issue of police power to search was a mixture of fact and law, not law alone - Supreme Court of Canada held that the question was one of law alone, but allowed the appeal on other grounds - See paragraph 17.

Droit Criminel - Cote 7603

Déclarations de culpabilité par procédure sommaire - Appel à une cour d'appel - En quoi consiste une question de droit - [Voir Criminal Law - Topic 7603].

Police - Topic 3024

Powers - Common law - Scope of - Supreme Court of Canada stated that consideration of competing interests is an important factor in determining the extent of a police power derived from common law - Court found that it was first necessary to determine whether power falls within general scope of duty of police officers - Secondly, court must then determine whether an invasion of individual rights is justified - See paragraph 50.

Police - Cote 3024

Pouvoirs - Droit commun - Etendue - [Voir Police - Topic 3024].

Police - Topic 3185

Powers - Search - Following arrest - Reasons for - Supreme Court of Canada considered the situations where a search of the accused would be justified following his arrest: search to discover an object that may be a threat to the police, the public or the accused; for an object that may facilitate an escape; for an object that would act as evidence against the accused - The court cautioned that "[t]he purpose of the search must not be unrelated to the objectives of the proper administration of justice, ..." - See paragraph 61.

Police - Cote 3185

Pouvoirs - Perquisition - Suivre un arrêt - Raisons - [Voir Police - Topic 3185].

Police - Topic 3185

Powers - Search - Following arrest - Cloutier was arrested for failing to pay traffic fines - He was verbally abusive and police "frisk" searched him - Cloutier claimed police lacked power to search him and charged the officers with assault - Officers submitted that a lawful arrest included the right to search provided it was not abusive - Cloutier submitted that police required reasonable and probable grounds - The Supreme Court of Canada held that police had the right to search whenever a lawful arrest was made - Court stated that power was discretionary, must be for a valid purpose and must not be abusive - See paragraphs 50 to 64.

Police - Cote 3185

Pouvoirs - Perquisition - Suivre un arrêt - [Voir Police - Topic 3185].

Police - Topic 5143

Actions against police - For assault - What constitutes - Searches - [See Police - Topic 3185 above].

Police - Cote 5143

Actions contre la police - En quoi consistent les voies de fait - Perquisition - [Voir Police - Topic 5143].

Cases Noticed:

Bessell v. Wilson (1853), 1 El. & Bl. 489; 118 E.R. 518; 17 J.P. 52 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 19].

Leigh v. Cole (1853), 6 Cox C.C. 329, refd to. [para. 21].

R. v. Barnett (1829), 3 Car. & P. 600; 172 E.R. 563, refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. Jones (1834), 6 Car. & P. 343; 172 E.R. 1269, refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. Kinsey (1836), 7 Car. & P. 447; 173 E.R. 198, refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. O'Donnell (1835), 7 Car. & P. 138; 173 E.R. 61, refd to. [para. 23].

Dillon v. O'Brien (1887), 16 Cox C.C. 245 (Exch.), refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. Lushington, [1894] 1 Q.B. 420, refd to. [para. 24].

Elias v. Pasmore, [1934] 2 K.B. 164, refd to. [para. 25].

R. v. Naylor, [1979] Crim. L.R. 532, refd to. [para. 26].

Lindley v. Rutter, [1981] Q.B. 128, refd to. [para. 26].

Brazil v. Chief Constable of Surrey, [1983] 3 All E.R. 537 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 26].

United States v. Robinson (1973), 414 U.S. 218, refd to. [para. 30].

Gustafson v. Florida (1973), 414 U.S. 260, refd to. [para. 30].

Weeks v. United States (1914), 232 U.S. 383, refd to. [para. 31].

Spalding v. Preston (1848), 21 Vt. 9, refd to. [para. 31].

Closson v. Morrison (1867), 47 N.H. 482, refd to. [para. 31].

Michigan v. DeFillippo (1979), 443 U.S. 31, refd to. [para. 33].

New York v. Belton (1981), 453 U.S. 454, refd to. [para. 33].

Gottschalk v. Hutton (1921), 66 D.L.R. 499 (Alta. C.A.), refd to. [para. 37].

R. v. McDonald (1932), 59 C.C.C. 56 (Alta. C.A.), refd to. [para. 37].

R. v. Morrison (1987), 20 O.A.C. 230, refd to. [para. 37].

R. v. Miller (1987), 23 O.A.C. 32; 62 O.R.(2d) 97; 38 C.C.C.(3d) 252, refd to. [para. 37].

Gordon v. Denison (1895), 22 O.A.R. 315, refd to. [para. 38].

Yakimishyn v. Bileski (1946), 86 C.C.C. 179 (Man. K.B.), refd to. [para. 39].

Welch v. Gilmour (1955), 111 C.C.C. 221 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 39].

R. v. Brezack (1949), 96 C.C.C. 97 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 40].

Laporte v. Laganière (1972), 18 C.R.N.S. 357 (Que. S.C.), refd to. [para. 41].

Reynen v. Antonenko (1975), 20 C.C.C.(2d) 342 (Alta. S.C.), refd to. [para. 41].

R. v. Rao (1984), 4 O.A.C. 162; 40 C.R.(3d) 1; 9 D.L.R.(4th) 542; 10 C.R.R. 275; 40 O.R.(2d) 80; 12 C.C.C.(3d) 97, consd. [para. 42].

R. v. Rousseau, [1985] R.L. 108 (C.S.P.), refd to. [para. 43].

R. v. Lerke (1986), 67 A.R. 390; 43 Alta. L.R.(2d) 1, refd to. [para. 43].

R. v. Beare; R. v. Higgins, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 387; [1989] 1 W.W.R. 97; 88 N.R. 205; 71 Sask.R. 1; 45 C.C.C.(3d) 57; 66 C.R.(3d) 97; 55 D.L.R.(4th) 481, refd to. [para. 45].

R. v. Debot (1989), 102 N.R. 161, refd to. [para. 45].

Eccles v. Bourque, [1975] 2 S.C.R. 739; [1975] 1 W.W.R. 609; 3 N.R. 259; 19 C.C.C.(2d) 129; 27 C.R.N.S. 325; 50 D.L.R.(3d) 753, refd to. [para. 50].

R. v. Dedman, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 2; 60 N.R. 34; 20 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 46 C.R.(3d) 193; 20 D.L.R.(4th) 321; 4 M.V.R. 1, refd to. [para. 50].

R. v. Landry, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 145; 65 N.R. 161; 25 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 50 C.R.(3d) 55; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 368, refd to. [para. 50].

Semayne's Case (1604), 5 Co. Rep. 91a; 77 E.R. 194, refd to. [para. 55].

Eleko v. Officer Administering the Government of Nigeria, [1931] A.C. 662 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 55].

R. v. Morgentaler, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30; 82 N.R. 1; 37 C.C.C.(3d) 449; 62 C.R.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 55].

Dolphin Delivery Ltd. v. Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Local 580, Peterson and Alexander, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 573; 71 N.R. 83; 33 D.L.R.(4th) 174; [1987] 1 W.W.R. 577, refd to. [para. 56].

R. v. Collins, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 265; 74 N.R. 276; 56 C.R.(3d) 193; [1987] 3 W.W.R. 699; 33 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 28 C.R.R. 122, refd to. [para. 56].

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161; [1985] 3 W.W.R. 481; 18 C.C.C.(3d) 385; 18 D.L.R.(4th) 655; 85 C.L.L.C. 14,023; 13 C.R.R. 64, refd to. [para. 56].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 25, sect. 29 [para. 6]; sect. 245(b) [para. 4]; sect. 771(1)(a) [paras. 13, 17]; sect. 774 [para. 71].

Police and Criminal Evidence Act (U.K.), 1984, c. 60, sect. 32 [para. 29].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Archibald, Bruce P., The Law of Arrest in Vincent M. Del Buono, ed., Criminal Procedure in Canada (1982), pp. 157-158 [para. 46].

Béliveau, Pierre, Jacques Bellemare and Jean-Pierre Lussier, On Criminal Procedure (1982), p. 200 [para. 46].

Canada, Law Reform Commission, Our Criminal Procedure, Report 32 (1988), p. 14 [para. 57].

Feldman, David, The Law Relating to Entry, Search and Seizure (1986), pp. 227-248 [para. 28].

Hampton, Celia, Criminal Procedure (3rd Ed. 1982), p. 41 [para. 28].

LaFave, Wayne R., Search and Seizure (2nd Ed. 1987), vol. 2, no. 5.2 [para. 34].

Leigh, L.H., Police Powers in England and Wales (1975), p. 50 [para. 28].

McCalla, Winston, Search and Seizure in Canada (1984), pp. 128-129 [para. 47].

Paikin, Lee, The Standard of Reasonableness in the Law of Search and Seizure in Vincent M. Del Buono, ed., Criminal Procedure in Canada (1982), p. 111 [para. 46].

Robilliard, St. John Anthony and Jenny McEwan, Police Powers and the Individual (1986), pp. 133-134 [para. 28].

Salhany, Roger E., The Police Manual of Arrest, Seizure and Interrogation (3rd Ed. 1986), pp. 60-61 [para. 48].

Wharton's Criminal Procedure (12th Ed. 1974), by Charles E. Torcia, vol. 1, pp. 363-373 [para. 34].

Whitebread, Charles H., Criminal Procedure: An analysis of Constitutional Cases and Concepts (1980), p. 133 [para. 34].

Counsel:

Richard Mongeau and Guy Lafrance, for the appellants;

Pierre Cloutier, for himself.

Solicitors of Record:

Mongeau, Gouin, Roy, Montreal, Quebec, for the appellants;

Pierre Cloutier, Montreal, Quebec, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard before, Lamer, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory and McLachlin, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada, on November 1, 1989.

The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official languages by L'Heureux-Dubé, J., on February 1, 1990.

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