Hanisch v Canada 2004 BCCA
Hanisch v Canada 2004 BCCAMore info
In this case, the BC Court of Appeal upholds a trail decision awarding the Plaintiff $25,000 in compensatory damages for false arrest. The court was sypathetic to the Plaintiff who ran a guide business in a small and isolated community. Reputation was important and the Plaintiff was arrested and humiliated in front of clients and neighbours (see par 144 - 148 in the lower court decision Hanisch v. Canada, 2003 BCSC 1000 (CanLII)). The Plaintiff is also awared significant punitive damages for malicious conduct. This is a good case to support a high damage award. Plaintiff is actually in custody for only a few hours (see par 57 of lower court decision) although he is not able to get home for 3 days.
Trudgian v Regina Board of Police Commissioners 2005 SKCA
Trudgian v Regina Board of Police 2005 SKCAMore info
This is a good case for damages. This case was heard by a lower court in Saskatchewan. A cadet is wrongfully charged with a sexual assalt. The officer does almost no investigation. The charge carries significant stigma and has considerable effect on the Plaintiff. The court awards $50,000 and states the following at par 156 "I accept the plaintiff’s evidence that it was the most horrible time of his life and that he suffered humiliation and damage to his reputation which persists to the present, with mental anguish and stress continuing to haunt him. The plaintiff’s ordeal was also particularly damaging to this reputation as a corrections officer, and delayed his re-entry into the corrections service and advancement within the service. As well, it has affected his relationship with colleagues and with police officers with whom he deals on a daily basis. He is fearful of inmates gaining knowledge of the charge. The plaintiff also suffered some loss of liberty and confinement, less than one day. " See this case on Canlii - Trudgian v. Bosche, 2003 SKQB 168 (CanLII). On appeal the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal reduces the award to $30,000. At par 18, "In this case, despite requests to the contrary and what the trial judge found to be a lack of necessity, the appellant arrested the respondent immediately, refusing to let him put on civilian clothes and removed him, in the view of his troop, in handcuffs. The respondent, a former and present correctional officer, had never been incarcerated and said he was, and the trial judge accepted this, traumatized. Further, he experienced difficulties with respect to regaining and being promoted within his current employment. This merits an award of substantial damages, albeit not to the extent the trial judge gave. Based on the jurisprudence and our view that the trial judge considered erroneous factors in exceeding the normal range, we reduce the general damages from $50,000 to $30,000."
Radovici v Toronto Police Services Board 2007 SCJ
Radovici v Toronto Police Services Board 2007 SCJMore info
This fairly recent case may be used to suggest that a night at a police station after a false arrest is worth about $7500. Ms. Radovici falsely arrested during a dispute with a police officer in the Entertainment District in downtown Toronto. She spends approximately 5 hours in custody. She is not strip searched. A Superior Court Justice finds that she is falsely arrested. This case, it could be argued, is then the starting point for damages for false arrest. Look to other cases that support higher awards including Trudgian v. Wood, 2005 SKCA 13 (CanLII) and Hanisch v. Canada, 2004 BCCA 539 (CanLII). In these cases appeal courts in Saskatchewan and BC award $30,000 and $25,000 respectively.
R. v. Storrey,  1 S.C.R. 241
R. v. Storrey,  1 S.C.R. 241More info
Recent Supreme Court ruling on false arrest. Outlines the test for false arrest. This is a criminal law case, but the test has been applied in the civil law cases. A police officer must have reasonable grounds to arrest pursuant to the Criminal Code. Arrest must by reasonable based on the subjective view of the officer and the objective view of a reasonable person (i.e. the judge).