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Brown v. Durham Regional Police (1998), 131 C.C.C. (3d) 1 (Ont. C.A.)

Facts:

B members of motocycle club. 4 weekend police stopped them at checkpoints on way to their property. Claim it violates s.9. Police believed they were involved in criminal behaviour. While paper being checked they were detained and asked questions. Lasted from 3 – 20 min

Issue(s):

Did law, s.216 of the Highway Traffic Act, authorize the detentions?
Is it lawful to use HTA to conduct other kinds of investigation purposes?

Ratio:

Police must have articulable cause to stop a person.
**Must have reason to believe that this particular person committed an offence related that the particular act in which they were stopped for (general requirement to detain people)

Police cannot use s.216 as an improper way to stop people. Police must have some HTA reason for stopping the vehicle and they cant have an improper purpose.
**Must not carry out a lawful operation by unlawful means.

Analysis:

Test for improper purpose:
*Officers who stop to make unauthorized searches
*Illegal
*Or who select persons based on sex, colour (Discrimination)
*Or who stop someone to vent their personal animosity toward that person

Test for Proper purpose motivating stops:
*Highway traffic concerns
*Maintenance of the public peace
*Investigation of other criminal activity
*Intelligence gathering

Holding:

s. 216(1) of the H.T.A. authorized arbitrary detentions, but it could be justified under s.1 of the Charter as a reasonable limit on the s.9 right to be free from arbitrary detention (R. v. Latimer)


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