Cases & Decisions

Toronto Police Service v LD v Mignardi [Access to Youth Records for Police Discipline]

Court: Ontario Court of Appeal, 2017

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and the lower court’s decision was set aside on the technical ground that the proper route to review the lower court’s decision was a certiorari application to the Superior Court judge and that the parties were free to go back and do so (however, they did not).

JFCY intervened in an appeal where a youth worker at a facility, where LD was detained, filed a complaint against an officer for assaulting LD. The officer then sought access to LD’s youth record (including police notes and materials, and youth court documents) by applying to a Youth Court for access as required under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).

The youth court judge reviewed the contents and dismissed the application for access; and on appeal, the Superior Court of Justice overturned this finding and granted full disclosure.

The Toronto Police Service appealed the decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal seeking to restrict the full disclosure.

JFCY intervened to provide submissions regarding the enhanced privacy rights of young people under the YCJA; that the principle of diminished moral culpability is one of the overriding principles pertaining to all mattered under the YCJA; and that the Youth Justice Court is best positioned to make decisions on whether and which materials to disclose.

The Ontario Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) intervened and took the position that while “the credibility of witnesses is relevant in the determination of whether misconduct has been proven, caution should be exercised to ensure that a hearing does not turn into a disproportionate examination of, or an aggressive attack on, the background of a witness.”

The Criminal Lawyers Association (CLA) intervened and took the position that “(1) access to youth criminal records is of fundamental importance to the proper and effective cross examination of young persons and that access to youth records is of great import to the proper administration of justice, and that (2) youth criminal records ought not be out of bounds for cross examination by defence counsel.”


Back to Cases & Decisions