R. v. Rideout (R.), (2016) 382 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1 (NLTD(G))

JudgeBurrage, J.
CourtSupreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada)
Case DateMarch 22, 2016
JurisdictionNewfoundland and Labrador
Citations(2016), 382 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1 (NLTD(G))

R. v. Rideout (R.) (2016), 382 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1 (NLTD(G));

    1183 A.P.R. 1

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2016] Nfld. & P.E.I.R. TBEd. MY.014

Her Majesty the Queen v. Rex Rideout

(201501G3189; 2016 NLTD(G) 73)

Indexed As: R. v. Rideout (R.)

Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court

Trial Division (General)

Burrage, J.

May 4, 2016.

Summary:

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) obtained a warrant pursuant to s. 487.01 of the Criminal Code to search the applicant's vehicle. The search was conducted. The police seized drugs, contraband cigarettes, some documents, and a cellphone. The RNC later obtained a warrant pursuant to s. 487 of the Code to search the cellphone. The applicant submitted that the retrieval of historical text messages from his cellphone constituted the interception of private communications within the meaning of s. 186 of the Code. As such, the request for a warrant should have been made pursuant to Part VI of the Code.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Trial Division (General), held that a Part VI authorization was not required for the retrieval of historical text messages stored on the applicant's cellphone. The application was dismissed.

Civil Rights - Topic 1524

Property - Personal property - Search and seizure by police (incl. computers, cellphones or digital cameras) - [See Criminal Law - Topic 5275.1 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 1609

Property - Search warrants - To search computers or cellphones - [See Criminal Law - Topic 5275.1 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 5275.1

Evidence and witnesses - Interception of private communications - Access to recordings and transcripts of intercepted communications (incl. text messages in computer database) - The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) obtained a warrant pursuant to s. 487.01 of the Criminal Code to search the applicant's vehicle - The search was conducted - The police seized drugs, contraband cigarettes, some documents, and a cellphone - The RNC later obtained a warrant pursuant to s. 487 of the Code to search the cellphone - The applicant submitted that the retrieval of historical text messages from his cellphone constituted the interception of private communications within the meaning of s. 186 of the Code - As such, the request for a warrant should have been made pursuant to Part VI of the Code - The applicant argued that the decision in R. v. Telus Communications Co. (2013 SCC) led to that conclusion - While Telus dealt with the interception of prospective communication, the applicant submitted that the logic of Abella, J.'s reasoning applied to historical communication - The Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Trial Division (General), held that a Part VI authorization was not required for the retrieval of historical text messages stored on the applicant's cellphone - The acquisition by the RNC of historical text messages stored on the applicant's cellphone did not constitute the interception of private communication within the meaning of Part VI - While text messages qualified as a private communication, the retrieval of historical messages stored prior to the issuance of the warrant would not qualify as an interception, as the messages were not retrieved in the course of the communication process.

Counsel:

Brenda P. Boyd, Q.C., for the Crown;

Averill J. Baker, for the accused.

This application was heard on March 22, 2016, at St. John's, N.L., before Burrage, J., of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Trial Division (General), who delivered the following decision on May 4, 2016.

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