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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?

THE FACTS

The parents of a four-year-old child had been separated since September 2006. The paternal grandparents wanted to see their grandchild.


In May 2007, the Superior Court had confirmed a Consent to Judgment in which the parents had agreed that the mother would have custody of the child, subject to the father’s access rights. The father worked in Alberta.


The paternal grandparents and the mother had had a good relationship, but after the parties’ separation, a feeling of uneasiness had arisen. As of June 2009, the situation had degenerated. Although they had visited their grandchild on a regular basis, the grandparents were faced with the mother’s refusal to allow them access to the grandchild.

THE ISSUE

The grandparents therefore decided to go to court in order to have the court determine the terms and conditions of the personal relations they wished to re-establish with the child. The Civil Code of Québec provides that in no case may the father or mother, without a grave reason, interfere with personal relations between the child and his grandparents. Failing agreement between the parties, the terms and conditions of these relations are decided by the court.

THE DECISION

The Court concluded that the mother had not been able to show any reason, within the meaning of the Civil Code of Québec, that would justify having the Court terminate the relationship between the grandparents and the child, given that the grandparents did not present a moral or physical danger to the child.


The Court allowed the grandparents’ motion for access and established their right to access their grandchild approximately one weekend a month, upon certain terms and conditions.

THE GROUNDS

Following the parents’ separation, contact between the grandparents and the child had degenerated. During a visit in March 2009, an incident had given rise to some tension. In June 2009, the mother had notified the grandparents that she was putting and end to their get-togethers with the child. However, the grandparents saw their grandchild again in July 2009, when their son spent a few days in Québec.



The grandparents argued that it was important for the child to maintain ties with the father’s family, particularly since the father was located outside the province. They were not at all motivated by a desire to interfere in the mother’s life, but merely wanted to be able to play their role as grandparents and allow the child to benefit from an emotional presence. The father did not object whatsoever to his parents’ request, considering this initiative to be in the child’s best interests.


The mother, however, complained about the grandparents’ behaviour, their lack of respect, the invasion of her privacy and the fact that the child did not have significant ties with the grandparents.

The mother had a new spouse and she claimed that the new spouse’s parents acted towards the child as “paternal grandparents”. She therefore no longer wished to maintain a relationship with the biological father’s parents.

According to the Civil Code of Québec, it is deemed to be in the interests of a child that the child maintain a personal relationship with his or her grandparents. Barring grave reasons, the parents cannot interfere with personal relations between the child and his or her grandparents as regards the establishment of such a relationship.

The burden therefore lies on the parents to demonstrate the reasons that justify their opposition to a personal relationship between the child and his or her grandparents or the actual harmful effects such a relationship would have on the child, irrespective of the existence of conflicts between the parents and the grandparents. The concern cannot be merely subjective.

The courts have pointed out, however, that the access contemplated within the scope of the grandparent-child relationship is different from the access for a non-custodial parent. The right of access of grandparents cannot be of the same frequency or scope as the right of access of a non-custodial parent.


References
A. P. v. C. PO. (Droit de la famille-10164), Superior Court (C.S.) 700-04-018930-096, February 1, 2010, Judge Lise Matteau (www.jugements.qc.ca)

Civil Code of Québec, (S.Q. 1991, c. 64), s.611


Legal brief *
October  2010
Number  16
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.
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 ju more
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