If you received a notice of intent or become aware of an active property forfeiture that you dispute, you must follow these steps:
- Fully complete the Notice of Dispute and have it commissioned before a notary, lawyer, warden or other commissioner.
- Mail or courier it to the Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO).
- It must be post-marked and received by the director within 60 days of the date post-marked on the mail you originally received from the director*.
*The timeline above is generalized and you should refer to the Civil Forfeiture Act for specifics. You may have more or less time in which to file your dispute. If you are not sure what the dispute period is then you should call the director and ask. You can enter the tracking number located on the mail you received from the director to determine the date it was post-marked by Canada Post (or other courier service). If you miss your dispute period, the director has no discretion to extend it.
Once the CFO receives your dispute, the director will review the file, your dispute, any materials you supply along with your dispute, and then decide whether or not to file a civil forfeiture claim in the B.C. Supreme Court or discontinue the proceeding. Discontinuance is at the discretion of the director.
Administrative forfeiture can only be stopped when the director receives a properly commissioned Notice of Dispute within the dispute period. The director must notify you of the decision within 30 days of the day it is first received by the director.
If you did not receive the notice of intention to forfeit from the director, but proceedings were initiated, the property will still be forfeited. If this occurs, you have up to two years to bring the matter before a judge.
When corresponding with us, please try to have as many details as possible available to you so that we can locate your case and confirm your identity:
- Police agency that seized the property
- Police agency file number
- Your name and date of birth
- A phone number where we can reach you