This case was heard in the Nova Scotia Provincial Court.
Mr. LaPorte was charged with committing an offence under the federal Fisheries Act by fishing in a closed area in violation of section 7 of the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licenses Regulations.
The Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licenses Regulations state that fishing licenses and the authority to use vessels can be designated by either the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans or the Aboriginal organization the individual belongs to. Mr. LaPorte had a communal license which had been issued to him by the Membertou Band and which designated him as the captain of the ship he had been operating. The Court decided that this license had been designated to Mr. LaPorte appropriately and was valid. However, the Court determined that Mr. LaPorte was fishing in an unauthorized area beyond the boundaries permitted by the licence.
Mr. LaPorte was found guilty.