Judicial Review of Coroner’s Ruling in Shooting Inquest

Photo: Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services

Photo: Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services

The family of a man shot by police has filed an application for Judicial Review of a coroner’s ruling, to Ontario Divisional Court.

Last week, the Minty family’s lawyers asked that presiding coroner Dr. William Lucas’s pre-inquest ruling be quashed. The Application, pursuant to sections 4 and 6(2) of the Judicial Review Procedure Act, RSO 1990 c J.1, was filed by Falconer LLP.

Douglas Minty, 59, a developmentally delayed man, was shot in Elmvale, Ont., in June 2009. Ontario Provincial Police Const. Jeff Seguin fired five shots after Minty approached the officer with a “sharp-edged” weapon.

An inquest into Minty’s death started in November 2012. It was delayed pending a Supreme Court decision about police officers’ notes. Dec. 19, 2013, the Minty family was granted a declaration by the Supreme Court of Canada that it is unlawful for police officers to consult counsel prior to completing their field notes and submitting them to civilian investigators.

The Judicial Review application filed last week also asks that a police officer’s lawyer be removed for conflict of interest. The officer’s inquest lawyer is the same lawyer he consulted before completing his field notes about the Minty shooting.

Lucas ruled against the family’s request to cross-examine Seguin and another officer on their notes. He found that the Supreme Court ruling should not be applied retrospectively. Lucas accepted Seguin’s position that the notes and conversations he had with the lawyer are privileged.

Julian Roy and Marc Gibson represent the family at the inquest. They will also represent the family at the Judicial Review.

It is not clear what effect the Judicial Review request will have on the Coroner’s Inquest, being held in Midhurst, north of Barrie. It was to last about four weeks and hear from 20 witnesses.

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