UPDATE: City, APD Lose Bid To Keep Homeless Out Of Court

Trial will go ahead June 29. The court has set aside six weeks to hear the case.

The City of Abbotsford’s attempt to keep the court from hearing hear how  The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) police and city staff enforced bylaws against the city’s homeless, as well as the APD’s attempt to keep evidence from the court unless the homeless were required to pay them up to $29,000, have failed.

DJ Larkin, the Pivot Legal Society lawyer representing the Abbotsford Chapter of the BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors (DWS) and Abbotsford’s homeless men and women told CKNW this afternoon that, the BC Supreme Court will now be able to hear how the APD and city staff worked together to enforce bylaws against Abbotsford’s homeless men and women.

In a statement released late Friday Pivot Legal Society told Today Media, “The City of Abbotsford appealed an earlier BC Supreme Court decision that found that the Drug War Survivors have a claim against Abbotsford Police Department. City argued that APD are a third party and BCSC should not hear testimony related to their actions against homeless people.”
“Today in an oral decision the BC Court of Appeal rejected the City of Abbotsford’s argument and upheld the Chief Justice of the BCSC’s earlier decision.”
“DWS appealed an earlier decision that they should bear the cost of APD document disclosure to be presented at BCSC trial this summer. Court of Appeal agreed, said DWS will not bear cost at this time but BCSC trial judge should ultimately decide during trial.”

Cover photo: Roy Roberts, July 31, 2014. Gladys Avenue evacuation. Bas Stevens photo.

From CKNW – “She says her clients – collectively known as the Association of Drug War Survivors – have some major challenges ahead in this case.”

Updates to follow.

 “The challenges in this case are going to be helping the court understand the barriers that our clients face in access to shelter and housing, and truly explaining to a court what it’s like to live outside and what it’s like to be told you can’t be here, you can’t be here, you can’t be here…what it’s like to be cold and wet.”

March 27, 13:49

Appeals Court To Rule Friday Afternoon

From Pivot Legal Society. Today the B.C. Court of Appeal will deliver decisions on appeals that will determine what is heard by the B.C. Supreme Court during a trial involving the City of Abbotsford and its homeless.

During a two-day hearing that began Thursday, March 26, the City of Abbotsford argued that the court should not hear how police and city staff enforced bylaws against the city’s homeless. The city is also arguing that they are not responsible for when their police officers breach people’s constitutional rights.
The BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (DWS) appealed the court’s previous decision requiring them to pay for the disclosure of Abbotsford Police Department documents, which has been estimated to be as much as $29,000.
Decisions will be delivered at 2:30pm today. DJ Larkin of Pivot Legal Society, who is representing DWS, will be available for comment at 3:30pm.
Who:        DJ Larkin, Pivot Legal Society housing lawyer
What:       Decision in DWS v. City of Abbotsford
Where:     B.C. Court of Appeal – North entrance
                  800 Smithe St., Vancouver, B.C. (Google Map)
When:      Friday, March 27

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Bas Stevens says:


    Is it not time that the City of Abbotsford realize that they SHOULD NOT be paying for their lawyer’s pension?

    Abbotsford might be one of the most giving communities in the country but not to pay for lawyers who are greedy and THINK that they stand above all else!

    Good for DJ and her team!

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