R. v. Fearon, 2013 ONCA 106 (CanLII)

  • February 20, 2013

Date: 2013-02-20 Docket: C54387. Armstrong J.A. | Link

Upon the appellant’s arrest, a police officer conducted a pat down search and located a cellphone. The officer examined the contents of the phone and found incriminating photos and messages. The cellphone did not have “mini-computer” capabilities and was not locked or password protected. Appellant sought to exclude the evidence that was obtained from his cellphone upon arrest. Appeal dismissed: the warrantless search was incidental to the arrest of the appellant and the police had a reasonable belief that the phone would contain relevant evidence. The information stored was not so connected to the dignity of the person that the Court should create an exception to common law doctrine granting police authority to search for evidence when truly incidental to arrest and carried out in a reasonable matter. This case was appealed to and dismissed by the SCC.