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SOCB51 - Ontario Court of Justice - PUSSY PALACE ~ Hornick Article
The Toronto Women’s Bathhouse Committee filed a human rights complaint, claiming in part that two female
police officers checked inside the bathhouse for liquor violations, and then five male officers entered and
lingered in private areas.
The lawyer had an application for an order granting the Applicants a stay of proceedings, or in the alternative, an
order excluding evidence.
6 counts under the liquor license
3 counts of Permit Disorderly Conduct
1 count of Fail to Provide Sufficient Security
1 count of Permit Liquor to be Removed from Premises
1 count of serve Liquor Outside of Prescribed Hours
the 4th pussy palace was held September 14, 2000 at a rented bathhouse in Toronto
organized by women for women only
purpose: “ about having fun and exploring sexuality in a supportive and safe environment”
event was licensed; it was a fundraiser and an admission charge was collected
most women of the event were in some state undresses
2 anonymous complaints received by Police that month so 2 undercover female cops were sent to make
observations for alleged breaches of the Liquor License Act; later on 5 male cops came in, for further
Summary of Applicants Requests
1. Request to exclude the evidence of the police observations. As the hosts of the event they have
standings. They submit they had a reasonable expectation of privacy w/ respect to men, including the
male police officers. The entry of the male officers was highly unreasonable and series; women were not
expecting this and many were not fully clothed
2. The police conduct undermined their rights to a fair trail
3. Their principle argument is that the police misconduct amounted to an abuse of process. To continue
the prosecution would violate the principles of fundamental justice protected by section 7
The first issue to be determined is do the Applicants have standing to bring an application alleging a breach of
Section 8 in the circumstances of this case. Did they have a reasonable expectation for privacy? Were their
personal rights violated?
Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
A claim for relief can only be made by the person whose charter rights have been infringed; it protects
people, not places
2 inquiries must be made:
1- has the accused a reasonable expectation of privacy.
2- if he has such an expectation, was the search by the police conducted reasonably.
A reasonably expectation of privacy is determined on the basis of the totality of the circumstance
o This depends on time of search = applicants were present at the time of the search
o possession/control of property/place being searched = applicants were part of the organizing
committee and had possession/control of the property by having it rented. They got a permit.
Jill Hornick was in charge of security, Rachel in charge of the bar
o ownership of place= rented place
o historical use of property = this was the 4th event, all which excluded men