The Success Rate of Actions for Negligent Investigation
Keywords:Negligent Investigation, Success Rate, wrongful accusation, wrongful conviction, reasonable and probable grounds, quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, Hill v Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Services Board, Beckstead, police services, malicious prosecution, ministerial review, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
This research is a qualitative and quantitative analysis on the success rate for plaintiffs who bring actions for negligent investigation against police officers who have wrongly accused them of criminality. This research falls within the broader framework of the success rate of plaintiffs who also seek damages from both police services and crown counsel regarding actions seeking damages for malicious prosecutions, breaches of rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and findings of miscarriages of justice pursuant to section 696.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The data analysis shows that on a national basis, plaintiffs have a better than one in four chance to succeed in an action claiming damages for the tort of negligent investigation including its comparative remedy at civil law. The case law analysis shows that this tort has been proven when investigations have included relatively benign activity such as a simple mistake up to and including the characterization of police activity as reprehensible and high-handed.