R. v. M. (M. R.)

129 C.C.C. (3d) 361

Facts

SCC

13 year old student charged with possession of narcotic. The vice-principal had "tips" from other students that a student was selling drugs on the school premises. Principal called the cops and on the day of the school dance the Principal heard that accused might be carrying drugs. Accused was called down to the principals office where an officer was present. The Principal seached the accused and found a small quantity of marijuana in the accused's sock. Debate on whether the principal was acting as an agent for the officer present of the time of search. Officer then told them their rights and told them that they had the right to contact their parent, which was unsuccessful. Then the officer went to the accused's locker and searched it but nothing was found. At trial the trial judge concluded that the seach had violated the appellant's rights under the Charter and excluded the evidence found in the search. The charge was then dissmissed. Major dissagreed with the rest of the judges and agreed with the trial judge but the other judges dissagreed and the accused was found guilty.

Reasons

SCC

All judges except for Major felt that the search was by the principal and not the officer, that the officer was acting as an agent for the principal and that the search was just a search in the school for security and safety purposes, but Major believed that the principal was acting as an agent for the officer and really it was a police search and if that was the case they need a warrant to search someone.