Ontario (Attorney General) v. 20 Strike Avenue, 2014 ONCA 395 – Court Refuses Forfeiture of Father’s Property Based on Son’s Drug Use

In Strike Avenue, the Ontario Court of Appeal considered the “interests of justice” exemption from forfeiture in circumstances where a property owner had rented a home to his son, who was involved in the drug trade. Continue reading

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British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture) v. Johnson, 2014 BCCA 268 – Trial Judge Retains Significant Discretion Over Charter Litigation Procedure

The Johnson case involved an application for leave to appeal from a summary trial decision, in which the Defendants’ Charter challenge was found to be inappropriate for summary determination. The Defendants sought to appeal the decision on the basis that the warrant to search the subject property “was unlawfully issued, unreasonably executed, and that all the evidence derived from the search was obtained in breach of the Johnsons’ Charter rights.” Continue reading

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British Columbia (Director, Civil Forfeiture Act) v. Wong, 2014 BCSC 359 – Director Freezes Defendant’s Accounts Despite Prior Civil Settlement

The Defendants, Arthur and Jessie Wong, were accused of defrauding their employer, Unique Real Estate Accommodations Inc., for upwards of $350,000. The Director of Civil Forfeiture sought an Interim Preservation Order, so as to effectively freeze the contents of the Defendants’ bank accounts. Continue reading

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Director of Civil Forfeiture v. Lloydsmith, 2014 BCCA 72 – Pre-Trial Charter Applications Allowable in Civil Forfeiture Context

In a landmark decision which will no doubt set the procedural framework for many civil forfeiture cases to come, the BC Court of Appeal upheld the “bifurcation” decision of Mr. Justice Leask, endorsing the idea that constitutional issues involving the exclusion of evidence may be heard in advance of a trial on the merits of a given case. Continue reading

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British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture) v. McCluskey, 2013 BCSC 2376

The Defendants, David Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, and Anthony McCluskey, applied for summary dismissal of the Director of Civil Forfeiture’s action against a Surrey residence and $135,000 cash which had been discovered therein. The Director argued that a marijuana grow operation was located in the basement of the residence, and that both the cash and the residence itself were proceeds of unlawful activity. Continue reading

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British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture) v. Lam, 2013 BCSC 1877 – Court Places Onus on Defendant to Resist Interim Preservation Order

In the course of investigating an alleged drug trafficking network, the Vancouver Police Department raided a penthouse condominium owned by Louise Ching Man Kwok. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture) v. Dery, 2013 BCSC 1643 – Speeding Not Grounds for Civil Forfeiture

Jason Dery’s 2008 Ducati motorcycle was seized by British Columbia’s Director of Civil Forfeiture as a result of a series of Motor Vehicle Act infractions, including an incident in which the Defendant accelerated to speeds of 200-km/h on a rural road outside Victoria, BC. Continue reading

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British Columbia (Director of Civil Forfeiture) v. Nguyen, 2013 BCSC 1610 – Lower Standard of Proof Makes Director’s Case

The Director of Civil Forfeiture alleged that the Defendant, Vu Huy Nguyen, had either participated in or allowed three illegal marijuana grow operations at his Vancouver home between 2001 and 2008. Because Mr. Nguyen had not been directly connected to any of the grow operations in question (which he asserted were established by his tenants without his cooperation), the Director sought the benefit of the lower standard of proof inherent in civil forfeiture proceedings. Continue reading

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Alberta (Justice and Attorney General) v. Cardinal, 2013 ABQB 407 – Defendant Disbelieved, Despite Acquittal in Criminal Trial

The Defendant, Bruce James Cardinal, was arrested while in possession of $1,625 in cash along with thirteen dilaudid hydromorphone pills. Alberta’s Minister of Justice alleged that the money was proceeds of unlawful activity, and further that Cardinal’s 2005 Chrysler 300 was an instrument of unlawful activity within the meaning of the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act. Continue reading

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