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Hells Angels lose bid to prevent sale of 3 B.C. clubhouses

B.C.'s director of civil forfeiture seized the Nanaimo, Vancouver and Kelowna clubhouses in 2007 and 2012.
A Hells Angel vest seized by police as they executed search warrants.

B.C.’s Court of Appeal has rejected an attempt by the Hells Angels to prevent the sale of three biker clubhouses pending an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In February, the court ordered the forfeiture of three properties — located in Vancouver, Kelowna and Nanaimo — to the provincial director of civil forfeiture. The province became the registered owner of the properties.

However, Angel Acres Recreation and Festival Property Ltd. and all others Interested in the properties appealed. They sought a restraining order to prevent the province from disposing of the land pending a decision from the high court in Ottawa.

It’s unknown if that court would even hear the appeal as it has yet to decide if leave to appeal will be granted.

It’s a situation that has been ongoing since 2007 when the director of civil forfeiture began proceedings for the Nanaimo property. Similar proceedings began in 2012 regarding the Vancouver and Kelowna properties.

In March, the director sought court permission to sell the properties.

“On April 12 and 13, 2023, the director permitted the applicants to empty the Nanaimo Clubhouses of its contents. By April 14, 2023, the locks had been changed in all three clubhouses,” Justice Ronald Skolrood said in his June 9 decision.

The bikers filed an appeal in Ottawa April 17 and the B.C. appeal to stop the sale pending the Ottawa decision four days later.

The B.C. court also rejected a Hells Angels request that, if the sales were allowed to proceed, the director “must list and advertise the properties on the open market” on an arm’s-length basis. They further asked that the director be made to submit to the court a record of all buyer inquiries and offers, terms of sale and full proceeds of purchase price.

“With respect to a stay of proceedings, the applicants have demonstrated that there is merit to their leave application,” Skolrood’s decision said. “However, the applicants have not provided a sufficient evidentiary foundation to establish that the loss of the properties would result in irreparable harm. They additionally have not shown that the balance of convenience weighs in favour of granting a stay.”