Veterans Legal Assistance Foundation (VLAF)
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Coquitlam Electrical Inspections


On December 22, 2015, Justice Abrioux released reasons for judgment dismissing the certification application. This means that the court decided that the case cannot be prosecuted as a class action. This does not mean that the individual claims have no merit, but only that persons wishing to pursue claims have to bring their own individual actions. To this end, the commencement of the proposed class action suspended the running of limitation periods, but that time is now running. Persons wishing to bring individual claims should do so as soon as possible. 

UPDATE:  July 10, 2015

The parties were unable to complete the certification hearing on June 5 and were directed to return before Mr. Justice Abrioux on July 9, 2015 at 10 am for conclusion of the hearing.  The certification hearing is now concluded.  Mr. Justice Abrioux has reserved judgment.

UPDATE:  May 12, 2015

The parties were unable to complete the certification hearing on the scheduled dates and were directed to return before Mr. Justice Abrioux on June 5, 2015 at 10 am for conclusion of the hearing. On that date, the Defendants will complete their responding submissions and the Plaintiffs will have an opportunity to reply.

UPDATE:  May 5, 2015

The certification hearing will proceed before Mr. Justice Abrioux of the Supreme Court of British Columbia on May 6-8, 2015. At this hearing, Mr. Justice Abrioux will consider whether or not to formally make the action a class action on behalf of those who lived in or owned homes which were the target of warrantless inspections.  The hearing is open to the public, and if you wish to attend the hearing, you can contact Ulla Herlev at (604) 654-2964 for directions on how to find the courtroom where the hearing will be held. We anticipate that a decision will be reserved (ie issued only at a later date), and we encourage all interested parties to check back on this website for updates or to register as a potential claimant by contacting Luciana Brasil at If the action is certified as a class action, notice will be issued and delivered to all persons who contact us and register as potential claimants.

UPDATE:  October 24, 2014

A further Amended Notice of Civil Claim was filed on October 24, 2014.  Click here to review the filed copy of the Amended Notice of Civil Claim.

In January 2013, Branch MacMaster LLP assumed conduct of a proposed class proceeding against the City of Coquitlam and the Minister of Justice for British Columbia regarding warrantless electrical inspections of properties performed as part of the City of Coquitlam’s Public Safety Inspection Program.

The plaintiffs allege that under the Public Safety Inspection Program, the City of Coquitlam gave residents and owners 24 hours’ notice that the property in question would be searched, then sent a Public Safety Inspection Team to search the property the following day. The Public Safety Inspection Team was accompanied by members of the Coquitlam detachment of the RCMP. Following the search, Coquitlam would revoke the occupancy permit to the property, order that electrical services be disconnected, and assess an inspection fee of $5,000.

The plaintiffs allege that such warrantless searches constitute a trespass by the City of Coquitlam and the RCMP, and that unless authorized by a warrant such searches and enforcement measures constitute a violation of the plaintiffs’ and proposed class members’ rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Since Branch MacMaster LLP assumed conduct, Mr. Justice Abrioux has been assigned as case management judge, an Amended Notice of Civil Claim has been filed, the Plaintiffs have filed a Notice of Application for certification as a class proceeding, and dates leading to the hearing of the certification application have been set.

The Plaintiffs seek certification of a class defined as:

All British Columbia resident persons who owned or were resident in a property that was subjected to an inspection, pursuant to the City of Coquitlam Controlled Substance Property Bylaw No. 3833, 2007, that was not authorized by a warrant.

The schedule for certification has been revised and you can access a copy of the Consent Order dated February 27, 2014 by clicking here.

If you have questions or want to be kept up to date about the status of the action, please contact Luciana Brasil at