Bea v. LMS 2138 | Appeal dismissed – an owner can have their unit sold for contempt of court

In a two-to-one decision released today, the BC Court of Appeal has upheld a Supreme Court ruling that found Mr. and Mrs. Bea in contempt of court, and ordered the sale of their strata unit as the penalty for that contempt.

This ruling is very significant because it now provides strata corporations another tool to force the removal of owners from their communities, if those owners do not comply with orders of the court.

Mr. and Mrs. Bea have complained about a parking bylaw for six years.  They have filed six law suits, all about the same issue, and have been in court with the strata corporation more than fifty times.  Having to defend itself, and uphold the bylaws, (which was found to be valid by the BC Supreme Court) the strata incurred legal fees the owners were in no position to pay.  The court repeatedly ordered the Beas to stop bring further legal proceedings and the Beas repeatedly ignored the court.  More than thirty judges made orders against the Beas.  The strata could not make the process stop.  It was an incredibly unfair situation.

Writing for the majority, Madam Justice Garson wrote:

A court must not allow itself to be used as an instrument of continuing injustice as innocent bystanders are put to continued expense and inconvenience for no legitimate purpose.

The Beas unit will be sold almost immediately.

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