Category: Police File Disclosure

Court Denies Counsel’s Application For Police File, Prior To Commencement Of Proceedings

In the context of ICBC injury claims, obtaining the original police report is not normally an issue, however sometimes parties wish to see the entirety of a police file, including statements, diagrams, notes, etc … This normally necessitates commencing formal litigation by filing a Notice of Civil Claim.


In Dhindsa (Re), the Plaintiff was injured in a hit and run collision. Prior to the commencement of formal proceedings, counsel for the Plaintiff brought an application for the RCMP file. Counsel for the Plaintiff cited case law in support of the proposition that the Court could grant the Order on the basis of an equitable bill of discovery, whereby a third party would be required to reveal the identify of a person or persons that the Plaintiff says has done him or her wrong. The Court denied the Plaintiff‘s application, ruling that if such an equitable bill of discovery did in fact exist, then it would not apply to the particular facts of the case at bar.


[6]             In short form, the bill of discovery would require a third party to reveal the identity of a person the plaintiff says has done them wrong. In Kenney, the plaintiff indicated that he had suffered damages as a result of a slander. He did not know the source of slander and the action for the bill of discovery was designed to force the defendant to reveal the person’s identity. At para. 33 of Kenney, Madam Justice Saunders listed the circumstances under which the remedy would be granted:


(a)        the plaintiff must show that a bona fide claim exists against the unknown wrongdoer;


(b)        the defendant must establish that the information is required in order to commence an action against the unknown wrongdoer, that is, the plaintiff must establish that disclosure will facilitate rectification of the wrong;


(c)        the defendant must be the only practicable source of the information;


(d)        there is no immunity from disclosure;


(e)        the plaintiff must establish a relationship with the defendant in which the defendant is mixed up in the wrongdoing. Without connoting impropriety, this requires some active involvement in the transactions underlying the intended cause of action.


(f)         disclosure by the defendant will not cause the defendant irreparable harm; and


(g)        the interests of justice favour granting the relief.


[8]             Assuming for the moment that the application for the bill of discovery brought by way of a requisition satisfies Rule 2-1(2)(a) and Rule 17-1, the application is nonetheless deficient in providing the circumstances indicated in Kenney under sub-paragraphs (a) and (e). The affidavit indicates that Mr. Dhindsa was injured in the motor vehicle accident, but does not give any details to suggest the other driver was negligent. In fact, investigation of the circumstances is listed as one of the reasons for wanting to have access to the police file. Further, there is nothing to indicate that the Surrey RCMP are “mixed up in the wrong doing,” or were actively involved in, “the transactions underlying the intended cause of action.”