Thursday, June 7, 2012

The "Plain View" Doctrine

 R. v. Atkinson, 2012 ONCA 380 gives a good restatement of the law relating to the “plain view” doctrine in the context of searches:

(iv)        The “Plain View” Doctrine

[57]       The “plain view” doctrine is a common law doctrine that permits the warrantless seizure of things in plain view. To engage this doctrine requires the satisfaction of three conditions:

i.             the seizing officer must be lawfully in the place of seizure;

ii.            the evidentiary nature of the item must be immediately apparent to the officer through the unaided use of his or her senses; and

iii.           the evidence must be discovered inadvertently.

R. v. Jones, 2011 ONCA 632, 107 O.R. (3d) 241, at para. 56; Law, at para. 27.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What if the seizing officer is lawfully in the place of seizure, but only to execute a different narrowly-defined search warrant?

Say the officer is there to collect financial documents, but stumbles upon a bag of weed beneath the documents on the desk, is it in plain view?