Ontario Civil

Constitutional Law

Plaintiff had pattern of violent and problematic behaviour

Appeal from dismissal of action brought by inmate in medium security prison. Plaintiff attempted to separate two other inmates who were fighting. One of combatants consistently claimed that plaintiff struck him in face during melee. Plaintiff was placed in segregation, suffered involuntary emergency transfer to maximum security prison and was later transferred to special handling unit. Defendant police officer charged plaintiff with assault causing bodily harm. Charge later withdrawn by Crown. Plaintiff’s action for malicious prosecution and for damages based on breach of s. 7 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was dismissed. Appeal dismissed. To establish claim for breach of s. 7 of Charter, mala fides must be shown. There was no basis in evidence to conclude that defendant officer was motivated by improper purpose. In any event, claim for damages would not have succeeded. Plaintiff maintained that laying of charge was significant factor in progression of transfers and indignities for which he was entitled to compensation. However, correctional services records indicated plaintiff had pattern of violent and problematic behaviour and that subsequent prison violence incident resulted in recommendation that plaintiff be transferred to special handling unit.

Forrest v. Kirkland

(Jan. 20, 2012, Ont. S.C.J. (Div. Ct.), Cunningham A.C.J.S.C., Thomas and Ferrier JJ., File No. 316/10) Decision at 189 A.C.W.S. (3d) 882 was affirmed. 212 A.C.W.S. (3d) 1080 (18 pp.).

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