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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? Can you receive compensation?


A man and his wife purchase and move in to a new house in 1992. They have no problems with their neighbour until 1998. In that year, however, one event puts an end to their cordial relations. It starts with the couple chasing their neighbour’s cat away from their property. From then on, the neighbour regularly walks back and forth in front of their house, and bothers them when they leave their house, depriving them of the full enjoyment of their property. Further, he leaves his dog’s excrement on their property line. As a result, the couple purchase a tape recorder and video camera in order to make an audio-visual record of their neighbour’s abusive remarks and unpleasant gestures. In his defence, the neighbour claims that he too is a victim of abuse and rude gestures on the part of the couple. With respect to his frequent pacing in front of the couple’s house, he claims that, as a retired person, he is always outside and takes regular walks. He claims to have been very disturbed by the couple’s formal notice of complaint for damages in the amount of $22,000, and by the criminal complaint. The plaintiffs claim $30,960 and the respondent claims for $7,000.


Have both parties abused their property rights?


The judge allows the action for damages and interest. She sentences both parties to pay damages and interest such that by compensating each other, the parties are even and the claims discharged.


According to the judge, a neighbour abuses his or her property rights when the use of his right causes harm to others exceeding normal neighbourhood annoyances. Property rights and private rights are both recognized by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On the one hand in this case, it was proved that the neighbour did not respect the couple’s private life because, during his frequent walks, he would observe their house in a bothersome manner. The neighbour also abused his property rights by leaving his dog’s excrement at the edge of their property. On the other hand, both parties are at fault with respect to insults, because both parties engaged in the practice. Finally, with respect to the video proof, the judge concluded that it was clear that the plaintiffs avoided recording themselves making insulting remarks or unpleasant gestures. The judge sentenced each party to pay the other $2,000 for infringement of privacy, and for abuse of rights, as well as $1,000 in punitive damages.

ReferencesLégaré v. Flammand C.Q. (Québec), 200-22-023709-033, May 31, 2004, Judge: A. Laberge. J.E. 2004-1482.
Civil Code of Québec, (L.Q. 1991, c. 64), art. 3, 7, 35, 36 and 976.

Legal brief *
April  2009
Number  08
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.
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? more
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