Administrative law – Police – Disciplinary proceedings – Performance expectation – Judicial review application – Administrative decisions
Munday v. Calgary (City) Police Commission,  A.J. No. 280, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, February 25, 2003, Sullivan J.
The applicant was a Traffic Constable with the Calgary Police Service and held the rank of Senior Constable II. He had been a member of the Traffic division since 1996. In 2001, the applicant was advised to issue a minimum of 12 to 15 traffic violation tickets per shift. The applicant was told that if he did not meet this requirement, he would be transferred out of the Traffic Unit. From November 16 to 20, 2001, the applicant issued too few tickets. As a result of his failure to issue enough traffic violation tickets, the chief of police transferred the Constable out of the traffic division to the street division.
The applicant applied to the court for a judicial review of the Chief’s decision. The applicant argued that the transfer was disciplinary in nature and that the procedures under Part 5 of the Police Act, R.S.A. 2000 c. P-17 should have been invoked. Part 5 of the Act deals with disciplinary proceedings and sets in place procedural safeguards to ensure compliance with natural justice.
In analysing the case, the court considered whether the decision to transfer the applicant from the traffic division to the street division was disciplinary in nature. The applicant submitted that the court must look at the pith and substance of the circumstances surrounding the applicant’s transfer. The applicant argued that the essential characteristic of the dispute was that the applicant was allegedly insubordinate and punished for not issuing enough violation tickets. The court disagreed with the applicants characterization of the events and held that the transfer was purely administrative and was not subject to judicial review. In support of its position, the court cited Shuffler v. Calgary Police Commission and Borbridge (1995), 169 A.R. 209 (C.A.), where it was held that there are many sound administrative reasons to initiate the transfer of a member. In this case, the applicant was advised of a performance expectation and was told how failure to meet the expectation would be dealt with. The Constable was not prepared to undertake his normal duties and the Inspector chose to deal with the failure to meet the performance expectations with a transfer. In the court’s opinion, this was not a reviewable decision.
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