OPP Acknowledges Unlawfulness Of "Next-Door Neighbour Searches"

The Ontario Provincial Police have acknowledged the unlawfulness of "next-door neighbour searches", in which police officers enter onto private property without a warrant, exigency or consent in order to observe a neighbouring property. The adoption of this practice by the Bracebridge, Ontario OPP detachment and its public defence by head of that detachment was the subject of an application, Fitzmaurice v. Commissioner of the OPP, which was resolved by the OPP's acknowledgment. The application was supported by Osgoode University's Innocence Project and by the Criminal Lawyers' Association, which intervened in the case as a friend of the Court. Daniel Naymark acted as co-counsel to the Criminal Lawyers' Association, with Philip Campbell of Lockyer Campbell Posner.

In a MuskokaRegion.com op-ed, the applicant in the case, John Fitzmaurice, wrote:

Fortunately, there is a strong civil rights community in this country and the Innocence Project at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and its much accomplished Director, Alan Young, and his assistants, especially Madori Sakamoto, came quickly to my aid. So also did the 1000 member Ontario Criminal Lawyers’ Association, whose respected Toronto counsel Philip Campbell and Daniel Naymark successfully applied to have the Association intervene as a “friend of the Court”. The intellectual heft that these people and organizations brought to my application was crucial to its successful resolution and I am endlessly grateful for their help.

For other reporting on the case, see http://www.macleans.ca/news/how-much-police-trespassing-is-permissible/ and https://www.muskokaregion.com/news-story/7466786-opp-confirm-judge-s-ruling-on-unlawful-entries-by-bracebridge-police/.