Trial over Vernon's Kin Race Track stopped before it started | Vernon News | iNFOnews

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Trial over Vernon's Kin Race Track stopped before it started

FILE PHOTO: This photo from January 2016 shows the Kin Race Track stalls, which at the time this picture was taken were the site of a homeless camp. As part of an amended notice of claim, the Okanagan Equestrian Society is seeking damages related to the stalls and the grandstands, which were burned to the ground in 2014 by an alleged serial arsonist.
March 15, 2017 - 12:03 PM

VERNON - The never-ending lawsuit over Vernon’s Kin Race Track is living up to its name.

While a trial was supposed to begin Monday, March 13, in New Westminster Supreme Court, the judge decided to adjourn the case Tuesday.

The Okanagan Equestrian Society first took the City of Vernon and North Okanagan Regional District to court over the track in 2010, and president Robyn Dalziel says it’s incredibly frustrating to have the case delayed.

“We were ready to go, ready to testify, and then we’re facing another postponement,” Dalziel says.

The adjournment came after lawyers debated an amended notice of claim filed by the society that included damages at the facility, including the burned down grandstands and damaged stall doors.

“North Okanagan Regional District and city lawyers were fighting tooth and nail not to allow the amended notice,” Dalziel says.

In fairness to the other parties, the judge decided to put off the trial, Dalziel says.

The society alleges they were unjustly evicted from the race track lands, which they leased from the city for racing days, and Dalziel says they have the original contract agreements to prove their case.

“It’s my opinion that the reason they are fighting so hard in these pre-trial meetings is they know when this gets to the contract, the contracts are valid. They are trying to break us before they get to that point,” Dalziel says.

A new trial date has not yet been set, but it’s possible the parties will be reconvening in June or October. The society has a Go Fund Me page set up and is selling debentures to raise money for the lawsuit.

“Financially, it is draining, but we’re not going to give up. We’re not going to stop. We will see our day in court,” Dalziel says.

Vernon mayor Akbal Mund declined to comment because the case is currently before the courts. 

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