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Civil Litigation - Public Access - Redactions

. Poyton v. Office of the Independent Police Review Director

In Poyton v. Office of the Independent Police Review Director (Div Ct, 2022) the Divisional Court considered practice issues where OIPRD redacted parts of a judicial review record:
Issue (b) Redactions in the Record

[7] The respondent has redacted the record to remove personal information about persons involved in the case, to protect the privacy of those persons. The respondent has not sought to file an unredacted record with the court because, in the respondent’s view, none of the redacted information is material to the issues on the application.

[8] Mr Poyton has unredacted copies of most or all of the redacted documents: they are documents that he, himself, provided to the respondent and/or to PRPS. Much of the redacted information pertains to Mr Poyton himself.

[9] Mr Poyton understood that a complete record of what was before the respondent ought to be before this court on the application. Technically that is correct, and where it is necessary to do so, this court will direct that a redacted record be filed publicly and an unredacted record be provided to the court in a secure manner. As this matter was discussed in oral argument, Mr Poyton acknowledged the reasonableness of this approach. In the result, I dismiss the request that an unredacted record be filed, but I give the following directions for the information that has been redacted.
a) If there is any redacted information in the record that Mr Poyton does not have, he may request an unredacted copy from the respondent for the purposes of this proceeding, on providing an undertaking not to divulge it to any person except as authorized by this court.

(b) If the respondent declines any request made by Mr Poyton under (a), it shall need to bring a motion before this court for a sealing order for that information.

(c) If the parties conclude that any of the redacted information needs to be provided to the court for the court to adjudicate the application on the merits, they shall provide this court with a consent, draft order, and an explanation of the request for a sealing order for this information to be provided to the court.

(d) If the parties disagree in respect to any issue under (c), the party wishing to have the redacted information placed before the court shall request a case conference with this court to schedule a motion on that issue.
This rather complicated procedure is established based on my assessment that, when the applicable principles were explained to Mr Poyton during the motion, he understood the underlying purpose of the redactions and accepted that there was no need to burden the application court with two records if redacted information is not material to the application. For example, Mr Poyton’s OHIP number is not material to the application, and he has an important privacy interest in seeing that this personal information of his is not included in a court file that will forever remain open to be viewed by any member of the public. I would add a caveat that documents that are already in the public record (such as a publicly available decision in immigration proceedings) would not seem to qualify as documents in respect to which a person may have a continuing privacy interest. Given these observations, the court hopes and believes that there will be few, if any, disagreements over this issue now that it is better understood.


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Last modified: 19-02-23
By: admin