Daniel Sabo took what he thought was a meteorite to someone at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) back in 1999. He claimed that the GSC had retained the meteorite and substituted a man-made replica, depriving him of considerable value because (he was convinced) the meteorite contained 'green formations' that were evidence of extraterrestrial life-organisms. Sabo also alleged that the RCMP officer to whom he had reported the alleged switch had failed to investigate properly and was therefore complicit in the GSC's acts. The Yukon trial judge dismissed all claims but one, finding that the GSC had wrongfully retained a small piece of the specimen, which had been removed for testing and never returned to Sabo. The judge did not award even nominal damages for this act of conversion, determining that the portion of the meteorite that the GSC had retained was nearly valueless. The judge also found as fact that Sabo had been given back the rock he had brought in (minus the small off-cut) and that it did not contain extraterrestrial life-forms.
Sabo appealed, arguing that the judge made crucial errors with respect to the evidence. His appeal was allowed by the BC appellate justices who sit as the Yukon Court of Appeal in Sabo v Canada (Attorney General), 2013 YKCA 2, but only on the issue of damages. Sabo was entitled to nominal damages of $1,000 for the unlawful retention of the off-cut. The trial judge did not clearly misapprehend the evidence, which included expert testimony. Allegations of bias and the insufficiency of the judge's reasons also failed.