Older Uniform Acts

Uniform Regulatory Offences Procedure Act (1992)

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

Search Warrant

130.-(1) Where a judge is satisfied by information upon oath that there is reasonable ground to believe that there is in any building, receptacle or place,

(a) anything upon or in respect of which an offence has been or is suspected to have been committed; or

(b) anything that there is reasonable ground to believe will afford evidence as to the commission of an offence, the judge may at any time issue a warrant in the prescribed form authorizing a police officer or person named in the warrant to search the building, receptacle or place for any such thing, and to seize and carry it before the judge issuing the warrant or another judge to be dealt with according to law.

(2) Every search warrant shall name a date upon which it expires, which date shall be not later than fifteen days after its issue.

(3) Every search warrant shall be executed between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., unless the judge otherwise authorizes by the warrant.

Detention of Things Seized

131.-(1) Where any thing is seized and brought before a judge, the judge shall by order,

(a) detain it or direct it to be detained in the care of a person named in the order; or

(b) direct it to be returned,

and the judge may in the order authorize the examination, testing, inspection or reproduction of the thing seized upon such conditions as are reasonably necessary and directed in the order, and may make any other provision as in the opinion of the judge is necessary for its preservation.

(2) Nothing shall be detained under an order made under subsection (1) for a period of more than three months after the time of seizure unless, before the expiration of that period,

(a) upon application, a judge is satisfied that having regard to the nature of the investigation, its further detention for a specified period is warranted and the judge so orders; or

(b) proceedings are instituted in which the thing detained may be required.

(3) Upon the application of the defendant, prosecutor or person having an interest in a thing detained under subsection (1), a judge may make an order for the examination, testing, inspection or reproduction of any thing detained upon such conditions as are reasonably necessary and directed in the order.

(4) Upon the application of a person having an interest in a thing detained under subsection (1), and upon notice to the defendant, to the person from whom the thing was seized, to the person to whom the search warrant was issued and to any other person who has an apparent interest in the thing detained, a judge may make an order for the release of any thing detained to the person from whom the thing was seized where it appears that the thing detained is no longer necessary for the purpose of the investigation or proceeding.

Solicitor-Client Privilege

132.-(1) Where under a search warrant a person is about to examine or seize a document that is in the possession of a lawyer and a solicitor-client privilege is claimed on behalf of a named client in respect of the document, the person shall, without examining or making copies of the document,

(a) seize the document and place it, together with any other document seized in respect of which the same claim is made on behalf of the same client, in a package and seal and identify the package; and

(b) place the package in the custody of the clerk of the court or, with the consent of the person and the client, in the custody of another person.

(2) No person shall examine or seize a document that is in the possession of a lawyer without giving the lawyer a reasonable opportunity to claim the privilege under subsection (1).

(3) A judge may, upon the application of the lawyer, which may be made without notice, by order authorize the lawyer to examine or make a copy of the document in the presence of its custodian or the judge, and the order shall contain such provisions as are necessary to ensure that the document is repackaged and resealed without alteration or damage.

(4) Where a document has been seized and placed in custody under subsection (1), the client by whom or on whose behalf the claim of solicitor-client privilege is made may apply to a judge for an order sustaining the privilege and for the return of the document.

(5) An application under subsection (4) shall be by notice of motion returnable not later than thirty days after the date on which the document was placed in custody.

(6) The person who seized the document and the Attorney General are parties to an application under subsection (4) and entitled to at least three days notice of the application.

(7) An application under subsection (4) shall be heard in private and, for the purposes of the hearing, the judge may examine the document and, if so, the judge shall cause it to be resealed.

(8) The judge may by order,

(a) declare that the solicitor-client privilege exists or does not exist in respect of the document;

(b) direct that the document be delivered up to the appropriate person.

(9) Where it appears to a judge upon the application of the Attorney General or person who seized the document that no application has been made under subsection (4) within the time limit prescribed by subsection (5), the judge shall order that the document be delivered to the applicant.

COMMENTARY

Sections 130 to 132 are useful for adoption by reference in other statutes where searches are necessary for other purposes, such as investigations involving consumer or other public protection.

Next Annual Meeting

2018 Conference (Centennial)

Delta Hotel

Québec City, QC

August 12 - 16, 2018