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Computer was "detained" by Canadian border authorities over a year ago for investigation. What can/should I do?

Burlington, VT |

I was crossing the border from the U.S. into Canada over a year ago, and they took me in for further search/questioning without any reason given, and searched my belongings including my personal laptop. They found material that they deemed to be "inappropriate" and even though they admitted they had found nothing illegal, they felt there was a high likelihood that it would contain child porn. They let me go back into the U.S. but kept my computer for further examination. They said they were merely "detaining" it not "seizing" it but I haven't heard anything about it since. I have been too afraid to try to go to Canada since then and would like my property back. Is there anything I can/should do other than just wait? Is it normal for an investigation to take this long?

Thanks for the responses. What type of lawyer should I look for?

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Filed under: Immigration
Attorney answers 3


Talk to a Canadian lawyer.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


This forum is for US immigration. You need to consult with a Canadian attorney.

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


You need to contact a Canadian lawyer that is within the same province as the one where you were denied entry. You are likely been "red flagged" and need to get to the bottom of the inquiry as if there is a probably cause for the charges for the alleged statements, CIC / RCMP can try to get you extradited to Canada. Good luck.

Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by CC Abbott does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state of Federal law.

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