Can I sue the police for violating my rights?

In Canada, you can bring a civil claim anyone who has committed an actionable wrong against you. These will typically only be successful if you can show that the other person’s actions caused harm that can be properly compensated by a judicial remedy such as monetary damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc.). Civil court has a lower standard of proof than criminal court, meaning that you need less evidence for the court to make a finding in your favour. Evidence that the police violated your Charter rights can support your claim, but is not required.

In a criminal matter, if police obtained evidence by violating your Charter rights (for example, by way of unauthorized search), you can apply to have this evidence excluded at trial. If the police conduct is particularly egregious (for example, police brutality), the court may also discontinue the prosecution. This is known as a “stay of proceedings.”

Pursuing an action in civil court is an extremely expensive and time-consuming endeavour, and may not be able to properly address the wrongdoing that has occurred. If the police have violated your rights in some way, you can also file a formal complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

If you need our assistance, Collett Read LLP provides a strong legal defence to protect your rights. Call our team for free at (905) 541-2228 or fill out a consultation form to get us started on your case.

  Comments: 2

  1. My son was shot March 28th 2022 in front of his high school. He is alive thank god. I had to take my kids out of the neighbourhood as he was targeted. I went months trying to find out if an arrest was made. During this time my daughter was hit by a car intentionally at her new school in Scarborough. The principal didn’t call the police as she said she was scared to talk to them. I called 43 division and 42 division to make a report and ask if they could retrieve the video and they refused to. Months later the find out through people in the neighborhood I live in that my sons shooter was on bail and living in my community. I wasn’t advised. The three of us have pstd since then not ever feeling safe. Is it possible to sue the police for loss of wages due to their negligence in this case?

    • If you wish to report police misconduct, you can contact the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OPIRD). If you wish to make a civil claim for loss of wages or other damages, contact a civil litigation lawyer.