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GIBSON v FK Developments :Declarant's ILLEGAL TRESPASS & TREECUTTING trigger PUNITIVE DAMAGES 2017/12/29 22:17  
It's as Wild West as many of the shockers from American HOA wars

BC Supreme Court awards damages – including $ 10 K PUNITIVE against EACH of the defendants - after previously ruling ILLEGAL & unsupported within the Building Scheme Covenant - a Building Scheme Declarant ’s shocking rogue invasion & tree trimming attack in Colwood B.C. in September 2012.

The outrageous "trespass & conversion" raid targeted the height of ocean-view mature Douglas Firs on 3 private properties ( including that of widowed plaintiff Ms Gibson.)

It occurred twenty years after plaintiff Gibson's purchase of Building Scheme root deed. Its purpose is held to be solely financial gain, so that the long-disconnected Declarant could now obtain higher sale price of rearside lots ! ( ie to trim the trees to improve the view's value to buyers. An expert witness opined that plaintiff Gibson's majestic Douglas Fir likely will not survive. )

Falsely claimed justified by Building Scheme Covenant, the invasion occurred early on a Saturday morning.

With police & municipal staff low, the Declarant ’s treecutters & LAWYER - waving immediate Notice here also ruled voodoo - even had their assault videotaped !

The invaders ignored protests & IMMEDIATELY began down a Blitzkrieg style trimming of the private Douglas Firs.

The trimming continued until police & municipal officials ordered a halt amidst wild chaos !

( Mr Justice Punnett clearly understood & denounces the careful timing of the surprise early morning raid by lawyer with treecutters in tow. ) . .

"We didn't know it was wrong !" "We had a mistaken 'colour of right' !"

Mr Justice Punnett has an easy time finding what justifies punitive damages sought by this widowed victim of greed & environmental depredation.

Right upfront is judicial confirmation that the trespass was illegal & unsupported by reviewed Covenant.

Determining awardable damage here there's also a punishment/retribution-meriting wrongful intent / knowledge factor : Months earlier such had even been expressly forbidden in writing ( by another neighbour’s lawyer to the invaders ) as flat out ultra vires of Covenant.

( 'post-wrong' held not germane to penalty here : When the raiders immediately next tried to bring the City onside, the City instead investigated & declared the cutting also a violation of municipal bylaw. )

This damage award – costs also to come – includes as many as four separate $10 K PUNITIVE ( exemplary ) damages ! Maybe these $ 10 K punishments aren't high, but they are less likely to be worth appealing. Mr Justice Punnett's decision about litigation costs & disbursements is still on the way . . . )

Footnote question about the Declarant's lawyer at the time who led the surprise raid ?

With that lawyer's ( waved ) neither-prior-nor-lawful Notice already held voodoo ( subject to appeal ), will professional sanctions & criminal trespass/mischief charges be hitting the lawyer & trespassers respectively ?

Gibson v F.K. Developments Ltd., 2017 BCSC 2153 issued Nov 24/17 http://canlii.ca/t/hnz60
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