Serena Oh, center, at a debate during the 2016 Langley City byelection. (Langley Advance files)

UPDATED: Byelection lawsuit cost Langley City $27,000

Last-place candidate Serena Oh failed to convince the Supreme Court to hear her case.

Serena Oh’s failed attempt to challenge a Langley City byelection has cost the municipality approximately $27,000.

The Supreme Court of Canada recently declined to hear Oh’s appeal. The City had argued that that Oh’s complaint had no validity.

Oh was one of the defeated candidates in the February, 2016 byelection for a City council seat. Oh had the lowest number of votes out of all nine candidates, with 57 votes. Nathan Pachal, who won the council seat, received 740 of the 2,074 votes cast.

Nevertheless, Oh insisted that she should have won, claiming that she believed at least 1,500 people were planning to vote for her.

Oh represented herself, pushing her challenge through the B.C. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal before attempting to take it to the top court in the country.

“Most judges, they don’t actually know the law, I find,” Oh told the Langley Advance in 2016 as she began her legal challenge.

READ MORE: Oh byelection claim goes to court

Oh missed the deadline for a judicial recount of the vote.

She claimed that she had support from numerous locals, and said last year that she was gathering signatures from people who claimed to have voted for her.

However, her attempts to overturn the vote were repeatedly rebuffed by judges, who ruled that there was a lack of any evidence of wrongdoing during the election.

“It is difficult to understand where the information is coming from, how Ms. Oh is reaching the conclusions which it appears she has reached by looking at some sort of documentation,” wrote Justice Brenda Brown in her B.C. Supreme Court ruling dismissing the claim. “It is just not possible to determine what the basis of the evidence is.”

Despite the lack of evidence, the case has cost Langley City financially.

At the B.C. Supreme Court, lawyers for the City submitted a draft bill of costs totalling $2,904.40. Brown ordered Oh to pay a lump sum of $2,000.

City administrator Francis Cheung said the City looked into recovering their court costs from Oh. Unfortunately, their lawyers advised that going through that process could actually cost as much – or more – than the money the City could recover. The City council has decided not to seek cost recovery.

Oh managed to pursue her claim despite having been declared a vexatious litigant. In 2012, a judge issued an order that Oh would not be allowed to launch legal actions without the permission of the court. Another, similar order was issued later regarding a lawyer Oh had sued.

A vexatious litigant is someone who habitually or persistently launches flimsy legal actions. They often represent themselves and tend to repeatedly appeal any rulings.

According to the provincial Ministry of the Attorney General, there is no registry of vexatious litigants.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Falling tree claims life in Langley

Victim was reportedly out for a walk on a rural road

Sunny skies ahead for Fraser Valley this week

Rain and smoke nowhere in the forecast after weeks of weather alerts

BC launches 22 new primary care networks, including one in Mission

Will be adding family physicians, a nurse practitioner and a social worker

Mission Mayor Pam Alexis to run for the NDP

Will take on Liberal Simon Gibson in the Abbotsford-Mission riding

MEDICAL MOMENTS: Dr. Andrew Edelson has served Mission for more than 45 years

Why Mission? ‘Mostly because it’s such a wonderful community,’ he says

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

Most Read