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Santos lawyer wants more time for bylaw court dates

Comox Valley landlord, company faces 17 bylaw offences from the regional district
The CVRD case against landlord Amandio Santos and River Dam Holdings is scheduled for three days in September, but Santos’s lawyer thinks they might need more time for the trial. Record file photo

When the landlord of so-called “problem properties” had a court date in the spring about multiple bylaw infractions, three days were to be set aside for trial in the fall.

That may not be enough, according to a lawyer representing Amandio Santos, who along with company River Dam Holdings, was charged by the Comox Valley Regional District last year.

“I’m already concerned that we don’t have enough time for the matter,” lawyer Dana Quantz said in a Courtenay courtroom Aug. 26 during a trial confirmation hearing.

The trial had been to take place over three days from Sept. 22 to 24 before a provincial court judge, but Quantz feels they may need a continuation if they stick to the days set.

“The trial date was set when Mr. Santos was self-represented,” he added.

Santos and River Dam face 17 bylaw infractions, and his lawyer says the Comox Valley Regional District and its legal representation expect their witnesses to take a day-and-a-half for their case. However, Quantz estimates his cross-examination of the CVRD witnesses to take just as long, which alone would add up to three days, without taking into account the rest of the trial. He suggested a more reasonable estimate was five days.

This leaves the question of when the hearing should take place. For now, the matter has been put over until Sept. 1 to go before a judicial case manager to determine when the trial might resume — as well as potentially finish.

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Santos and the company were initially charged almost a year ago with nine bylaw offences regarding rental properties in Fanny Bay and Black Creek. Subsequently, eight more counts were added. Neighbours had made complaints about garbage, derelicts and poor septic at the properties, among other issues.

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