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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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4 people were caught red handed during a break and enter at

Customer Question

4 people were caught red handed during a break and enter at my property two nights ago but the police will not tell me there names despite the fact that their charges have now been laid. I have no idea whether there are out on bail and my family is at risk or even who they are so how would I avoid them if I saw them? The police just tell me to file and access to information request if I want it that bad. Are there any alternative answers?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

The police cannot legally provide you the names of the accused. They have not been convicted of any offence and it would be a breach of privacy laws for the police to reveal their names.

However, you can ask the police if you can be told on which day they are appearing in court. Court records are a matter of public record and they will also be brought to open court where you can attend or else just find out about the records later.

Otherwise there is no way to compel the police to give you this information. I'm sorry about that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That doesn't make any sense. Whenever Ive had CDSA charges, the police put it in the news that night. The same with lots of other serious charges, you see names and what not in the news the day of the crime or even posted on the police news website.

In terms of accessing the public court records, I only know the address of the offence, not the names of the accussed. Do I just tell a court admin clerk that address and she will find me names of the accussed from that particular file

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

I stand corrected. I'm not a criminal lawyer but there was no one else online to answer your question.

I actually just consulted with a criminal lawyer colleague of mine who said the police can give outs whatever information they wish and they are just choosing not to in your case.

Apparently when it's big news they do like to give out the names.

This senior criminal lawyer told me that the only way you will be able to find out the names of the accused is when you are subpoenaed to court.

He said there's no way to compel the police to provide the names.

I'm sorry about initial incorrect information.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'll have to dialogue with my lawyer tomorrow before giving you an excellent rating :) He mentioned in pacing today that we could proceed civilly against the police for withholding information that has a very real chance of putting our physical safety in danger. Im not sure the details but after meeting tomorrow I'll update you so maybe we both learn something.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

Police have most assuredly been sued successfully by a victim that was hurt because the police failed to warn them of a potential danger.

I don't know what province you are in but in Ontario there is a well known case known as the Jane Doe case where a woman who had been sexually assaulted in her bedroom sued the police successfully because the police failed to warn the women of the neighbourhood that there had been a series of sexual assaults where the offender had entered the woman's house throufh open window in the summer. This is what happened to Jane Doe.

I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.

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