This case was very similar to R.v. Godoy,  1 S.C.R. 311. As a reminder, in this case, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that police officers had the power to forcibly enter the home without a warrant to investigate a 911 call and provide the necessary assistance. This power was not limited to 911 hooks. It also extended to situations in which it could be concluded that the 911 appellant was or could be in distress (para. 16). However, their power to enter the dwelling was limited to addressing residents` security concerns and did not extend to the right to search the dwelling or otherwise invade a resident`s privacy (para. 22). In Godoy, the investigation led to the arrest of one of the residents of the house.
Sources of legal authorization for police to enter a home generally derive from law, customary law or the consent of a person with the authority to grant access. In this case, officers investigated a 911 call. When they took care of the house, they knocked on the door and a woman let them in. The circumstances of this case did not allow officials to determine whether he was competent to do so. They were now at home and had to rely on their experience and judgment to deal with a potentially explosive situation. The Court noted that while there is a recognized right to privacy of residents with respect to the sanctity of their home, which is protected by the right to privacy under section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the interest of the person seeking assistance through an emergency call is closer to the core of the values of dignity. Autonomy and integrity as the interest of the person who wants to refuse entry. It is reasonable for police to assume that the caller of an emergency call is in distress and requires immediate assistance. The importance of the police duty to protect justifies and justifies a forced intrusion into a home in order to determine the health and safety of an emergency caller in a timely manner. The public interest in maintaining an effective emergency response system is clear and important enough to warrant interference with a resident`s right to privacy. However, the power to enter is limited to the protection of life and security and does not extend to a search or other intrusion into such premises. One of the characteristics of family violence is its private nature, but privacy should not take precedence over the safety of household members.
In the present case, the forced entry into the applicant`s home was justified in the light of all the circumstances. The appeal was dismissed and the case was sent back for a new trial for assaulting a police officer with intent to resist arrest. Lamer, writing for a unanimous tribunal, agrees that there is prima facie evidence of police conduct affecting Godoy`s person and property, and therefore turns to Waterfield`s two-part test in deciding whether the police action was justified: to determine whether such action falls within the officers` duties, it refers to the Police Services Act]. which states that all common law obligations are legitimate. An analysis of the case law concludes that the tasks include «the preservation of the peace, the prevention of crime and the protection of life and property». Lamer believes this behavior was part of a duty to protect life, as they received an emergency call and heard a woman crying – so they had a duty to enter the premises and make sure everything was in order. This being established, it is clear that the conduct of the officers did not constitute an unjustified exercise of authority, since they entered the premises only to ensure that the woman was not in serious danger. As soon as they entered the house and found the injured woman, they had the right to arrest Godoy under section 495(1)(a). They used the appropriate powers to protect life when they entered and discovered this, so the arrest was legitimate.
Let us look at some of the previous cases that have been discussed in this appeal: If the police action constitutes a prima facie interference with a person`s liberty or property, the Waterfield/Dedman two-lane test provides useful clues as to whether the officers had the authority to enter the house for investigative purposes and therefore acted lawfully in the performance of their duties (R. v. Waterfield,  3 All E.R. 659 (Ct. crim. App.); and Dedman v. The Queen et al.,  2 S.C.R. 2). The first step is whether entering the home to deal with the 911 call fell within the general scope of a statutory or common law duty imposed on the police.
In this particular case, the Police Services Act, C.C.S.M., c. Section P94.5 (PSA) provides in section 24(1) that a peace officer has all the powers and duties of a peace officer under the common law, and section 25 that the duties of a peace officer include the maintenance of the public peace and the prevention of crimes (by the way, there are provisions similar to sections 13 and 15(2) of the R.S.P.E.I. Police Act 1988, c. P-11.1; Section 42(1)(2) of the Police Act S.N.S. 2004, c. 31; § 2 (2) and 12 (1) of the Police Act S.N.B. 1977, c. P-9.2, etc.). In addition, under the complementary powers and duties of the common law, a public servant must maintain the peace, prevent crime, and protect life and property (see Dedman, at paragraph 14; and R. v.
MacDonald, 2014 SCC 3, at para. 35,  1 S.C.R. 37). In this case, the trial judge found that the officer had no reasonable reason to believe that the defendant was about to commit an attack. The FCC judge concluded in her reasoning that the trial judge was correct in concluding that the officer had no reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence would be committed, since the defendant`s conduct did not constitute an «imminent and real threat of a violent crime» (para. 28). Justice Chartier stated that under paragraph 495(1)(a) of the Code, public servants do not have to wait for a person to openly threaten or become very violent before intervening. The threshold is much lower. In R. v. Shepherd, 2009 SCC 35  2 S.C.R.
527), the Supreme Court of Canada reiterated that the reasonable grounds threshold is relatively low. A staff member «need not adduce a prima facie case» (para. 23). See also R. v. Jacob (J.A.), 2013 MBCA 29, at para. 24-34, 291 Man.R. (2d) 135.
What is needed is that the agent`s belief that an attack was imminent is more likely than not (see also Storrey). In addition, the evidence that may form the basis of the employee`s reasonable grounds may be hearsay evidence (see Eccles v. Bourque et al.,  2 S.C.R. 739; and R. v. Collins,  1 S.C.R. 265, at p. 279). This case forced the MBCA to examine the impact of cases decided years ago.
Unfortunately, cases of domestic violence like this often go to court. What should officers do if they believe that a belligerent and drunk person is a danger to others in the house? Are they arresting that person and risking being attacked with impunity and prosecuted in a civilian court for unlawful arrest? Or do they leave and risk being blamed if another household member is injured for not abducting that person? This call gave the MBCA an opportunity to clarify the scope of the police`s power to enter the home and deal with such situations. MBCA said that, given Godoy`s mind, there is no doubt that officers in this case had the authority to enter the house to investigate the reason for the 911 call, regardless of whether the person who let them in had the authority to do so. In fact, they could, if necessary, have used appropriate force to verify the health and safety of the 911 caller (see Godoy, paragraphs 22-23). Her examination, however brief, led her to believe that an attack on the woman or child was imminent based on her judgment and experience.