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Legal Information/ Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

Until 2010, these legal briefs provide examples of judgments pertaining to everyday situations. Beginning in 2012, they deal with various topics of general interest, such as rental issues, family law, human rights, civil liability, insurance, dealings between spouses and social aid. They are intended to inform and to prevent undesirable situations.


Legal Briefs 2009

Legal brief
As a result of my automobile accident, I no longer have any income This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.


For two years, the claimant had held employment with a mining drilling company. He worked on call when the company required him to work. For more than six months, he had been working on a cycle of 28 consecutive days on the company’s job site, followed by 14 consecutive days of more

I filed a lawsuit in Small Claims Court This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You filed a lawsuit in the Small Claims Court. You were told that you could not be represented in Small Claims Court by a lawyer, yet the other party is represented by a lawyer who is an employee of the company. Can a lawyer represent his employer in Small Claims Court? more
Do my actions give rise to criminal liability? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
When a person commits an act that has the effect of damaging property, the person will not always be criminally liable as a result, even if the act, on its surface, is wilful.


The accused was separated from her husband who had a new spouse. At nightfall, she wen more

I am being held in custody at my parent’s house This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your youngster has been arrested following serious charges and the court is of the opinion that, for the public’s protection, he should be held in custody in a reception centre. Can he be placed in the care of a responsible person? more
Am I dangerous due to my mental state? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Ambulance attendants came to my house and took me to the hospital although I refused to go. Upon my arrival, the doctors refused to let me leave and they decided to keep me there even though I was firmly opposed to being hospitalized. Can I be kept in the hospital against my will? more
My child was injured in the park This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your child is injured while playing in a municipal park. Can the municipality be held responsible? more
Do I have to repay my social assistance payments? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
As a recipient of individual social assistance, can you act as a sponsor for your partner or your children so they might immigrate to Quebec? more
I was fired following a strike This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You’ve been working in the public service for a number of years. Your union wins a strike vote and several days later, the strike begins. Your employer then fires you for having participated in an illegal strike. Are your union and your union representative responsible for your dismissal? more
I was injured while playing golf This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
While taking part in a golf tournament you were hit in the forehead by a golf ball as you were getting ready to make your tee shot on the 11th hole. Can the golfer whose ball hit you be required to compensate you for the damages you suffered? more
My coat is missing This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
After you have been seated at a restaurant, the waiter asks you to check your coat. At the end of the evening, your coat is missing. Can you make a claim against the restaurant for the value of your coat? more
My vehicle has been damaged This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You leave your automobile with a garage owner for repairs. Your car is damaged while in the garage’s parking area. Is the garage owner responsible for the damages to your car? more
My neighbour is harassing me This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your relationship with your neighbour is tense. You think that he is harassing you and overstepping his property rights. What are the limits with respect to property rights? more
I've been badly injured This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You go to a snow slide and rafting centre with your children. During a run, you are badly injured. Is the sliding centre responsible? more
My home has hidden defects This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You purchase a house. After you move in, you realize that it has major defects. Can you cancel the purchase? Can you lower the purchase price?


A man buys a mobile home for $54,000. On the property listing the home is said to be in impeccable condition. Prior to purchasing the home, the man has it inspected by a professional. The inspector reports that the home is of average quality, and suggests several renovations that could improve its condition. Several months after the owners move in, the man and his partner notice the presence of mould at the base of the walls in the master bedroom and the children’s rooms. The gentleman contacts the seller to inform him of these observations. The seller says it is not his concern. The man retains the services of an expert who makes note of major defects including rot, mildew, and mould caused by condensation in the home’s walls. The home is subsequently declared unsanitary and is disinfected and decontaminated. As a result, the man decides to sue the seller for cancellation of the sale and for damages and interest, maintaining that he would never have purchased the home had he known of the defects in question. For his part, the seller maintains that the defects were not hidden, and that a prudent, diligent buyer would have seen them. Further, he maintains that buyer’s habits could have contributed to the problem.


Can the problems that affect the home be considered to be hidden defects? Can the buyer have the sale cancelled, or the price lowered?


Judge Landry declares the sale of the mobile home between the parties to be cancelled. The seller must therefore repay the purchase price to the buyer and reassume ownership of the home. The judge also awards damages and interest.


The judge must first determine if the case is about hidden defects. In this instance, the home was sold with a legal guarantee against hidden defects. The judge concludes that the condensation problems inside the home are indeed hidden defects. First, based on the experts’ evidence, the judge concludes that the advanced state of the rot demonstrates that the problem had existed before the conclusion of the sale on May 3, 2002. Secondly, the judge believes that the buyer acted in a prudent and diligent manner given that he had retained the services of an inspector before the sale. At the time of that inspection, the walls appeared to be in good condition because the seller had just completed renovations. It was only during a later examination made once the mould had been discovered, that the experts opened the walls, and the advanced state of the damage was revealed. The buyer therefore has grounds to seek the cancellation of the sale or a reduction of the purchase price. The buyer could also seek damages and interest if the seller was aware of the defects at the time of the sale. The judge concludes that the seller was either aware of or should have been aware of the defects since he had lived on the premises for 20 years and because he had had work done on the home on several occasions. The judge therefore awards damages and interest in this instance. Cancellation of the sale is usually granted in cases where the defect is so large that the buyer would not have purchased the home in the first place. In this instance, the cancellation of the sale is granted because the cost of repairs would be more than 70% of the value of the home.

Legal brief *
March  2009
Number  06
Text prepared by   Le jugement dont il est question dans cette chronique a été rendu en fonction des éléments de preuves soumis au tribunal. Chaque situation est particulière. Dans le doute, nous vous suggérons de consulter un avocat de l’aide juridique. / The jugement discussed in this article was rendered based on the evidence submitted to the court. Each situation is unique. If in doubt, we suggest you consult a legal aid lawyer.
Update by   Commission des services juridiques
* The information set out in this document is not a legal interpretation.
The masculine is used to designate persons solely in order to simplify the text.
Am I responsible for my partner's debt?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your partner dies while engaged in a contract of suretyship (endorser). As the universal legatee (heir), are you responsible for your partner’s debt? more
My child has been injured This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
When leaving school one day, your five-year-old is injured by ice falling from the roof of a building. The building is adjacent to the only road leading to the school; the school has access to the road by virtue of a servitude granted to the School Board. Who is responsible for the damages in thi more
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017