ALBERTA (MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL) v KOUCH, 2014 ABCA 215
CONRAD, O'FERRALL and BROWN JJA
5.34: Service of expert’s report
The Calgary Police Service discovered the basement of the Appellant’s house had been converted into a marijuana grow operation. The Court of Queen’s Bench granted a property disposal Order pursuant to section 19.94 of the Victim Restitution and Compensation Payment Act, SA 2001, c V-3.5. The homeowner appealed.
The Court of Appeal considered whether relief from forfeiture should have been granted in the circumstances. In reviewing the relevant factor of the value of the property in comparison to the value of the drugs, the Court noted that evidence regarding the value of the marijuana found in the home was not in compliance with the laws of evidence. The Chambers Judge was provided a single document, attached as an Exhibit to the Affidavit of a member of the Calgary Police Service. The document purported to be the “professional opinion” of another member of the Calgary Police Service. However, that opinion was unsworn, not signed by its supposed author, and failed to conform with Rule 5.34 (i.e. it was not in Form 25 and did not contain all the required information, including a statement his qualifications).
Because questions relating to admissibility of evidence are reviewed on the standard of correctness, the Court held that it was an error to admit the evidence regarding the crop value and profitability which did not conform to the requirements of the Rules of Court. Therefore, relying upon that evidence to determine the value of the drugs relative to the property was in error. The Appeal was allowed and the property disposal Order was vacated.View CanLII Details