An inmate serving time for first-degree murder has won a Federal Court battle that orders prison officials to return the memory card to his video game.
Patrick Fischer asked the court to rule after the memory card for his PlayStation One game was confiscated in 2018 as he was transferred from maximum security to a medium-security prison in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.
In the ruling, Justice Russel Zinn says not only did correction officials fail to “consider the facts surrounding Mr. Fischer’s possession and use of the memory card,” they also failed to consider the “impact” of the decision on the prisoner.
Security officers with the Correctional Service of Canada ruled the card was a removable or portable mass storage device, which inmates are not allowed to possess.
Fischer, who’s currently serving a life term for the 1999 murder of 16-year-old Darci Drefko of Merritt, B.C., argued the decision was unreasonable and misinterpreted prison policies.
Zinn ordered the card returned, finding not only had Fischer owned it and the PlayStation since 2002, while in maximum security custody, he had also received permission to replace it when the first card wore out.
“The only reasonable finding is that it was therefore an “authorized item” in (Fischer’s) possession,” Zinn says in the decision released Monday.
The ruling also finds corrections officials wrongly interpreted two key provisions of a directive regarding the type of property each inmate may possess and the risk each item poses.
“Under either or both provisions, (Fischer) ought to have been permitted to retain (the card) unless it was a safety risk,” Zinn says.
“Given that there was no such finding of a risk for 18 years in a maximum-security institution, there can be no reasonable suggestion of such a risk in a medium-security institution.”
In addition to the order to immediately return the memory card, Fischer, who represented himself at the hearing held in January, is also entitled to out-of-pocket costs of $150 from the Attorney General of Canada.
The Canadian Press
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