Jessica Simpson, then known as Jessica Yaniv, at a Langley Township council meeting in 2019. (TOL screencap/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Controversial Langley activist sues Township, salon owners

The Small Claims Court allegations have not been proven

A woman who lost a high-profile B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case against waxing salons is now suing Langley Township over her treatment after she was arrested on weapons charges last year.

Jessica Simpson, formerly known as Jessica Yaniv, filed a suit in small claims court against the Township for $35,000, the maximum dollar value in small claims.

Simpson also appears to be suing, also in small claims court, the three salon owners who won $6,000 in judgements against her after the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal threw out her complaint last year.

Details of that case were not available online, but Simpson’s statement of claim against the Township raised a number of allegations, starting with alleged mistreatment after she was arrested on a weapons charge on Aug. 8, 2019.

“When I was in the cells, the cells were extremely filthy, rattled [sic] with bed bugs and what seemed like feces on surfaces,” Simpson alleges.

READ MORE: Banned weapon charge laid against Langley woman at centre of waxing case

She also claimed that a guard on duty would not provide her with diabetes medication, nor would victim services. Simpson said eventually an officer checked on her and advised her that she would get her medication and she was released shortly afterward.

Other claims include difficulty communicating both when she was in cells and with local 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers, as Simpson says she is hard of hearing, and that guards and the dispatchers did not take this into account.

“The TOL [Township of Langley] discriminates against the deaf and HOH [hard of hearing] community, and refuses to acknowledge that I have a disability, including that of being significantly hearing impaired,” Simpson wrote in her statement of claim.

Finally, she alleges harassment from the RCMP reports desk at the Langley RCMP detachment, saying they refuse to use her correct pronouns. Simpson is a transgender woman.

The reports desk has also refused to take her reports of incidents such as bomb threats directed toward her, she alleges.

None of the claims have been proven in a court of law, and as of the week of Aug. 27, the Township had not yet filed their response to Simpson’s claims. A Township spokesperson said they were not at liberty to provide comments or information on legal proceedings.

Simpson became the centre of a swirl of media interest last year when she launched unsuccessful Human Rights Tribunal complaints against multiple small Lower Mainland beauty salons over refusing to provide genital waxing services.

READ MORE: Genital waxing case launched for personal gain, rules human rights tribunal

The tribunal ruled that as Simpson had male genitalia, there were valid reasons for the salons to refuse her service that had nothing to do with discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.

The ruling further found that Simpson had launched the complaints for “improper purposes” and had “engaged in a pattern of filing human rights complaints which target small businesses for personal financial gain and/or to punish certain ethnic groups, which she perceives as hostile to the rights of LGBTQ+ people.”

Simpson was ordered to pay $2,000 to each of the three salons that had presented a defence at the hearing.

The hearings became news both in the mainstream local media, and in far-right media outlets, mostly based in the United States.

In August of 2019 Simpson was arrested by Langley RCMP for possession of a prohibited weapon, after she allegedly brandished a stun gun on social media. According to the Surrey Court registry, Simpson has been found guilty of one of those two charges.

She is due back in court on Aug. 31 for submission of pre-sentencing and psychological reports.

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