Crown and Government Liability - Negligent Investigation (2). R. v. Currado
In R. v. Currado (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal considers the torts of malicious prosecution and negligent investigation, here in the course of a defendant police officer's abuse of process application:
 The duties and obligations of police investigators to persons under investigation are found primarily in the law pertaining to the torts of malicious prosecution and negligent investigation. As an investigator, LPS owed a duty to the appellant to investigate the allegations as a reasonable police officer would do in all the circumstances, taking into account all of the available evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory: Hill v. Police Services of Hamilton-Wentworth, 2007 SCC 41,  3 S.C.R. 129, at para. 73. There is no claim made on appeal that the LPS investigation was not full, objective and even-handed.. Korchinski v Office of the Independent Police Review Director
 In the context of an allegation that the continued investigation of the criminal allegation by the LPS constituted an abuse of process, even though it had no impact on the fairness of the process, the question becomes – would a reasonable person, fully informed of the particulars, and looking at the matter realistically and practically, come to the conclusion that the members of the LPS could not perform, or could not be seen to perform, their investigatory duties in a reasonable, objective, and even-handed manner: Lippé, at pp. 141-145.
 We were not referred to any case in which a court held that the failure of a police force to turn an investigation over to an outside police force on its own, and without regard to the actual fairness of the process, constituted an abuse of process.
 Perhaps R. v. Grant, 2020 ONSC 2423, provides the case closest on its facts to this case. In Grant, the trial judge found that the prosecution of a police officer, who was alleged to have committed an assault while on duty, amounted to an abuse of process. The trial judge gave many reasons for coming to that conclusion, including the failure of the police force to refer the investigation to an outside force. The other grounds relied on by the trial judge arose out of the specific circumstances of the case and the impact of the prosecution conduct on the fairness of the accused’s trial.
 On appeal, the Summary Conviction Appeal Court (“SCAC”) reversed and sent the matter back to the trial court. The SCAC found that the trial judge had made several errors. In respect of the failure to refer the matter to an outside police force, the SCAC said, at para. 54:
There is no requirement for the [police force] to bring in an outside Police Service to conduct a criminal investigation of one of their own. That in itself does not demonstrate a bias. A review of the details of the investigation that was conducted is the most important consideration as to whether the [Police Service] conducted themselves in a manner that a reasonable person could conclude that their investigation was appropriate. I do not suggest that Grant provides a full analysis of the submission advanced by the appellant. It does, however, offer support for the approach taken by the trial judge in this case. Like the trial judge, the SCAC in Grant proceeded on a case-by-case basis in which “a review of the details of the investigation that was conducted, is the most important consideration”.
 The other cases put before the court, while helpful, are not abuse of process cases. Some of them involve negligence or malicious prosecution allegations in which conflicts of interest particular to the circumstances, formed part of the evidentiary record relied on by the plaintiffs in support of their tort claims: see e.g. Johnson v. Coppaway, 2004 CanLII 9755 (ON SC), 238 D.L.R. (4th) 126 (Ont. S.C.) Those cases do not advance the appellant’s argument.
 The appellant also referred to Duff v. James, 2016 ONSC 3737, aff’d 2017 ONCA 606, 416 D.L.R. (4th) 645. In Duff, the motion judge exercised a statutory power to direct that the OPP, rather than the local police force, enforce a family law order the judge made. The motion judge directed the OPP to enforce the order because the subject of the order was a member of the local police force and there had been difficulties enforcing earlier orders. A judge’s exercise of a statutory power aimed at facilitating the effective enforcement of court orders does not engage any of the considerations relevant on the analysis of an abuse of process claim.
 The appellant has failed to demonstrate any abuse of process. In so holding, I do not, however, diminish the care a police force must exercise in determining whether, in the circumstances of a particular case, the interests of justice would be better served by asking an outside police force to take over an investigation. Police services are alive to conflict concerns and most have written guidelines in place to structure their consideration if, and when, an outside force should be brought in to an investigation. An example of the guidelines is found in Grant, at para. 21.
 The LPS was alive to the potential risks associated with its conduct of the investigation. It chose to turn carriage of the matter over to the OPP before any charges were laid. It may be that the LPS should have sought the assistance of the OPP earlier than it did, and it may be that members of the LPS should have played a less active role after the OPP became involved. However, even if one assumes an error in judgment by the LPS, that error is not sufficiently serious to render the criminal prosecution of the appellant an abuse of process.
In Korchinski v Office of the Independent Police Review Director (Div Court, 2022) the Divisional Court considered, in the course of a JR of an OPIRD investigation, elements of negligent investigation:
 In dealing with the tort of negligent investigation, the Supreme Court of Canada, in Hill v. Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Services Board, 2007 SCC 41, at para 73, set out the standard of care the police owe citizens in performing their duty as that of a reasonable police officer in similar circumstances. The Court said:
This standard should be applied in a manner that gives due recognition to the discretion inherent in police investigation. Like other professionals, police officers are entitled to exercise their discretion as they see fit, provided that they stay within the bounds of reasonableness. The standard of care is not breached because a police officer exercises his or her discretion in a manner other than that deemed optimal by the reviewing court. A number of choices may be open to a police officer investigating a crime, all of which may fall within the range of reasonableness. So long as discretion is exercised within this range, the standard of care is not breached. The standard is not perfection, or even the optimum, judged from the vantage of hindsight. It is that of a reasonable officer, judged in the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made — circumstances that may include urgency and deficiencies of information. The law of negligence does not require perfection of professionals; nor does it guarantee desired results (Klar, at p. 359). Rather, it accepts that police officers, like other professionals, may make minor errors or errors in judgment which cause unfortunate results, without breaching the standard of care. The law distinguishes between unreasonable mistakes breaching the standard of care and mere “errors in judgment” which any reasonable professional might have made and therefore, which do not breach the standard of care.