Class Actions

Alberta Bail Class Action —

This proposed class action is brought against the Province of Alberta for its systemic failure to conduct bail hearings within 24 hours of an arrest, as required by the Criminal Code and the Charter.

Case Overview

Section 503(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada (“the Code”) requires that all persons arrested by the police be brought before a justice of the peace within 24 hours of their arrest for the purposes of a bail hearing. This Code requirement  secures arrested persons from arbitrary and unlawful detention by the police and the state. The 24 hour time limit ensures that Canadians are not deprived of their liberty unreasonably and protects the Constitutional rights enshrined in sections 9, 10(c), and 11(e) of the Charter.

This proposed class action is brought on behalf of persons arrested in Alberta between May 2, 2016 and the date of the certification decision who were unreasonably deprived of their liberty by being denied access to a bail hearing within 24-hours.

The plaintiff, Ryan Reilly, was held for approximately 36 hours after he was arrested before he had a bail hearing. The plaintiff, MS, was held for more than 26 hours before he was brought before a JP for a bail hearing. Both were released on their own recognizance.

The claim alleges that Alberta (the “Crown”) does not have enough prosecutors available to conduct bail hearings on a timely basis. As a result, Mr. Reilly, MS and other class members, were forced to remain in police custody well past the time limits mandated by the Code.

Mr. Reilly’s criminal charges were stayed by Judge Cochard of the Alberta Provincial Court who confirmed that the unlawful detention of Mr. Reilly by the Crown breached his Charter rights. Judge Cochard also confirmed that Mr. Reilly was one of thousands of Albertans who were detained in contravention of the Code’s mandated 24 hour time period. On the appeal from this decision at the Court of Appeal and at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Crown admitted that Mr. Reilly’s Charter rights had been breached. All charges against Mr. Reilly were stayed as a result of his being overheld and the systemic issues with the Crown’s bail regime.

Amongst other relief, the action seeks Charter and related damages on behalf of all class members for the Crown’s alleged breach of the fundamental right to a bail hearing within 24 hours of arrest. It also seeks punitive damages against the Crown for its alleged failure properly to protect the basic liberty of Albertans.

Mr. Reilly and MS have appointed Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation and Ruttan Bates Barristers and Solicitors as counsel for this proposed class action.

Were you detained for more than 24 hours without a bail hearing in Alberta?

If you believe that you or someone you know was held for more than 24 hours without a bail hearing in Alberta, we would like to hear from you.

If you complete our online form, we will respond to your inquiry, typically within one business day. Or you can contact us at:

reception@waddellphillips.ca

630 6th Avenue SW, Suite 600, Calgary, AB – attn: Alberta Bail Class Action

Case Overview

Section 503(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada (“the Code”) requires that all persons arrested by the police be brought before a justice of the peace within 24 hours of their arrest for the purposes of a bail hearing. This Code requirement  secures arrested persons from arbitrary and unlawful detention by the police and the state. The 24 hour time limit ensures that Canadians are not deprived of their liberty unreasonably and protects the Constitutional rights enshrined in sections 9, 10(c), and 11(e) of the Charter.

This proposed class action is brought on behalf of persons arrested in Alberta between May 2, 2016 and the date of the certification decision who were unreasonably deprived of their liberty by being denied access to a bail hearing within 24-hours.

The plaintiff, Ryan Reilly, was held for approximately 36 hours after he was arrested before he had a bail hearing. The plaintiff, MS, was held for more than 26 hours before he was brought before a JP for a bail hearing. Both were released on their own recognizance.

The claim alleges that Alberta (the “Crown”) does not have enough prosecutors available to conduct bail hearings on a timely basis. As a result, Mr. Reilly, MS and other class members, were forced to remain in police custody well past the time limits mandated by the Code.

Mr. Reilly’s criminal charges were stayed by Judge Cochard of the Alberta Provincial Court who confirmed that the unlawful detention of Mr. Reilly by the Crown breached his Charter rights. Judge Cochard also confirmed that Mr. Reilly was one of thousands of Albertans who were detained in contravention of the Code’s mandated 24 hour time period. On the appeal from this decision at the Court of Appeal and at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Crown admitted that Mr. Reilly’s Charter rights had been breached. All charges against Mr. Reilly were stayed as a result of his being overheld and the systemic issues with the Crown’s bail regime.

Amongst other relief, the action seeks Charter and related damages on behalf of all class members for the Crown’s alleged breach of the fundamental right to a bail hearing within 24 hours of arrest. It also seeks punitive damages against the Crown for its alleged failure properly to protect the basic liberty of Albertans.

Mr. Reilly and MS have appointed Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation and Ruttan Bates Barristers and Solicitors as counsel for this proposed class action.

Were you detained for more than 24 hours without a bail hearing in Alberta?

If you believe that you or someone you know was held for more than 24 hours without a bail hearing in Alberta, we would like to hear from you.

If you complete our online form, we will respond to your inquiry, typically within one business day. Or you can contact us at:

reception@waddellphillips.ca

630 6th Avenue SW, Suite 600, Calgary, AB – attn: Alberta Bail Class Action

Status of Litigation

The Defendant has consented to the issuance of the Third Amended Statement of Claim.

The Defendants have delivered a Statement of Defence, and a Reply has been delivered.

The action must be approved by the Court to proceed as a class action. The application for certification is proceeding on May 11-12, 2021.

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Related Decisions

If you would like to contact the proposed representative plaintiffs directly, you may email them at: abrepplaintiff@gmail.com or call them at: 780-652-0979 or toll-free at 1-855-561-3625.

If you would like to contact class counsel, fill out the simple form below and we’ll respond shortly. We review every inquiry we receive and will respond promptly to case specific inquiries.

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