Webster v. Edmonton Chief of Police et al., (2007) 401 A.R. 266 (CA)

JudgeHunt, Berger and Watson, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Alberta)
Case DateOctober 31, 2006
Citations(2007), 401 A.R. 266 (CA);2007 ABCA 23

Webster v. Police Chief (2007), 401 A.R. 266 (CA);

      391 W.A.C. 266

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2007] A.R. TBEd. FE.007

Gerald Webster (respondent/plaintiff) v. Robert Wasylyshen, Chief of Police, and Tony Harder (appellants/defendants) and Norma Webster (not a party to the appeal/plaintiff) and John Doe, Richard Doe and Donna Lee Webster-Dinney (not parties to the appeal/defendants)

(0503-0179-AC; 2007 ABCA 23)

Indexed As: Webster v. Edmonton Chief of Police et al.

Alberta Court of Appeal

Hunt, Berger and Watson, JJ.A.

January 26, 2007.

Summary:

As a result of a call made by the defendant, Webster-Dinney, to the Edmonton Police Service, the police surrounded the Websters' residence with a tactical team, called the Websters from their home, took them to the nearest police station and detained them. No charges resulted. The Websters sued the Edmonton Police Service and Webster-Dinney for wrongful arrest and detention and claimed damages for nervous shock, assault and damage to their house.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported at 374 A.R. 319, allowed the action against the Edmonton Police Service. The court assessed Mr. Webster's damages at $6,000 and Mrs. Webster's damages at $4,000. The court dismissed the action against Webster-Dinney. The Edmonton Police Service appealed.

The Alberta Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and dismissed the action.

Civil Rights - Topic 3603

Detention and imprisonment - Detention - What constitutes arbitrary detention - The relationship between the Websters and their daughter, Donna, was strained - On March 23, 2001, Donna spoke to Mr. Webster and the conversation became hostile - Subsequently, Donna called the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and claimed that Mr. Webster had threatened to drive to Saskatchewan with some friends and beat up her husband and that Mr. Webster kept several illegal firearms in his residence - In response to the complaint, the police surrounded the Websters' residence with a tactical team, called the Websters from their home, took them to the nearest police station and detained them - No charges resulted - The Websters sued the EPS for wrongful arrest and detention - The trial judge allowed the action - Mr. Webster was wrongfully detained - The Alberta Court of Appeal allowed an appeal - The detention was not improper - There was a clear nexus between Mr. Webster's detention and the officers' reasonable belief that he was implicated in the criminal activity under investigation (threats and possession of illegal guns) - It was not unreasonable for the police to conclude that Mr. Webster should be absent from the house during the weapons search - The matrix of the circumstances, which included the weather, the presence of curious onlookers and the relatively short time during which Mr. Webster was detained, also supported the reasonableness of the police action - See paragraph 35 to 41.

Police - Topic 5041

Actions against police - For false arrest - General - The relationship between the Websters and their daughter, Donna, was strained - On March 23, 2001, Donna spoke to Mr. Webster and the conversation became hostile - Subsequently, Donna called the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and claimed that Mr. Webster had threatened to drive to Saskatchewan with some friends and beat up her husband and that Mr. Webster kept several illegal firearms in his residence - In response to the complaint, the police surrounded the Websters' residence with a tactical team, called the Websters from their home, took them to the nearest police station and detained them - No charges resulted - The Websters sued the EPS for wrongful arrest and detention - The trial judge allowed the action - The use of the tactical team was not justified and constituted a significantly greater use of force than was necessary - The Alberta Court of Appeal allowed an appeal - The trial judge's conclusion was inappropriately based, at least in part, on hindsight - His conclusion that the police ought to have obtained more information before employing the tactical team was misguided and based on a misapprehension of the evidence - Finally, the trial judge neglected to consider the fact that the police did not need to measure the precise amount of force required and had to be given allowance for misjudging the degree of force required because of the exigency of the moment - As well, he neglected to consider whether their assessment of the circumstances and danger was reasonably held - See paragraphs 26 to 34.

Police - Topic 5061

Actions against police - For false imprisonment - General - [See Police - Topic 5041 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Mann (P.H.), [2004] 3 S.C.R. 59; 324 N.R. 215; 187 Man.R.(2d) 1; 330 W.A.C. 1; 241 D.L.R.(4th) 214, consd. [para. 2].

H.L. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., [2005] 2 S.C.R. 401; 333 N.R. 1; 262 Sask.R. 1; 347 W.A.C. 1; 2005 SCC 25, refd to. [para. 3].

Housen v. Nikolaisen et al., [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235; 286 N.R. 1; 219 Sask.R. 1; 272 W.A.C. 1; 2002 SCC 33, refd to. [para. 3].

Crampton v. Walton et al. (2005), 363 A.R. 216; 343 W.A.C. 216; 2005 ABCA 81, refd to. [para. 4].

R. v. Ferguson (M.E.) (2006), 397 A.R. 1; 384 W.A.C. 1; 2006 ABCA 261, refd to. [para. 4].

Levesque v. Zanibbi, 1992 CarswellOnt 2832 (Gen. Div.), refd to. [para. 26].

Counsel:

J.T. Henderson, Q.C., for the appellant;

B.J.D. Cook, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on October 31, 2006, by Hunt, Berger and Watson, JJ.A., of the Alberta Court of Appeal. The following memorandum of judgment was delivered by the court on January 26, 2007.

To continue reading

Request your trial
9 practice notes
  • J.N. et al. v. Horton et al., (2010) 507 A.R. 1 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • 29 Octubre 2010
    ...refd to. [para. 59]. Webster v. Wasylyshen - see Webster v. Edmonton Chief of Police et al. Webster v. Edmonton Chief of Police et al. (2007), 401 A.R. 266; 391 A.R. 266; 2007 ABCA 23, refd to. [para. Meehan et al. v. Holt (2010), 485 A.R. 1; 2010 ABQB 287, refd to. [para. 73]. Houkayem v. ......
  • SCALA v. TORONTO POLICE SERVICES BOARD, 2019 ONSC 2239
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • 8 Abril 2019
    ...PC Guerreiro are “not expected to measure the precise amount of force the situation requires”: Webster v. Edmonton (City) Police Service, 2007 ABCA 23, 69 Alta L.R. (4th) 205 at para. 26. Their use of force will not be found to be excessive simply because they did not use the “least amount ......
  • Silence may not be golden: a review of health professionals' statutory obligations to report unfit drivers.
    • Canada
    • Health Law Review Vol. 19 No. 2, March 2011
    • 22 Marzo 2011
    ...[1944] 1 All E.R. 326 (C.A.); R. v. Storrey, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 241, 5 3 C.C.C. (3d) 316; and Webster v. Edmonton (City) Police Service, 2007 ABCA 23, 401 A.R. (46) See for example, MB HTA, supra note 35, s. 157; and Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, ss. 203-204 [ON HTA]. (47) YK MVA, ......
  • Brandner v. Alberta (Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security) et al.,
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • 1 Abril 2014
    ...v. Walton et al. (2005), 363 A.R. 216; 343 W.A.C. 216; 2005 ABCA 81, refd to. [para. 54]. Webster v. Edmonton Chief of Police et al. (2007), 401 A.R. 266; 391 A.R. 266; 2007 ABCA 23, refd to. [para. Can v. Calgary Chief of Police et al. (2013), 560 A.R. 202; 2013 ABQB 226, refd to. [para. 5......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • J.N. et al. v. Horton et al., (2010) 507 A.R. 1 (QB)
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • 29 Octubre 2010
    ...refd to. [para. 59]. Webster v. Wasylyshen - see Webster v. Edmonton Chief of Police et al. Webster v. Edmonton Chief of Police et al. (2007), 401 A.R. 266; 391 A.R. 266; 2007 ABCA 23, refd to. [para. Meehan et al. v. Holt (2010), 485 A.R. 1; 2010 ABQB 287, refd to. [para. 73]. Houkayem v. ......
  • SCALA v. TORONTO POLICE SERVICES BOARD, 2019 ONSC 2239
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • 8 Abril 2019
    ...PC Guerreiro are “not expected to measure the precise amount of force the situation requires”: Webster v. Edmonton (City) Police Service, 2007 ABCA 23, 69 Alta L.R. (4th) 205 at para. 26. Their use of force will not be found to be excessive simply because they did not use the “least amount ......
  • Brandner v. Alberta (Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security) et al.,
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • 1 Abril 2014
    ...v. Walton et al. (2005), 363 A.R. 216; 343 W.A.C. 216; 2005 ABCA 81, refd to. [para. 54]. Webster v. Edmonton Chief of Police et al. (2007), 401 A.R. 266; 391 A.R. 266; 2007 ABCA 23, refd to. [para. Can v. Calgary Chief of Police et al. (2013), 560 A.R. 202; 2013 ABQB 226, refd to. [para. 5......
  • Turton v. Hanson et al., 2016 ABQB 343
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • 21 Junio 2016
    ...Alberta Court of Appeal seems to have implicitly authorized the use of force during an investigative detention in Webster v Wasylyshen , 2007 ABCA 23. In that case, a woman told police that her father had threatened to "kick the shit out of" her husband. She also reported that her father ha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles

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