R. v. Mellenthin, (1992) 144 N.R. 50 (SCC)

JudgeSopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, and Iacobucci, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateMay 29, 1992
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1992), 144 N.R. 50 (SCC);1992 CanLII 50 (SCC);[1992] 3 SCR 615;76 CCC (3d) 481;AZ-92111114;135 AR 1;[1992] CarswellAlta 149;JE 92-1758;16 CR (4th) 273;[1992] SCJ No 100 (QL);144 NR 50;33 WAC 1;12 CRR (2d) 65;40 MVR (2d) 204;5 Alta LR (3d) 232;[1993] 1 WWR 193;[1992] ACS no 100

R. v. Mellenthin (1992), 144 N.R. 50 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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

Theodore Mellenthin (appellant) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent)

(No. 22508)

Indexed As: R. v. Mellenthin

Supreme Court of Canada

Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin,

and Iacobucci, JJ.

November 19, 1992.

Summary:

The accused was charged with possession of narcotics. He was acquitted because of an unreasonable search contrary to s. 8 of the Charter. The Crown appealed.

The Alberta Court of Appeal, in a decision reported at [1991] 5 W.W.R. 519; 117 A.R. 165; 2 W.A.C. 165; 80 Alta. L.R.(2d) 193, allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial. The accused appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 1217

Security of the person - Lawful or reason­able search - Unreasonable search and seizure - What constitutes - Police stopped the accused's vehicle at night during a random check stop program - A scan of the interior by flashlight revealed an open gym bag - Police questioned the accused about the contents - Police searched the bag and the vehicle and found vials of narcotics - The Supreme Court of Canada excluded the evidence under s. 24(2) of the Charter - The accused was arbitrarily detained by the check stop - The questions and search which were not consensual and were not founded on rea­sonable and probable grounds, were an unreasonable search contrary to the Char­ter, s. 8 - See paragraphs 12 to 18.

Civil Rights - Topic 3603

Detention and imprisonment - Detention - Arbitrary detention - What constitutes - Police stopped the accused's vehicle at night during a random check stop program - A scan of the interior by flashlight revealed a gym bag - Police asked the accused about its contents - A search of the bag and the vehicle revealed vials of narcotics - The Supreme Court of Canada held that random stops constituted arbitrary detention in breach of the Charter, but were justified under s. 1 of the Charter to prevent needless death and injury from dangerous operation of vehicle - See paragraphs 10 to 11.

Civil Rights - Topic 8368

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Remedies - Exclusion of evidence - Police stopped the accused's vehicle at night during a random check stop program - A scan of the interior by flashlight revealed an open gym bag con­taining a brown bag - Police questioned the accused about the contents - Police searched the bag and the vehicle and found vials of narcotics - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the evidence should be excluded - Admission of the evidence would render the trial unfair and bring the administration of justice into disrepute, where the breach was serious and the evidence, although real, would not have been found except for an illegal search.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Dedman, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 2; 60 N.R. 34; 11 O.A.C. 241; 46 C.R.(3d) 193; 20 C.C.C.(3d) 97, refd to. [para. 10].

R. v. Hufsky, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 621; 84 N.R. 365; 27 O.A.C. 103; 40 C.C.C.(3d) 398; 63 C.R.(3d) 14, refd to. [para. 10].

R. v. Ladouceur, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1257; 108 N.R. 171; 40 O.A.C. 1; 77 C.R.(3d) 110; 56 C.C.C.(3d) 20, refd to. [para. 10].

R. v. Collins, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 265; 74 N.R. 276; 56 C.R.(3d) 193; [1987] 3 W.W.R. 699; 38 D.L.R.(4th) 508; 33 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 28 C.R.R. 122; 13 B.C.L.R.(2d) 1, refd to. [para. 19].

R. v. Greffe, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 755; 107 N.R. 1; 107 A.R. 1; 55 C.C.C.(3d) 161; 75 C.R.(3d) 257; 46 C.R.R. 1; [1990] 3 W.W.R. 577; 73 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97, refd to. [para. 19].

R. v. Wise, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 527; 133 N.R. 161; 51 O.A.C. 351, refd to. [para. 19].

R. v. Leclair and Ross, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 3; 91 N.R. 81; 31 O.A.C. 321; 46 C.C.C.(3d) 129, refd to. [para. 23].

Thomson Newspapers Ltd. v. Director of Investigation and Research, Combines Investigation Act et al., [1990] 1 S.C.R. 425; 106 N.R. 161; 39 O.A.C. 161; 54 C.C.C.(3d) 417, refd to. [para. 25].

R. v. Hébert, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 151; 110 N.R. 1; [1990] 5 W.W.R. 1; 57 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 77 C.R.(3d) 145; 49 C.R.R. 114; 47 B.C.L.R.(2d) 1, refd to. [para. 29].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1 [para. 10]; sect. 8 [paras. 5, 18]; sect. 9 [para. 10]; sect. 24(2) [para. 19].

Highway Traffic Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. H-7, sect. 119 [para. 12].

Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 198, generally [para. 13].

Counsel:

Harry M. Van Harten, for the appellant;

M. David Gates and Wesley Smart, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

McCormick, Van Harten, Calgary, Alberta, for the appellant;

Department of Justice, Edmonton, Alberta, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on May 29, 1992, before Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin and Iacobucci, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. On November 19, 1992, Cory, J., delivered the following judgment for the court in both official languages.

To continue reading

Request your trial
685 practice notes
  • R. v. Russell (M.C.) et al., (1999) 24 B.C.T.C. 321 (SC)
    • Canada
    • British Columbia Supreme Court of British Columbia (Canada)
    • June 4, 1999
    ...motor vehicle in some cases: see R. v. Wise , [1992] 1 S.C.R. 527; (1992), 70 C.C.C.(3d) 193; 11 C.R.(4th) 253 and R. v. Mellenthin , [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615; (1992), 76 C.C.C.(3d) 481; 16 C.R.(4th) 273." [38] In R. v. Belnavis (A.) and Lawrence (C.) , [1997] 3 S.C.R. 341; 216 N.R. 161; 103 O.A......
  • R. v. Baker (D.F.), 2004 ABPC 218
    • Canada
    • Provincial Court of Alberta (Canada)
    • November 25, 2004
    ...(1991), 130 N.R. 250; 93 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 181; 292 A.P.R. 181; 67 C.C.C.(3d) 268 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 54]. R. v. Mellenthin (1992), 144 N.R. 50; 135 A.R. 1; 33 W.A.C. 1; 76 C.C.C.(3d) 481 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 55]. R. v. Latimer (R.W.) (1997), 207 N.R. 215; 152 Sask.R. 1; 140 W.A......
  • R. v. Wilder (D.M.), [2003] B.C.T.C. 859 (SC)
    • Canada
    • British Columbia Supreme Court of British Columbia (Canada)
    • June 3, 2003
    ...1; 55 C.C.C.(3d) 161; 75 C.R.(3d) 257; 46 C.R.R. 1; [1990] 3 W.W.R. 577; 73 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97, refd to. [para. 230]. R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615; 144 N.R. 50; 135 A.R. 1; 33 W.A.C. 1; 76 C.C.C.(3d) 481; 16 C.R.(4th) 273, refd to. [para. R. v. Wise, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 527; 133 N.R. 16......
  • R. v. Arp, [1998] 3 SCR 339
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 26, 1998
    ...R. v. Ollis, [1900] 2 Q.B. 758; G. (an infant) v. Coltart, [1967] 1 All E.R. 271; R. v. Dyment, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 417; R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615. Statutes and Regulations Cited Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms , ss. 7 , 8 , 11 (d), 24(2) . Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C‑......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
574 cases
  • R. v. Russell (M.C.) et al., (1999) 24 B.C.T.C. 321 (SC)
    • Canada
    • British Columbia Supreme Court of British Columbia (Canada)
    • June 4, 1999
    ...motor vehicle in some cases: see R. v. Wise , [1992] 1 S.C.R. 527; (1992), 70 C.C.C.(3d) 193; 11 C.R.(4th) 253 and R. v. Mellenthin , [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615; (1992), 76 C.C.C.(3d) 481; 16 C.R.(4th) 273." [38] In R. v. Belnavis (A.) and Lawrence (C.) , [1997] 3 S.C.R. 341; 216 N.R. 161; 103 O.A......
  • R. v. Baker (D.F.), 2004 ABPC 218
    • Canada
    • Provincial Court of Alberta (Canada)
    • November 25, 2004
    ...(1991), 130 N.R. 250; 93 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 181; 292 A.P.R. 181; 67 C.C.C.(3d) 268 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 54]. R. v. Mellenthin (1992), 144 N.R. 50; 135 A.R. 1; 33 W.A.C. 1; 76 C.C.C.(3d) 481 (S.C.C.), consd. [para. 55]. R. v. Latimer (R.W.) (1997), 207 N.R. 215; 152 Sask.R. 1; 140 W.A......
  • R. v. Wilder (D.M.), [2003] B.C.T.C. 859 (SC)
    • Canada
    • British Columbia Supreme Court of British Columbia (Canada)
    • June 3, 2003
    ...1; 55 C.C.C.(3d) 161; 75 C.R.(3d) 257; 46 C.R.R. 1; [1990] 3 W.W.R. 577; 73 Alta. L.R.(2d) 97, refd to. [para. 230]. R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615; 144 N.R. 50; 135 A.R. 1; 33 W.A.C. 1; 76 C.C.C.(3d) 481; 16 C.R.(4th) 273, refd to. [para. R. v. Wise, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 527; 133 N.R. 16......
  • R. v. Arp, [1998] 3 SCR 339
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 26, 1998
    ...R. v. Ollis, [1900] 2 Q.B. 758; G. (an infant) v. Coltart, [1967] 1 All E.R. 271; R. v. Dyment, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 417; R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615. Statutes and Regulations Cited Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms , ss. 7 , 8 , 11 (d), 24(2) . Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C‑......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 firm's commentaries
  • Defence & Indemnity - April 2016: IV. PRACTICE ISSUES B.
    • Canada
    • JD Supra Canada
    • May 24, 2016
    ...[1997] 2 S.C.R. 13 (S.C.C.)) and a vehicle near the bottom (Wise [R. v. Wise [1992] 1 S.C.R. 527]; Mellenthin []R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615). In Wise at 534, the Court held there was a significantly reduced expectation of privacy in a vehicle because of the highly regulated aspect......
109 books & journal articles
  • Unchecked power: the constitutional regulation of arrest reconsidered.
    • Canada
    • McGill Law Journal Vol. 48 No. 2, June 2003
    • June 1, 2003
    ...a stop from an encounter which was constitutionally permissible at its inception into an arbitrary detention (R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615 at 624, 76 C.C.C. (3d) (179) See Lyons v. R., [1987] 2 S.C.R. 309, 37 C.C.C. (3d) 1 [Lyons cited to S.C.R.[; R. v. Milne, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 512, ......
  • Sources of Criminal Procedure
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Procedure. Fourth Edition
    • June 23, 2020
    ...to enter a shared home. 112 103 Ibid . 104 R v Knox , [1996] 3 SCR 199 at para 10. 105 Dedman , above note 60. 106 R v Mellenthin , [1992] 3 SCR 615. 107 R v Therens , [1985] 1 SCR 613. 108 R v Borden , [1994] 3 SCR 145 at para 34 [ Borden ]. 109 R v Wills (1992), 12 CR (4th) 58 (Ont CA). S......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Criminal Procedure. Fourth Edition
    • June 23, 2020
    ...576 R v Melanson, 2007 NBCA 94 ............................................................................ 525 R v Mellenthin, [1992] 3 SCR 615, 76 CCC (3d) 481, [1992] SCJ No 100 ........... 27 R v Meltzer, [1989] 1 SCR 1764, 49 CCC (3d) 453, [1989] SCJ No 75 ...............177 R v Ménard......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Understanding Section 8: Search, Seizure, and the Canadian Constitution
    • June 17, 2005
    ...11–12, 85, 99, 116, 121 Constitutional Protections Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure • 409 R. v. Mellenthin, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 615, 76 C.C.C. (3d) 481 ................8, 9, 10, 231, 248 R. v. Mentuck, [2001] 3 S.C.R. 442, 205 D.L.R. (4th) 512 ...................................... 166 R......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT