Supreme Court

Criminal Law

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Unreasonable search and seizure [s. 8]

Text messages are private communications

Accused was convicted of firearms and drug trafficking offences, with convictions resting on records of text messages seized from account associated with co-accused pursuant to production order under s. 487.012 (now s. 487.014) of Criminal Code. Accused argued that police were required to obtain “wiretap” authorization under Part VI of Code in order to comply with s. 8 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Accused sought to exclude text messages prior to trial, and trial judge found that accused lacked standing to challenge production order. On appeal, majority upheld trial judge’s decision on standing. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. Text messages were private communications, and accused subjectively expected privacy which was objectively reasonable, therefore he had standing to challenge validity of protection order.

R. v. Jones (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 19343, 2017 CarswellOnt 19344, 2017 SCC 60, 2017 CSC 60, McLachlin C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Gascon J., Côté J., and Rowe J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2016), 2016 CarswellOnt 10858, 2016 ONCA 543, J.C. MacPherson J.A., J. MacFarland J.A., and H.S. LaForme J.A. (Ont. C.A.).

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