About Civil Forfeiture

Civil forfeiture laws have been sold to the public and passed into law as a way of taking the profit out of crime, preventing illegal activity, and compensating the victims of criminal acts. Such statutes exist in seven Canadian provinces, allowing the Crown to confiscate property which is deemed, on the balance of probabilities, to be either proceeds or instruments of “unlawful activity.” [Read More]


Recent Litigation

British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture) v. Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation, 2014 BCCA 207

British Columbia’s Director of Civil Forfeiture applied to remove one the last remaining personal defendants as a party to the long-running Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation case in an apparent attempt to evade Charter arguments which might be available to individuals but unavailable to the corporate defendant: [Read More]

Ontario (Attorney General) v. 714 Railton Avenue, 2014 ONCA 397 - Criminal Sentencing Relevant to "Interests of Justice" Defence

The Railton Avenue appeal involved judicial consideration of the scope of the “interests of justice defence,” and specifically the implications of the criminal sentencing process in determining whether a given forfeiture application is “contrary to the interests of justice.” [Read More]

Alberta (Justice) v Paasche, 2013 ABCA 301 - Trial Judge Retains Sole Jurisdiction to Adjourn Forfeiture Hearing

The Defendants, Dustin Frederick Paasche and Justin Alciade Robert, were “arrested and charged with weapons and drug trafficking offences as well as with possession of stolen property.” In the course of the investigation, approximately $3,600 in cash was seized and subject to a restraint order under Alberta's civil forfeiture legislation, the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act. Criminal charges were laid against both Defendants. [Read More]

Director under the Seizure of Criminal Property Act, 2009 v Peters, 2012 SKQB 348

Saskatchewan’s Director under the Seizure of Criminal Property Act applied for an indefinite preservation order of $45,360.00 in seized money that was suspected to be the proceeds of crime. The Director claimed a right to apply for indefinite ongoing seizure, pursuant to Queen’s Bench Rule 390, pending the resolution of the civil action for forfeiture of the seized cash. [Read More]

Nova Scotia (Civil Forfeiture) v. Walsh, 2013 NSSC 130

Building on the analysis set out in the Allen case, Mr. Justice Wood of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court refused forfeiture of $4,755.00 in cash found in the possession of the defendant, Matthew Craig Walsh. [Read More]