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.

Although Mr. Walsh (a passenger in a vehicle subject to a traffic stop) admitted that he had a small amount of marijuana in his possession and failed to provide a detailed explanation of the source of the money, Justice Wood found that there was insufficient evidence to link the money to unlawful activity:

[7] The existence of a small quantity of marijuana in Mr. Walsh’s pocket is not in and of itself an indication that he was engaged in trafficking. The large amount of cash could be an indication of trafficking activities, depending upon the surrounding circumstances. In this case, I am not satisfied that there are enough other indicators to prove on a balance of probabilities that the money was acquired by selling drugs or would be used for that purpose. There is no admissible evidence to connect Mr. Walsh to the drug trade and no indication of any convictions for drug related offences.

Decided by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on April 25, 2013.
Click here for the full text of the decision.

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