October 2009 – Civil Graffiti Damages and Injunctive Relief First for a Local Government in British Columbia

The City of Langford commenced a civil action in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against two graffiti vandals for injunctive relief and damages. The first action against a graffiti vandal utilizing the tag “REZ” was settled by way of Court Order while the second will proceed to trial. The key components of this Order are as follows:

  1. A declaration that REZ breached the City of Langford Unsightly Premises Bylaw by placing graffiti on public places. This is a critical admission of fact where REZ conceded that he committed graffiti vandalism between February 1, 2007 through to January 23, 2008;
  2. Injunctive relief restraining REZ from breaching the Bylaw and not possessing any paint or markers for a period of one year;
  3. Damages in the amount of $6,471.35 payable to the City of Langford as well as a payment schedule and 30 hours of community service to be preformed by conducting general maintenance, repainting graffiti and undertaking parks beautification projects in the City; and
  4. An incentive payment program where the City will accept a smaller sum of damages subject to strict compliance with the Order. It is important to be fair and reasonable with a young man who has admitted his mistakes, wants to make amends and also needs to move on in his life.

This civil Supreme Court Order for graffiti damages and injunctive relief by a local government is a first in British Columbia. It will be used as a template for future civil actions.