After a six-year battle between condo owners and their strata council, the owners were forcibly evicted by the RCMP earlier this week.
RCMP escorted Cheng-Fu Bea from his Coquitlam condo following a court order issued last month that ruled the Beas must sell their condo to help pay for legal costs.
After $173,000 in legal fees and seven lawsuits over nearly a decade, Mr. Bea wouldn’t accept multiple court orders to stop his parking crusade.
The case began back in August 2006 when the Brittany Park strata council passed a new parking bylaw which assigned each condo owner a specific parking spot; visitor parking spaces to were limited to visitors only
Cheng-Fu Bea refused to abide by the new parking rules and, in the process, racked up $1,000 in fines for parking in spots other than his own.
When Bea protested the fines, BC Supreme Court quickly ruled Bea had to pay his parking fines, which the strata council agreed to reduce to $600, as well as court costs.
After the strata fined Bea for continuing to park in the visitor spot, he took the strata to court, representing himself in 50 court appearances before 28 different judges.
The protracted legal dispute got so out of control that at one point the B.C. Court of Appeal has stepped in and told court staff to throw any future legal documents the man files straight into the garbage.
Court of Appeal Justice Daphne Smith ruled in 2010 that Cheng-Fu Bea is forbidden to file “any document in any registry” of the Court of Appeal related to the parking space dispute and that “registry staff are authorized to discard any document that is attempted to be filed in contravention of this order.”
Justice Smith noted in the Oral Reasons for Judgement:
It is argued throughout these proceedings by the respondents that the continuation of bringing petitions essentially for the same subject matter where one has been dismissed and a second has been dismissed on the grounds of res judicata, it is frivolous and vexatious and therefore I should dismiss the third petition as a result of it being frivolous and vexatious.
Bea did not give up and the longterm legal battle would end up costing the strata $173,000 in legal fees, to be recouped from the sale of the condo, with any monies left over going to the Beas.
Some commentators have noted this and other cases involving condo owners and strata councils demonstrate the need for an online tribunal process to avoid clogging up the courts.