The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Supreme Court of Canada grants oral hearings bong shop owner, employee

  • Print
The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Lawyers for a B.C. bong shop owner and one of his employees will get a rare opportunity to present oral arguments as to why the Supreme Court of Canada should hear their appeal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Enlarge Image

The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Lawyers for a B.C. bong shop owner and one of his employees will get a rare opportunity to present oral arguments as to why the Supreme Court of Canada should hear their appeal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA - Lawyers for the owner of a British Columbia bong shop and one of his employees will get a rare opportunity to present oral arguments as to why the Supreme Court of Canada should hear their appeal.

It's a highly unusual move for the top court, which normally rules on leave-to-appeal applications based on written documents.

Then again, it's a highly unusual case.

Timothy Felger, the bong shop owner and a B.C. pot activist, expected undercover police officers to respect a posted sign ordering the cops to stay away.

Not surprisingly, they didn't.

Felger and his employee, Natasha Healy, were charged after a sting operation at the shop in Abbotsford, B.C., in 2009.

Undercover officers bought marijuana on five separate occasions and also saw other customers making similar purchases.

Felger and Healy argued at trial that a posted sign instructing police to stay out without a warrant meant the sting amounted to an unreasonable search.

The trial judge ruled the evidence could not be used and acquitted the pair in 2012, but the B.C. Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial.

The appeals court said in a written decision that the store was a public place, meaning the police were free to investigate marijuana sales there.

"An objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in a retail store could not be achieved simply by posting a sign excluding law enforcement officers," wrote Justice Nicole Garson in a unanimous judgment.

Felger and Healy's lawyers asked the Supreme Court for leave to appeal the decision.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court took the rare step of granting them an oral hearing.

Oral hearings can be granted in criminal cases involving an indictable offence if the appeal court set aside an acquittal and ordered a new trial.

"This is a very rare thing at the Supreme Court," said Adam Dodek, a University of Ottawa law professor.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Inside peek at Real Pirates, new Manitoba Museum exhibit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Premier Greg Selinger resign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google