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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 2010

  Month
Number
Legal brief
November
 18
Can I serve my sentence in the community? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.

THE FACTS

After a night of partying during which the accused consumed some alcohol, the accused, an 18-year-old, decided to drive his friends home. He only had seven weeks of experience as a licensed driver and knew that his vehicle was not in good condition. According to the evidence, he dr
more
November
 17
Should you prepare a mandate in the event of incapacity? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
With our aging population and increasing life span, there is, unfortunately, a very real possibility that we will suffer an illness or accident. Should you prepare a mandate in the event of incapacity? more
October
 16
Do I have the right to see my grandchildren?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
I would like to see my grandchildren, but the mother of the children is against it. What are my recourses as a grandparent? more
October
 15
Am I entitled to a disability pensionThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
I have had serious health problems for years and I’m not 60 years old yet. I am unable to work. Am I entitled to a disability pension? more
September
 14
I want to have my father's will annulledThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your father informs you that you are one of the legatees named in his will as an heir. Shortly before his death, he changes his will and bequeaths all his property to someone else. Can you have this will, which you believe is unfair, annulled? more
September
 13
I have to resiliate my lease due to my loss of autonony This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
I have lost my autonomy and I have a medical document confirming that I have to move into premises adapted to my needs. What should I do? more
June
 12
My right to privacy has been violatedThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.

THE FACTS

While helping lift an obese patient from her chair, a worker felt a fierce burning sensation and shooting pain in her back, on the left side, and experienced difficulty lifting her left arm. In May 2005 she was diagnosed with a cervicodorsal sprain which was consolidated in Nove more

June
 11
My property has been seizedThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
As a result of unpaid debts, can a creditor seize all the moveable property in a residence? more
May
 10
A court has ordered that I be placed in a detoxification centre This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In principle, every person is free to accept or refuse to submit to health care. Exceptionally, a hospital centre may go to court to compel an unfit person to receive treatment despite the person’s categorical refusal, that is, against the person’s will. When dealing with treatment against a person’ more
May
 09
A police officer has asked my child for his version of the facts This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
A youngster has been arrested and the police officer has asked him for his version of the facts. What are his rights? more
April
 08
I am not dangerous: When will my confinement in an institution end? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
An individual suffering from mental illness may be placed in confinement in a health care institution if he presents a danger to himself or to others due to his mental state. However, if the individual in question opposes the confinement, a court authorization is required. In order to obtain such an more
April
 07
My youngster is guilty of roberyThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
An offender is convicted of robbery. What is the best judicial decision for this youngster? more
March
 06
For how long can I be obliged to remain in a residential facility? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
What is the maximum duration of a residential placement order forcing a person to live in a residential facility? more
March
 05
I refuse to let my child have a blood transfusion This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Can parents refuse to let a doctor give a blood transfusion to their minor child on religious grounds? more
February
 04
Is my confinement in an institution necessary? Am I dangerous? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In matters of confinement in an institution, judges are called upon to decide on a person’s dangerousness to himself or to others due to his mental state. Dangerousness is the only criterion on which a court must base itself in order to confine an individual in a hospital against his will. How do judges assess dangerousness? What happens if the psychiatric assessments are not sufficiently detailed or specific on the matter?

THE FACTS

The individual in question was subject to an order of confinement in an institution pursuant to a judgment rendered by the Court of Québec. The judge had concluded that she presented a danger to herself or to others due to her mental state and that her confinement in an institution was necessary. The individual was dissatisfied with the judgment and went before the Court of Appeal in order to have the decision overturned.

THE ISSUE

Did the judge of first instance commit an error when he concluded that the individual presented a danger to herself or to others due to her mental state and, consequently, that her confinement in an institution was necessary?

THE DECISION

The appeal was allowed and the judgment at first instance was overturned.

THE GROUNDS

In addition to the provisions of the Civil Code of Québec which deal with this subject, the legislature has enacted a specific statute to govern confinement of an individual against his will. The Act respecting the protection of persons whose mental state presents a danger to themselves or to others expressly states what must be contained in the clinical psychiatric examination report prepared by the hospital in support of its application to confine an individual. The physician must, in particular, specify that he himself examined the individual, he must indicate the date of the examination and he must provide his diagnosis. Furthermore, the physician must give his opinion as to the gravity and probable consequences of the person’s mental state and set out the reasons and facts upon which his opinion and diagnosis are based.

In the case of the individual in question, the judges of the Court of Appeal were of the opinion that the psychiatric evaluations prepared by the hospital did not specify at all how the individual’s mental illness presented a danger to herself or to others. The psychiatrists who assessed her merely stated that she was dangerous, without providing an explanation. In fact, they simply used a form on which they ticked off that she had no violent, lethal or suicidal ideas. It should be noted that the two psychiatrists were not present at the hearing at first instance and did not testify in court to support their conclusions. As for the individual, she addressed the court and stated that she was not at all dangerous to herself or to others.

According to the three judges who heard the appeal, at no time did the judge of first instance substantiate his decision by indicating that he had sufficient reasons to believe that the individual presented a danger to herself or to others due to her mental state and that her confinement in an institution was necessary. The Court of Appeal emphasized that [TRANSLATION] “it is not possible for a judgment rendered in this manner to satisfy the court’s obligation to set out the serious reasons it has for believing in the dangerousness of the person in question.” Consequently, the judges allowed the individual’s appeal.

References
N.B. v. Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Québec, Québec Court of Appeal (C.A.) 200-09-006105-073, October 11, 2007, Judges Pelletier, Dutil and Giroux. (www.jugements.qc.,ca).An Act respecting the protection of persons whose mental state presents a danger to themselves or to others, (R.S.Q., c. P-38.001, s. 3).Civil Code of Québec, (S.Q. 1991, c. 64), sections 26 and following


Legal brief *
February  2010
Number  04
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.
Februay
 03
I lost my job due to family obligations This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You leave your job to go to Guinea to stay with your father who is seriously ill. In the meantime, you learn that he has died and you go to his funeral in Guinea, where you take care of your mother who is also seriously ill. Upon your return, you are refused employment insurance benefits on the grou more
January
 02
Can wearing tinted eye glasses at night reduce vision quality? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.

THE FACTS

On May 24, 2007, at approximately 9:42 p.m., an individual was driving his automobile on an unlit road while wearing black-tinted eye glasses. A police officer followed him for a while and stopped him. The individual claimed that his glasses made him look “cool”. The police offi more

January
 01
I live in a dwelling in low-rental housing and am frequently away from home This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You live in a dwelling in low-rental housing and are often away from home in order to visit your family and friends. Can the lessor ask for the resiliation of the lease due to the unoccupancy of the dwelling? more
 
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017