Canada customs siezed my laptop.
February 26, 2008 12:58 AM   Subscribe

Please: recommend a lawyer in Vancouver, BC?

I am in sudden need of trusted legal advice, connected to seizure of laptop by Canadian customs for "verification of contents".

Although I am not a terrorist or pedophile, having them go through all my stuff with a fine tooth comb freaks me out - who knows what they'll find, and what they would feel is enough justification to permanently confiscate the machine and / or press charges? This totally sucks, I need a lawyer right now.

Looking for a lawyer, but with no clue who to trust as I have no previous dealings in this area, and can't even define exactly what area of law / specialty I need here... I hope that some MeFite local to BC can suggest a trusted lawyer person who can help me, or at least point me in the right direction as to where to look.

Email in profile if you wish to speak privately.
posted by Meatbomb to Law & Government (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Were you issued a "seizure receipt form"?
posted by blue_wardrobe at 2:15 AM on February 26, 2008

Response by poster: Yes, a "notice of detention".
posted by Meatbomb at 2:34 AM on February 26, 2008

From the Law Society of BC (essentially the province's bar association):

"Lawyer Referral Service - Another option is the Lawyer Referral Service run by the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association. This service will give you the name of a lawyer near you who has requested referrals. You can arrange a half-hour interview for $25 plus tax. Call (604) 687-3221 or 1-800-663-1919. More information is also available on the BC Branch website at"
posted by onshi at 4:03 AM on February 26, 2008

Cameron Ward, a well known civil rights lawyer! Google "cameron ward Vancouver" for more info. This is exactly the sort of case he specializes in.
posted by thewalrus at 6:07 AM on February 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

I guess I should ask, are you an American visitor or do you live in BC? Not that it helps any but US customs is now in the habit of seizing and copying the contents of southbound laptops as well.
posted by thewalrus at 6:10 AM on February 26, 2008

Meatbomb, whatever happened with this? Update, please!
posted by misha at 2:49 PM on March 4, 2008

Response by poster: My update totally sucks, misha.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:21 PM on March 4, 2008

Sorry to be off-topic, but why did they take your laptop in the first place? I travel with my laptop often and I'm sort of frightened by this seemingly random seizure of property. I had no idea this kind of crap went on in full force in Canada.
posted by tehloki at 10:54 PM on March 5, 2008

Response by poster: tehloki: the customs agent first found some euro porn dvds that she didn't like, and decided that the computer should be sniffed at as there was porn there as well.

So if you are paranoid, as I now am, my advice would be to have zero porn visible in your CDs/ DVDs, and have your on-disk porn cache heavily secretified, such that a random dork at customs couldn't sniff it out with a casual look.

Me, I had all my porn in a subfolder of My Documents called "pornography". Don't do that, for example.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:10 AM on March 12, 2008

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