Lady Justice, at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Court battle over fence in Surrey costs defendant nearly $27K

Two women fight over a fence separating their properties in Panorama Village

A B.C. Supreme Court judge sure wasn’t sitting on the fence on this one.

Justice Patrice Abrioux awarded a Surrey resident’s neighbour with $26,537.53 in damages related to a court battle between two women over a fence separating their properties in Panorama Village.

He ordered the defendant in the lawsuit, Christina Sun, to pay her neighbour Jan Heather Gibson, the plaintiff, $500 damages in trespass, $12,500 damages in nuisance, $8,537.53 in special damages for out-of-pocket expenses either incurred or to be incurred, and $5,000 in punitive damages.

The judge determined Sun, whom he found to be a “sophisticated businesswoman,” was “aggressive and confrontational” with her neighbour and that both the front fence the back fence, the latter which she had removed, “were not, in whole or it part, located on Ms. Sun’s ‘own’ property.”

The court heard Sun’s property is subject to a 24-inch “Access Easement” in favour of the Gibson property, registered in 1997.

Abrioux rendered his judgment on July 30, following a 10-day trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

“Punitive damages do not serve a compensatory function,” the judge noted in his reasons for judgment. “They are intended to punish and deter.”

“It is clear that much of Ms. Sun’s behaviour has been malicious and oppressive, and the evidence highlights the inappropriate and disruptive nature of Ms. Sun’s behavior,” Abrioux found.

READ ALSO: Convicted murderer loses appeal in Surrey crack shack beating case

READ ALSO: Man whose sister-in-law used broom to keep him away loses appeal of sex assault sentence

According to the court document Gibson owns a house at 14908 57th Ave. and Sun owns a house at 14902 57th Ave. The properties adjoin one another in Surrey’s Panorama Village development.

The judge noted that on Feb. 26, 2016, Sun “exercised a self-help remedy” by removing a fence that had been there for several years prior to Gibson buying the property in 2010.

Both accused each other of “trespass and nuisance” and sought damages.

Sun bought her property in 2008. The court heard she owned several rental properties and this one was rented to her former husband and their son. Gibson, a retired city clerk for the City of New Westminster, bought her property in 2010. She lived there with her husband and son.

When Gibson bought her place, there was no fence in the front yard and in the back there was a privacy fence between the two properties. The court heard she and her husband had a fence erected in the front yard in 2011. Sun told the court she became aware in October 2015 that both fences were on her property and delivered a “Notice of Trespass” to Gibson, calling for the fences to be removed or she would hire a contractor to do it and Gibson would be billed. Gibson and her husband had the front yard fence removed.

Abrioux found that Sun had the back fence unlawfully removed.

“There will also be a permanent injunction permitting the plaintiff to replace and maintain the destroyed back privacy fence,” he decided.

Just Posted

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Agassiz, Harrison thank fire crews for battling Mt. Hicks wildfire

Dinner for crews hosted by Agassiz Seniors Community Friday night

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Q & A with SD78 trustee candidates

Agassiz-Harrison’s trustee-hopefuls answer the Observer’s questions

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

5 to start your day

Pot is legal across Canada but no pot shops in many Lower Mainland cities

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Hero campaign raises $1.1 million for Canada non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

Scope of Hurricane Michael’s fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

Nearly 137,000 Florida customers remain without power from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border

Most Read