Friday, October 13, 2023

Hells Angels MC Clubhouses Seized by Court

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (October 13, 2023) - The Supreme Court of Canada says it will not hear an appeal from the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club over properties the province of British Columbia seized from the club in Kelowna, Nanaimo and Vancouver.

On Thursday, the country's highest court dismissed a leave to appeal from Angel Acres Recreation and Festival Property Ltd. that sought to challenge a decision by a lower court in British Columbia, that said the clubhouses would likely be used for criminal activity in the future.

The Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the province to sell the three properties, which were seized outright and the locks changed in April. Thursday's ruling ends a 16-year legal saga regarding the clubhouses.

Lawyers representing the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club went to court to stop the province from selling the properties, which it is allowed to do under the Civil Forfeiture Act. The act came into place in British Columbia in 2006 and is meant to "ensure that people cannot profit from unlawful activity or use property in a way that may harm other persons."

The British Columbia's forfeiture office first made a move to seize the Nanaimo clubhouse in 2007, and then  attempted the same with the Kelowna and Vancouver clubhouses in 2012. The properties are located at 805 Victoria Road in Nanaimo, 837 Ellis Street in Kelowna and 3598 East Georgia Street in Vancouver.

In its attempt to stop the seizures, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club initially won a decision in British Columbia Supreme Court in 2020. But, that was overturned in February by the British Columbia Appeal Court, which found there was little evidence the club would have suffered "irreparable harm" if the properties were sold.

At the time, the civil forfeiture office said it would return the contents and belongings in the three clubhouses, as those were not subject to forfeiture. It would then sell the properties.