Fight over Vancouver residential fence leads to $21,000 fine

Bad neighbor gets reprimand from BC Supreme Court judge

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A neighbor who continually prevented a back fence from being built in a legal location has been awarded $21,000 by a court.

According to British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth McDonaldIn the summer of 2022, homeowners and neighbors Timothy Rudolph Kam Bong Chan and Shih Ju Liang met to discuss their dilapidated back fence.

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At this meeting, Chan gave Liang a copy of the original property survey which showed that the fence had been mistakenly built within Chan’s property. He proposed that the new fence be built along the actual property line.

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Liang disagreed that the new fence should be built on the property line and said it would not contribute to the construction cost. Liang’s father-in-law, who was also present at the meeting, told Chan that if he built a fence he didn’t like, he would tear it down.

“On numerous dates in July and August 2022, the defendants (Liang and Shan Zhou) or Ms. Zhou’s parents interfered with contractors who were working on replacing the old fence,” McDonald said.

During a confrontation in August, Chan asked for a new study to be conducted on the property. That survey was conducted in September and the original survey that Chan had shown Liang was verified.

That month, Liang installed a camera at the back of his house that pointed toward the backyard.

“The camera is equipped with a motion sensor and when the defendants enter their backyard, the camera plays a loud recorded message saying, ‘Hello, you are being recorded right now,'” McDonald wrote.

“During the presentations, Mr. Liang stated that he installed the camera after his wallet was stolen from his vehicle in the driveway of his home.”

In early November 2022, Chan took photographs of trash that had been dumped in the area between the old fence and the survey line for the new fence that was on Chan’s property. At the end of November a dispute broke out when workers were trying to build the fence and the police were called.

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On December 21, 2022, Chan and his partner, Carmine Yuk Kam Lee, filed a lawsuit. The neighbors denied the claims and alleged that the plaintiffs were trespassing on his property.

In his ruling, McDonald said the defendants repeatedly moved fence markings, placed objects on the plaintiffs’ property and physically interfered with Chan and his contractors to prevent construction of the new fence on Chan’s side of the line. property.

“Plaintiffs provided the original survey and the new survey to Defendants, and despite doing so, Defendants continued to unreasonably interfere with the new fence project,” McDonald wrote, adding that installing the camera was an act of nuisance.

McDonald ordered Liang and Zhou to pay Chan $10,000 in general damages, $10,000 in punitive damages and $1,050 to cover the cost of the new survey.

“I accept the plaintiffs’ evidence of the foreseeable mental anguish and aggravation they have experienced due to the defendants’ conduct,” he wrote. “For nearly a year and a half, plaintiffs have been forced to repeatedly halt and postpone the new fence project.

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“Plaintiffs have suffered loss of privacy, loss of use and enjoyment of their backyard. “They and their contractors have suffered repeated verbal and physical harassment by the defendants and/or their guests.”

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