R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.), (2011) 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142 (PC)

JudgeTufts, P.C.J.
CourtProvincial Court of Nova Scotia (Canada)
Case DateOctober 03, 2011
JurisdictionNova Scotia
Citations(2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142 (PC);2011 NSPC 84

R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.) (2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142 (PC);

    983 A.P.R. 142

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2011] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. NO.045

Her Majesty The Queen v. Jamie Scott Hiscoe

(2215503; 2011 NSPC 84)

Indexed As: R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.)

Nova Scotia Provincial Court

Tufts, P.C.J.

November 17, 2011.

Summary:

The accused was arrested for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. The police seized his "smart" phone and looked at his recent text messages, which an officer later copied in writing. One month later, without obtaining a warrant, the entire content of the phone was downloaded (data dump) by the R.C.M.P. Crime Lab. The accused sought exclusion of all information obtained from his phone (Charter, s. 24(2)), alleging that the warrantless search constituted an unreasonable search and seizure (s. 8).

The Nova Scotia Provincial Court held that the search of recent text messages at the arrest scene constituted a lawful search incidental to arrest. Section 8 was not violated and the evidence of what the police saw and transcribed, was admissible. However, the subsequent data dump fell outside the lawful authority to search incidental to arrest and constituted an unreasonable search and seizure. The evidence obtained in the data dump was excluded under s. 24(2).

Civil Rights - Topic 1508

Property - General principles - Expectation of privacy - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1655.3 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 1646

Property - Search and seizure - Unreasonable search and seizure defined - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1655.3 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 1655.3

Property - Search and seizure - Warrantless search and seizure - Cell phones - The accused was lawfully arrested for a drug offence - The police seized his "smart" phone and cursorily examined his recent text messages, later transcribing them - One month later, without first obtaining a warrant, the entire contents of the phone were downloaded (data dump) by the R.C.M.P. Crime Lab - The accused sought exclusion of all information obtained from his phone (Charter, s. 24(2)), alleging an unreasonable search and seizure (s. 8) - The Nova Scotia Provincial Court held that the cursory search of recent text messages at the arrest scene was a lawful search incidental to arrest for the purpose of discovering and preserving evidence respecting the offence for which the accused was arrested (e.g., score sheets, contact names and other drug trade information that could be deleted, including remotely) - Section 8 was not violated and the evidence of what the police saw and transcribed, was admissible - However, the subsequent downloading of the entire contents of the phone, without warrant, constituted an unreasonable search and seizure and the evidence obtained was excluded - That search was not incidental to arrest - The court noted that "smart" phones had the capacity to store vast amounts of sensitive and personal information, including emails, text messages, contact lists, diaries, medical information, personal photographs and internet browsing histories - The accused had a reasonable expectation of privacy - It was irrelevant that the phone was not password protected - A full download search was too broad - There was no attempt to restrict the search to locations where the prospects of locating evidence respecting the offence was reasonable - The court stated that "police should not be able to search beyond a cursory review of the cellphone contents without a search warrant".

Civil Rights - Topic 8368

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Remedies - Exclusion of evidence - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1655.3 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 3147

Special powers - Power of search - Search incidental to arrest or detention - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1655.3 ].

Police - Topic 3185

Powers - Search - Following arrest or detention - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1655.3 ].

Cases Noticed:

Southam Inc. v. Hunter et al., [1984] 2 S.C.R. 145; 55 N.R. 241; 55 A.R. 291, refd to. [para. 16, footnote 1].

R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295; 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161, refd to. [para. 16, footnote 2].

Metropolitan Stores (MTS) Ltd. v. Manitoba Food and Commercial Workers, Local 832 and Labour Board (Man.), [1987] 1 S.C.R. 110; 73 N.R. 341; 46 Man.R.(2d) 241, refd to. [para. 16, footnote 3].

Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Québec (Procureur général), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 927; 94 N.R. 167; 24 Q.A.C. 2, refd to. [para. 16, footnote 3].

R. v. Collins, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 265; 74 N.R. 276, refd to. [para. 18, footnote 7].

R. v. Simmons, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 495; 89 N.R. 1; 30 O.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 18, footnote 8].

R. v. Grant (D.), [1993] 3 S.C.R. 223; 159 N.R. 161; 35 B.C.A.C. 1; 57 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 18, footnote 8].

R. v. Chehil (M.S.) (2011), 308 N.S.R.(2d) 122; 976 A.P.R. 122; 2011 NSCA 82, refd to. [para. 19, footnote 9].

Cloutier v. Langlois and Bédard, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 158; 105 N.R. 241; 30 Q.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 20, footnote 11].

R. v. Beare; R. v. Higgins, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 387; 88 N.R. 205; 71 Sask.R. 1, refd to. [para. 21, footnote 12].

R. v. Rao (1984), 4 O.A.C. 162; 12 C.C.C.(3d) 97 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 21, footnote 12].

R. v. Stillman (W.W.D.), [1997] 1 S.C.R. 607; 209 N.R. 81; 185 N.B.R.(2d) 1; 472 A.P.R. 1, refd to. [para. 24, footnote 15].

R. v. Golden (I.V.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 679; 279 N.R. 1; 153 O.A.C. 201; 2001 SCC 83, refd to. [para. 26, footnote 20].

R. v. Caslake (T.L.), [1998] 1 S.C.R. 51; 221 N.R. 281; 123 Man.R.(2d) 208; 159 W.A.C. 208, refd to. [para. 27, footnote 21].

R. v. Nolet (R.) et al. (2010), 403 N.R. 1; 350 Sask.R. 51; 487 W.A.C. 51; 2010 SCC 24, refd to. [para. 36, footnote 27].

R. v. Tontarelli (R.) (2009), 348 N.B.R.(2d) 41; 897 A.P.R. 41; 2009 NBCA 52, refd to. [para. 37, footnote 28].

R. v. Shankar (C.C.) (2007), 222 O.A.C. 267; 2007 ONCA 280, refd to. [para. 38, footnote 29].

R. v. Smellie (S.A.) (1994), 53 B.C.A.C. 202; 87 W.A.C. 202 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 38, footnote 29].

R. v. Speid, [1991] O.J. No. 1558 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 38, footnote 29].

R. v. Lim (No. 2), [1990] O.J. No. 3261 (H.C.), refd to. [para. 38, footnote 29].

R. v. Asp (J.K.) (2011), 321 B.C.A.C. 170; 531 W.A.C. 170; 2011 BCCA 433, refd to. [para. 38, footnote 29].

R. v. Majedi (M.F.) (2009), 272 B.C.A.C. 220; 459 W.A.C. 220; 2009 BCCA 276, refd to. [para. 38, footnote 29].

R. v. Little, [2009] O.J. No. 3279 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 40, footnote 31].

R. v. Jones (R.) (2011), 285 O.A.C. 25; 2011 ONCA 632 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 40, footnote 32].

R. v. 2821109 Canada Inc. et al., [2002] 1 S.C.R. 227; 281 N.R. 267; 245 N.B.R.(2d) 270; 636 A.P.R. 270, refd to. [para. 41, footnote 33].

R. v. Law - see R. v. 2821109 Canada Inc. et al.

R. v. Vu (T.L.), [2010] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1260; 2010 BCSC 1260, refd to. [para. 42, footnote 34].

R. v. Polius (K.), [2009] O.T.C. Uned. H39 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 42, footnote 34].

R. v. Hull (T.), [2011] O.T.C. Uned. 3139; 2011 ONSC 3139 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 42, footnote 34].

R. v. Mohamad (H.) (2004), 181 O.A.C. 201 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 42, footnote 34].

Alberta (Minister of Justice and Attorney General) v. Petros et al. (2011), 430 A.R. 389; 2011 ABQB 541, refd to. [para. 42, footnote 34].

Newhard v. Borders (2009), 649 F. Supp. 2d 440 (W.D. Va.), refd to. [para. 43, footnote 35].

R. v. Giles (D.F.) et al., [2007] B.C.T.C. Uned. H63; 2007 BCSC 1147, refd to. [para. 46, footnote 37].

R. v. Manley (M.) (2011), 275 O.A.C. 81; 2011 ONCA 128 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 47, footnote 40].

R. v. Fearon, 2010 ONCJ 645, refd to. [para. 49, footnote 41].

R. v. Finnikin (C.), [2009] O.T.C. Uned. X47; [2009] O.J. No. 6016, refd to. [para. 53, footnote 44].

R. v. Burchell (M.), [2011] O.T.C. Uned. 6236; 2011 ONSC 6236, refd to. [para. 54, footnote 45].

R. v. Groves, 2011 ONCJ 350 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 59, footnote 48].

R. v. Otchere-Badu, [2010] O.J. No. 910 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 59, footnote 49].

Young v. Canada, [2010] N.J. No. 389 (N.L. Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 59, footnote 49].

R. v. Caron (D.W.) (2011), 299 B.C.A.C. 217; 508 W.A.C. 217; 2011 BCCA 56, refd to. [para. 59, footnote 49].

R. v. D'Annunzio, [2010] O.J. No. 4333, refd to. [para. 59, footnote 49].

R. v. Lafave, [2003] O.J. No. 3861 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 59, footnote 49].

R. v. T.O., 2010 ONCJ 334, refd to. [para. 59, footnote 49].

R. v. Zahrebelny (T.) (2010), 299 N.S.R.(2d) 27; 947 A.P.R. 27; 2010 NSPC 91, refd to. [para. 59, footnote 49].

Katz v. United States (1967), 389 U.S. 347, refd to. [para. 60, footnote 50].

Arizona v. Gant (2009), 129 S. Ct. 1710, refd to. [para. 61, footnote 51].

Chimel v. California (1969), 395 U.S. 752, refd to. [para. 61].

The People v. Diaz (Gregory) (2011), 51 Cal. 4th 84, refd to. [para. 63, footnote 54].

State v. Ohio (2009), 124 Ohio St. 3d 163, refd to. [para. 66, footnote 56].

United States v. Finley, 477 F. 3d 250, refd to. [para. 66, footnote 57].

R. v. Gill (R.S.) (2008), 327 Sask.R. 190; 2008 SKQB 445, refd to. [para. 92, footnote 64].

R. v. Grant (D.) (2009), 391 N.R. 1; 253 O.A.C. 124; 2009 SCC 32, refd to. [para. 95, footnote 65].

R. v. Harrison (B.) (2009), 391 N.R. 147; 253 O.A.C. 358; 2009 SCC 34, refd to. [para. 95, footnote 66].

R. v. Burlingham (T.W.), [1995] 2 S.C.R. 206; 181 N.R. 1; 58 B.C.A.C. 161; 96 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 103, footnote 67].

R. v. Nguyen (H.P.), [2009] O.T.C. Uned. Q50 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 106, footnote 70].

R. v. Sergalis (J.P.), [2009] O.T.C. Uned. S43 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 106, footnote 71].

R. v. Crocker (L.) (2009), 275 B.C.A.C. 190; 465 W.A.C. 190; 2009 BCCA 388, refd to. [para. 106, footnote 72].

R. v. Bjelland (J.C.) (2009), 391 N.R. 202; 460 A.R. 230; 462 W.A.C. 230; 2009 SCC 38, refd to. [para. 108, footnote 73].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Burchill, John, Stripping Matters to the [Central] Core: Searching Electronic Devices Incident to Arrest (2009), 33(2) Man. L.J. 263, pp. 263 to 297, generally [para. 46, footnote 39].

Canada, Law Reform Commission, Working Paper No. 30, Police Powers - Search and Seizure in Criminal Law Enforcement (1983), p. 166 [para. 29].

Clancy, Thomas K., The search and seizure of computers and electronic evidence: the Fourth Amendment aspects of computer searches and seizures: A perspective and a primer (2005), 75 Miss. L.J. 193, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Cohen, Stanley A., Search Incident to Arrest, 32 Crim. Law Q. 366, generally [para. 19, footnote 10].

Cohen, Stanley A., Search Incident to Arrest: How Broad an Exception to the Warrant Requirement (1988), 63 C.R.(3d) 182, generally [para. 19, footnote 10].

Engel, Joshua A., Doctrinal Collapse: Smart Phones Cause Courts to Reconsider Fourth Amendment Searches of Electronic Devices, 41 U. Mem. L. Rev. 233, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Gerhowitz, Adam, Password Protected? Can a Password Save Your Cell Phone from a Search Incident to Arrest? (2011), 96 Iowa L. Rev. 1125, p. 1135 [para. 63, footnote 53].

Gold, Alan D., Search Incident to Arrest (1994), generally [para. 19, footnote 10].

Gold, Alan D., Collection of Criminal Law Articles, generally [para. 19, footnote 10].

Harrold, Marc M., The search and seizure of computers and electronic evidence: Computer searches of probationers (2005), 75 Miss. L.J. 273, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Kerr, Orin S., Searches and seizures in a digital world (2005), 119 Harv. L. Rev. 531, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Kerr, Orin S., The search and seizure of computers and electronic evidence: Search warrants in an era of digital evidence (2005), 75 Miss. L.J. 8, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Knott, Jana L., Is There an App for That? Reexamining the Doctrine of Search Incident to Lawful Arrest in the Context of Cell Phones (2010), 35 Okla. City U.L. Rev. 445, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Marrocco, Emily E., R. v. Polius: A Case Comment (2011), 57 Crim. Law Q. 172, generally [para. 50, footnote 43].

Orso, Matthew E., Cellular phones, warrantless searches and the new frontier of fourth amendment jurisprudence (2009), 50 Santa Clara L. Rev. 101, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Sales, Nathan Alexander, Run for the border: Laptop searches and the Fourth Amendment, 43 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1091, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Snyder, Ashley B., The Fourth Amendment and warrantless cell phone searches: When is your cell phone protected? (2011), 46 Wake Forest L. Rev. 155, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Stewart, Ben E., Cell Phone Searches Incident to Arrest: A New Standard Based on Arizona v. Gant (2010-2011), 99 Kentucky L. Rev. 579, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Stillwagon, Bryan Andrew, Bringing an end to warrantless cell phone searches (2008), 42 Ga. L. Rev. 1165, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Tomkovicz, James J., Divining and designing the future of the search incident to arrest doctrine: avoiding instability, irrationality and infidelity (2007), U. Ill. L. Rev. 1417, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Wolcott, Justin M., Criminal Procedure: Are Smartphones Like Footlockers or Crumpled Up Cigarette Packages? Applying the Search Incident to Arrest Doctrine to Smartphones in South Carolina Courts (2010), 61 S.C. L. Rev. 843, generally [para. 63, footnote 52].

Counsel:

Jennifer L. Young, David Schermbruker and Len MacKay, for the Crown;

Stephen A. Mattson, Q.C., for the accused.

This application was heard on June 1 and October 3, 2011, at Kentville, N.S., before Tufts, P.C.J., of the Nova Scotia Provincial Court, who delivered the following judgment on November 17, 2011.

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5 practice notes
  • R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.), 2013 NSCA 48
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • April 23, 2013
    ...warrantless search constituted an unreasonable search and seizure (s. 8). The Nova Scotia Provincial Court, in a judgment reported (2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142; 983 A.P.R. 142 , held that the search of recent text messages at the arrest scene constituted a lawful search incidental to arrest.......
  • R. v. Mann (R.S.), 2014 BCCA 231
    • Canada
    • British Columbia Court of Appeal (British Columbia)
    • June 18, 2014
    ...90]. R. v. Golden (I.V.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 679; 279 N.R. 1; 153 O.A.C. 201; 2001 SCC 83, refd to. [para. 90]. R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.) (2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142; 983 A.P.R. 142; 2011 NSPC 84, refd to. [para. 106]. R. v. Grant (D.), [2009] 2 S.C.R. 353; 391 N.R. 1; 253 O.A.C. 124; 2009 SCC 32, re......
  • R. v. Cater (K.), 2012 NSPC 2
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Provincial Court of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • January 13, 2012
    ...Canada Inc. et al., [2002] 1 S.C.R. 227; 281 N.R. 267; 245 N.B.R.(2d) 270; 636 A.P.R. 270, refd to. [para. 42]. R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.) (2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142; 983 A.P.R. 142; 2011 NSPC 84, refd to. [para. R. v. Jones (R.) (2011), 285 O.A.C. 25; 2011 ONCA 632, refd to. [para. 42]. R. v. Vu ......
  • R. v. Vye (D.E.), 2014 BCSC 93
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court of British Columbia (Canada)
    • January 21, 2014
    ...is not being foreclosed by the Court. [32] In contrast to the Giles line of cases, the reasoning in R. v. Hiscoe, 2013 NSCA 48, aff'g 2011 NSPC 84, is in harmony with Vu . On facts very similar to ours, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruled that the download search of a cellular phone witho......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.), 2013 NSCA 48
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • April 23, 2013
    ...warrantless search constituted an unreasonable search and seizure (s. 8). The Nova Scotia Provincial Court, in a judgment reported (2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142; 983 A.P.R. 142 , held that the search of recent text messages at the arrest scene constituted a lawful search incidental to arrest.......
  • R. v. Mann (R.S.), 2014 BCCA 231
    • Canada
    • British Columbia Court of Appeal (British Columbia)
    • June 18, 2014
    ...90]. R. v. Golden (I.V.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 679; 279 N.R. 1; 153 O.A.C. 201; 2001 SCC 83, refd to. [para. 90]. R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.) (2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142; 983 A.P.R. 142; 2011 NSPC 84, refd to. [para. 106]. R. v. Grant (D.), [2009] 2 S.C.R. 353; 391 N.R. 1; 253 O.A.C. 124; 2009 SCC 32, re......
  • R. v. Vye (D.E.), 2014 BCSC 93
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court of British Columbia (Canada)
    • January 21, 2014
    ...is not being foreclosed by the Court. [32] In contrast to the Giles line of cases, the reasoning in R. v. Hiscoe, 2013 NSCA 48, aff'g 2011 NSPC 84, is in harmony with Vu . On facts very similar to ours, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruled that the download search of a cellular phone witho......
  • R. v. Cater (K.), 2012 NSPC 2
    • Canada
    • Nova Scotia Provincial Court of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • January 13, 2012
    ...Canada Inc. et al., [2002] 1 S.C.R. 227; 281 N.R. 267; 245 N.B.R.(2d) 270; 636 A.P.R. 270, refd to. [para. 42]. R. v. Hiscoe (J.S.) (2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 142; 983 A.P.R. 142; 2011 NSPC 84, refd to. [para. R. v. Jones (R.) (2011), 285 O.A.C. 25; 2011 ONCA 632, refd to. [para. 42]. R. v. Vu ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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