Vancouver law courts. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Vancouver law courts. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey property owners accuse City of ‘wrongfully’ pressuring them to sell

Civil suit also alleges RCMP conducted wrongful searches on their land

A quartet of Surrey property owners accuse the City of Surrey of wrongfully pressuring them to sell their 2.2 acre property and have launched a civil suit also alleging the RCMP conducted wrongful searches on their land.

“The plaintiffs allege that a developer who was working on the adjacent property was trying to pressure them to sell the property to him and that, in doing so, he somehow obtained the cooperation of the City of Surrey (the “City”), who acted wrongly to pressure the plaintiffs to sell the property,” Master Leslie Muir noted in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, in a document posted Wednesday, Aug. 25.

The plaintiffs in Sandhu v. City of Surrey – Rajindar, Balwinder, Sandip and Harinder Sandhu – applied to add the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for B.C., and two RCMP officers to thelist of defendants, which include the City of Surrey, British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, Jane Doe, John Doe I, II, III and ABC Company Ltd.

Muir granted the order. The plaintiffs allege the RCMP in 2015-16 conducted wrongful searches on the property, allegedly on the basis that an electrical fire and safety inspection (EFSIT) search was warranted.

The plaintiffs, Muir noted, submitted that EFSIT “only initiates investigations and inspects properties that are high power consumption properties and that the power consumption on the property in question was way below the threshold where EFSIT would be warranted.

“The plaintiffs further allege that the City caused British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority to terminate electrical service to the property, and after that, these warrantless and allegedly groundless searches were conducted.”

The City of Surrey replied in its response to the civil action that it had received information “from the RCMP about the existence of a marijuana growing operation on the property” but the plaintiffs question the bona fides of the City’s pleadings.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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BC Supreme CourtCity of Surrey