History of Detention Provisions (Sections 489, 489.1 and 490)

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489

489.1

490

1985

Criminal Law Amendment Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 73 replaced s. 490 with:

Detention of things seized

490 (1) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, where, pursuant to paragraph 489.1(1)(b) or subsection 489.1(2), anything that has been seized is brought before a justice or a report in respect of anything seized is made to a justice, the justice shall,

(a) where the lawful owner or person who is lawfully entitled to possession of the thing seized is known, order it to be returned to him, unless the prosecutor satisfies the justice that the detention of the thing seized is required for the purposes of any investigation or a preliminary inquiry, trial or other proceeding; or
(b) where the prosecutor satisfies the justice that the thing seized should be detained for a reason set out in paragraph (a), detain the thing seized or order that it be detained, taking reasonable care to ensure that it is preserved until the conclusion of any investigation or until it is required to be produced for the purposes of a preliminary inquiry, trial or other proceeding.
Further detention

(2) Nothing shall be detained under the authority of paragraph (1)(b) for a period of more than three months after the day of the seizure unless, before the expiration of that period,

(a) a justice, on the making of a summary application to him after three clear days notice thereof to the person from whom the thing detained was seized, is satisfied that, having regard to the nature of the investigation, its further detention for a specified period is warranted and the justice so orders; or
(b) proceedings are instituted in which the thing detained may be required.
Idem

(3) More than one order for further detention may be made under paragraph (2)(a) but the cumulative period of detention shall not exceed one year from the day of the seizure unless, before the expiration of that year,

(a) a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, on the making of a summary application to him after three clear days notice thereof to the person from whom the thing detained was seized, is satisfied, having regard to the complex nature of the investigation, that the further detention of the thing seized is warranted for a specified period and subject to such other conditions as the judge considers just, and the judge so orders; or
(b) proceedings are instituted in which the thing detained may be required.
When accused ordered to stand trial

(4) When an accused has been ordered to stand trial, the justice shall forward anything detained pursuant to subsections (1) to (3) to the clerk of the court to which the accused has been ordered to stand trial to be detained by the clerk of the court and disposed of as the court directs.

When accused ordered to stand trial

(5) Where at any time before the expiration of the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of anything seized, the prosecutor determines that the continued detention of the thing seized is no longer required for any purpose mentioned in subsection (1) or (4), the prosecutor shall apply to

(a) a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, where a judge ordered its detention under subsection (3), or
(b) a justice, in any other case,

who shall, after affording the person from whom the thing was seized or the person who claims to be the lawful owner thereof or person entitled to its possession, if known, an opportunity to establish that he is lawfully entitled to the possession thereof, make an order in respect of the property under subsection (9).

Idem

(6) Where the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of anything seized have expired and proceedings have not been instituted in which the thing detained may be required, the prosecutor shall apply to a judge or justice referred to in paragraph (5)(a) or (b) in the circumstances set out therein, for an order in respect of the property under subsection (9).

Application for order of return

(7) A person from whom anything has been seized may, after the expiration of the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) and on three clear days notice to the Attorney General, apply summarily to

(a) a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, where a judge ordered the detention of the thing seized under subsection (3), or
(b) a justice, in any other case,

for an order under paragraph (9)(c) that the thing seized be returned to the applicant.

Exception

(8) A judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, where a judge ordered the detention of the thing seized under subsection (3), or a justice, in any other case, may allow an application to be made under subsection (7) prior to the expiration of the periods referred to therein where he is satisfied that hardship will result unless the application is so allowed.

Disposal of things seized

(9) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, if

(a) a judge referred to in subsection (7), where a judge ordered the detention of anything seized under subsection (3), or
(b) a justice, in any other case,

is satisfied that the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of anything seized have expired and proceedings have not been instituted in which the thing detained may be required or, where those periods have not expired, that the continued detention of the thing seized will not be required for any purpose mentioned in subsection (1) or (4), he shall

(c) if possession of it by the person from whom it was seized is lawful, order it to be returned to that person, or
(d) if possession of it by the person from whom it was seized is unlawful and the lawful owner or person who is lawfully entitled to its possession is known, order it to be returned to the lawful owner or to the person who is lawfully entitled to its possession,

and may, if possession of it by the person from whom it was seized is unlawful and the lawful owner or person who is lawfully entitled to its possession is not known, order it to be forfeited to Her Majesty, to be disposed of as the Attorney General directs, or otherwise dealt with in accordance with the law.

Application by lawful owner

(10) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, a person, other than a person who may make an application under subsection (7), who claims to be the lawful owner or person lawfully entitled to possession of anything seized and brought before or reported to a justice under section 489.1 may, at any time, on three clear days notice to the Attorney General and the person from whom the thing was seized, apply summarily to

(a) a judge referred to in subsection (7), where a judge ordered the detention of the thing seized under subsection (3), or
(b) a justice, in any other case, for an order that the thing detained be returned to the applicant.
Order

(11) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, on an application under subsection (10), where a judge or justice is satisfied that

(a) the applicant is the lawful owner or lawfully entitled to possession of the thing seized, and
(b) the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of the thing seized have expired and proceedings have not been instituted in which the thing detained may be required or, where such periods have not expired, that the continued detention of the thing seized will not be required for any purpose mentioned in subsection (1) or (4), the judge or justice shall order that
(c) the thing seized be returned to the applicant; or
(d) except as otherwise provided by law, where, pursuant to subsection (9), the thing seized was forfeited, sold or otherwise dealt with in such a manner that it cannot be returned to the applicant, the applicant be paid the proceeds of sale or the value of the thing seized.
Detention pending appeal, etc.

(12) Notwithstanding anything in this section nothing shall be returned, forfeited or disposed of under this section pending any application made, or appeal taken, thereunder in respect of the thing or proceeding in which the right of seizure thereof is questioned or within thirty days after an order in respect of the thing is made under this section.

Copies of documents returned

(13) Where any document is returned or ordered to be returned, forfeited or otherwise dealt with under subsection (1), (9) or (11), the Attorney General may, before returning the document or complying with the order, make or cause to be made, and may retain, a copy of the document.

Probative force

(14) Every copy made under subsection (13) shall, if certified as a true copy by the Attorney General, be admissible in evidence and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, shall have the same probative force as the original document would have if it had been proved in the ordinary way.

Access to anything seized

(15) Where anything is detained pursuant to subsections (1) to (3), a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552 may, on summary application on behalf of a person who has an interest in what is detained, after three clear days notice to the Attorney General, order that the person by or on whose behalf the application is made be permitted to examine anything so detained.

Conditions

(16) An order that is made under subsection (15) shall be made on such terms as appear to the judge to be necessary or desirable to ensure that anything in respect of which the order is made is safeguarded and preserved for any purpose for which it may subsequently be required.

Appeal

(17) A person who considers himself aggrieved by an order made under subsection (8), (9) or (11) may appeal from the order to the appeal court, as defined in section 812, and for the purposes of the appeal the provisions of sections 814 to 828 apply with such modifications as the circumstances require.

N/A

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46

Section 446 was renumbered to s. 490.

References to s. 443 were changed to s. 487, references to s. 445 were changed to s. 489, references to s. 747 were changed to 812 and references to s. 749 to 760 were changed to s. 814 to 828. The word "pursuant to" was replaced by "under" and "mutatis mutandis" was replaced with "with such modifications as the circumstances require".


1970

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34 renumbered s. 432 as s. 446.

References to s. 429 were changed to s. 443, references to s. 431 were changed to s. 445, references to s. 719 were changed to 747 and references to s. 721 to 732 were changed to s. 749 to 760.

1968-69

Criminal Law Amendment Act, S.C. 1968-69, c. 38, s. 29 replaced s. 432(1) with:

Detention of things seized

432 (1) Where anything that has been seized under section 431 or under a warrant issued pursuant to section 429 is brought before a justice, he shall, unless the prosecutor otherwise agrees, detain it or order that it be detained, taking reasonable care to ensure that it is preserved until the conclusion of any investigation or until it is required to be produced for the purposes of a preliminary inquiry or trial, but nothing shall be detained under the authority of this section for a period of more than three months after the time of seizure unless, before the expiration of that period,

(a) a justice is satisfied on application that, having regard to the nature of the investigation, its further detention for a specified period is warranted and he so orders; or
(b) proceedings are instituted in which the thing detained may be required.

Criminal Code, 1953-54, c. 51

Section 631 was replaced with s. 432:

Detention of things seized

432 (1) Where anything that has been seized under section 431 or under a warrant issued pursuant to section 429 is brought before a justice, he shall, unless the prosecutor otherwise agrees, detain it or order that it be detained, taking reasonable care to ensure that it is preserved until the conclusion of any investigation or until it is required to be produced for the purposes of a preliminary inquiry or trial, but nothing shall be detained under the authority of this section for a period of more than three months after the time of seizure unless, before the expiration of that period, proceedings are instituted in which the subject-matter of detention may be required.

When accused committed for trial

(2) When an accused has been committed for trial the justice shall forward anything to which subsection (1) applies to the clerk of the court to which the accused has been committed for trial to be detained by him and disposed of as the court directs.

Disposal of things seized in other cases

(3) Where a justice is satisfied that anything that has been seized under section 431 or under a warrant issued pursuant to section 429 will not be required for any purpose mentioned in subsection (1) or (2), he may

(a) if possession of it by the person from whom it was seized is lawful, order it to be returned to that person, or
(b) if the possession of it by the person from whom it was seized is unlawful,
(i) order it to be returned to the lawful owner or to the person who is entitled to possession of it, or
(ii) order it to be forfeited or otherwise dealt with in accordance with law, where the lawful owner or the person who is entitled to possession of it is not known.
Detention pending appeal, etc.

(4) Nothing shall be disposed of under subsection (3) pending any proceeding in which the right of seizure is questioned, or within thirty days after an order is made under that subsection.

Access to anything seized

(5) Where anything is detained under subsection (1), a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or of a court of criminal jurisdiction may, on summary application on behalf of a person who has an interest in what is detained, after three clear days' notice to the Attorney General, order that the person by or on whose behalf the application is made be permitted to examine anything so detained.

Conditions

(6) An order that is made under subsection (5) shall be made on such terms as appear to the judge to be necessary or desirable to ensure that anything in respect of which the order is made is safeguarded and preserved for any purpose for which it may subsequently be required.

Appeal

(7) A person who considers himself aggrieved by an order made under subsection (3) may appeal from the order to the appeal court, as defined in section 719, and for the purposes of the appeal the provisions of sections 721 to 732 apply, mutatis mutandis.

N/A

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1927, c. 36

Section 631 was not changed.

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1906, c. 146

Section 569(4) was replaced in the Criminal Code, 1906 with s. 631:

Detention of things seized

631 (1) When any such thing is seized and brought before a justice, he may detain it, taking reasonable care to preserve it till the conclusion of the investigation; and, if any one is committed for trial, he may order it further to be detained for the purpose of evidence on the trial.

Restoration

(2) If no one is committed, the justice shall direct such thing to be restored to the person from whom it was taken, except in the cases next hereinafter mentioned, unless he is authorized or required by law to dispose of it otherwise.

N/A

Criminal Code, 1892, c. 29

The origins of s. 490 are found in the 1892 Criminal Code at s. 569:

569. ...

Search warrant

(4) When any such thing is seized and brought before such justice he may detain it, taking reasonable care to preserve it till the conclusion of the investigation; and, if any one is committed for trial, he may order it further to be detained for the purpose of evidence on the trial. If no one is committed, the justice shall direct such thing to be restored to the person from whom it was taken, except in the cases next hereinafter mentioned, unless he is authorized or required by law to dispense of it otherwise. In case any improved arm or ammunition in respect to which any offence under section one hundred and sixteen has been committed has been seized, it shall be forfeited to the Crown. ...