Civil Forfeiture

The following are examples of ground breaking Civil Forfeiture cases defended by our firm.

Director of Civil Forfeiture v. Huynh, 2012 BCSC 740

Successful Application on behalf of our client to hold the trial of this matter in two parts: a trial of the constitutional issues raised, and a trial of the remaining issues. The Court confirmed that a serious charter breach was a proper basis of exclusion of evidence in a Civil Forfeiture case under s. 24(1) and (2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Additionally, the Director of Civil Forfeiture was precluded from examining our client for discovery, except on issues related the Charter breach, until the preliminary trial was concluded.

Director of Civil Forfeiture v. Nguyen, 2011 BCSC 1792

Successful Application to dismiss the action against our client as, despite being registered as the Hydro Subscriber, he had no valid interest in the property in dispute. The Court held that there was no admissible evidence to show that our client had any interest in the property and the action against him was dismissed with costs.

Director of Civil Forfeiture v. Rai, 2011 BCSC 186

The leading case of Rai established the tests to be used in a Civil Forfeiture action in British Columbia. The Court held that the burden is on the Director to show: What property, if any, is proceeds of unlawful activity, and what property, if any, is an instrument of unlawful activity. The Court held that relief from forfeiture under s. 6-1 of the Civil Forfeiture Act occurs when it is clearly in the interests of justice to do so. The Court set out the following non-exhaustive list of factors to be considered: proportionality; fairness; the degree of culpability, complicity, knowledge, acquiescence or negligence; the extent of the problem in the community of the sort of unlawful activity in question; the need to remove profit motive; the need for disgorgement of wrongfully obtained profits; the need for compensation; prevention of future harm; and, general deterrence. The Court ordered one property owned by our client returned as it would not in the interests of justice to order forfeiture.