Proposed class-action filed against RCMP over High River flood gun seizures
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, February 12, 2015 1:31PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 12, 2015 2:46PM EST
HIGH RIVER, Alta. -- A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed against the RCMP over the seizure of guns from homes in High River during flooding in southern Alberta in 2013.
Jane White, the representative plaintiff, says Mounties had no right to break into her locked home and confiscate 11 rifles that she and her husband hid in their bedroom under a quilt to protect them from rising water.
She says the officers broke the front door, spread mud on the floor and on the walls and damaged other property.
Mounties left the door open when they left, putting the house at risk until she and her husband were allowed to return the following month, she says.
"We thought it was a very disrespectful and unreasonable way to treat the citizens in the middle of a disaster -- and to go into a home that was secure," she said Thursday in an interview.
"I would like them to be accountable. There was a lot of damage done to our house."
The lawsuit alleges the seizure was an unlawful and unnecessary invasion of people's private lives and caused distress, humiliation and anguish.
It also alleges that Mounties damaged homes and property, breached people's charter rights and caused them emotional and psychological trauma.
The lawsuit, which has not yet been certified, seeks monetary damages and a declaration that the RCMP were negligent.
Clint Docken, White's lawyer, said there could be more than 100 plaintiffs who had firearms seized.
Statements of claim contain allegations not proven in court.
The Mounties have said the guns -- 609 firearms were taken from 105 homes -- could have posed a hazard, as there were reports of break-ins and thefts.