Government ordered to return civil forfeiture money to couple

Terrace couple Darrell Genaille and Desiree Bolton will see over $10,000 returned to them

A couple involved in a civil forfeiture case in which money was the item to be forfeited is the first case here to get part of it back.

Darrell Genaille and Desiree Bolton, who argued that they should get back the total amount of $21,480 that police seized while executing a search warrant for alleged drug trafficking in cocaine on their residence in April 2013, will get half of it, $10,740 returned with any interest, by order of a judge of the supreme court in a consent order signed by the lawyer for the BC Civil Forfeiture Office and Genaille and Bolton.

On April 10, 2013, Terrace RCMP executed a search warrant in the 4600 block of Davis Ave. and seized drugs, drug paraphernalia, weapons, cell phones, and an amount of money, said police at that time.

Charges of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking against a 35-year-old woman from Gitaus and a 40-year-old man from Terrace were forwarded to Crown, said police at that time.

Crown prosecutors did not approve the charges, but police asked the BC Civil Forfeiture Office for forfeiture of the seized money; later said to be $21,380 in Canadian currency and $100 in American currency.

Civil forfeiture office lawyer Michael Lawless said some people are granted relief from forfeiture based on the facts of the case and referred instead to the consent order to answer why.

According to section 6 of the Civil Forfeiture Act, relief from forfeiture can be done if “a court determines that the forfeiture of property or the whole or a portion of an interest in property under this act is clearly not in the interests of justice, the court may…grant relief from forfeiture… if a party to the proceedings…proves both of the following:

“She or he did not…acquire the property as a result of unlawful activity committed by the party [and] he she or he was the rightful owner of the property before the unlawful activity occurred and was deprived of possession or control of the property by means of the unlawful activity, acquired the property for fair value after the unlawful activity occurred and did not know and could not reasonably have known at the time of the acquisition that the property was proceeds of unlawful activity, or acquired the property from a person who owned the property before the unlawful activity and lost it because of the unlawful activity or acquired [by] the person for fair property value after the unlawful activity, not knowing that the property came from unlawful activity.”

Genaille has also said he wants the RCMP charged with using excessive force for the April 2013 incident.