British Columbia (Civil Forfeiture Act, Director) v. Ngo, 2012 BCSC 1009

The Ngo case involved an appeal from the decision of a Master, holding that the desk order requisition process is not available as a means for the Director of Civil Forfeiture to achieve default judgement for forfeiture in circumstances where a Defendant has failed to file a defence.

BC Supreme Court Justice Dorgan upheld and reaffirmed the decision of Justice Davies in British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture) v. Kingdon, 2011 BCSC 1501, that the Director cannot simply seek a Master’s desk order for default judgement, but must file a Chambers application in BC Supreme Court, supported by affidavit evidence that the Director knows of no fact that would constitute a defence to the forfeiture application in question.

Justice Dorgan concluded as follows:

“Obviously, this does not mean that default judgment cannot be requested or obtained. It means that the desk order requisition process is not available in seeking it. That process is simply inadequate for the court to fulfil its role in law and equity under the CFA, s. 6. To the question, then, of whether our Rules of court allow for a desk order default judgment procedure in a claim of civil forfeiture of cash under the CFA, or whether the matter must be spoken to in court, the answer is that the matter must be spoken to in court.”

Decided by the BC Supreme Court on July 6, 2012.
Click here for the full text of the decision.

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