Recreational Vehicles on Private Property
Res #: 20-10A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice
WHEREAS The Trespass to Property Act came into effect on July 1, 2009;
WHEREAS section 13 of this statute states that if a contravention to this Act is committed by means of a motor vehicle the driver is liable to a fine; and
WHEREAS recreational vehicles (i.e. quads, dirt bikes, snow machines) can cause considerable damage to property and a fine seems insufficient;
BE IT RESOLVED that this Act be amended to state that if an offender on a recreational vehicle is found trespassing on private property and causing damage to private property, the vehicle will be seized and sold at a public auction.
Response from Honourable Don Morgan, Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General:
Resolution No. 20 – 10A states that damage caused to private property by the use of recreational vehicles such as quads, dirt-bikes and snow machines is significant, and that a fine is insufficient. The resolution recommends that the vehicle be seized and sold at public auction.
The resolution does not address the reason for the seizure and sale of the vehicle. If it is for the purpose of compensating the property owner for the damage caused by the recreational vehicle, a remedy is already available under The Summary Offences Procedure Act, 1990. The legislation permits a judge to order restitution in favour of a victim of an offence in addition to any other measure imposed. Restitution can be requested by the prosecutor or can be ordered by the judge without a specific request. This provision, if used, has the effect of compensating the property owner.
Other remedies against trespassers, such as a court claim for damages, remain available to owners and occupiers.