Court upholds islander’s civil suit against Parks Canada

  • Oct. 22, 2004 3:00 p.m.

Another victory for Tassilo Goetz Hanisch in his legal proceedings with Parks Canada, this time from the BC Court of Appeal.
It all started in a storm in late July1998 when Mr. Hanisch, of Rose Harbour at the south end of Moresby Island, salvaged a Zodiac belonging to the federal agency. Not only was he not thanked, but he was charged with mischief. While those charges were later dropped, Mr. Hanisch felt he had been wronged, and filed a civil suit for false arrest and defamation.
Last year, the BC Supreme Court awarded $77,500 to Mr. Hanisch, and now the BC Court of Appeal has upheld most of that, giving him over $62,500 in damages, but dropping the damages against the RCMP, who it ruled, acted poorly but not maliciously.
“I feel great, I feel almost levitating, a weight has been taken off my shoulder,” Mr. Hanisch told the Observer Friday, The appeal court found that the previous supreme court trial was fair, and that the conduct of the Parks Canada warden “Â…was deserving of the condemnation of the court reflected in the order for punitive damages against (the warden).” The court also noted “the manner in which (Mr. Hanisch) was dealt with after the arrest simply adds to the outrage. Further, to date, he has not received an apology from those responsible.”
The appeal court also ruled that since Mr. Hanisch has been predominantly successful in his court action, court costs are to be paid by Parks Canada and the RCMP.

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