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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 2013

Legal brief
Same-sex spouses, a reality... know your rights! This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.


In Québec, since March 19, 2004, it has been possible for same-sex couples to marry or enter into a civil union.

As a result, in the event of a separation or divorce, same-sex couples who are married or in a civil union benefit from the various types of protection provi more

What is child pornography? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Perhaps you sometimes visit porn sites. So as not to commit an offence associated with child pornography, you must avoid accessing images or films that show a person who is or is depicted as being under the age of 18.

Child pornography is a crime that was added to the Criminal Code fai
HAS - Homologation assistance service for agreements This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The HAS is intended for parties who wish, for whatever reason, to modify arrangements pertaining to child custody or access rights or to support involving a child or a child and a former spouse, where the parties have previously obtained a judgment with respect to child custody or support. Only peop more
Why is social assistance forcing me to institute proceedings for support? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Marie is a single mother; Simon has been separated from his wife for five years; Paul has been divorced for a few years; Chantale is an 18-year-old who could not get along with her parents, left school and the city of Chicoutimi, where she was born, and moved to Montreal to look for work. All of the more
How can a decision of the Régie du logement be executed? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Martin sued his landlord before the Régie du logement for damages and to force him to make repairs to his dwelling. After a lengthy legal battle, Martin obtained a judgment in his favour granting him $1,500 in damages.

Now, Martin is wondering what to do in order to collect the sums owed to h
Who will receive the Canada child tax benefit in the event of a breakup? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The Canada Child Tax Benefit (the “CCTB”) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18.

To be eligible for the CCTB, you must meet each of the following conditions:

  1. You must live with the child and th more
Can I be compensated by the IVAC and also sue my attacker? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Joëlle was the victim of a violent crime that caused her serious injuries, some of which will never heal. Her attacker was caught and she is therefore thinking about taking him to court in order to be compensated for the harm she suffered. In addition, Joëlle was informed by the investigators in charge of her case that she could probably also obtain benefits under the Crime Victims Compensation Act.1 She does not know which recourse to exercise and does not want to make the wrong decision; she is therefore hesitant to initiate proceedings.

She wonders whether she can sue her attacker in a court of law and, at the same time, file a claim with the Direction de l’indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels (the “IVAC”) in order to receive benefits. In such a situation, the law is very clear: By choosing one of these options, the victim does not lose the right to claim compensation under the other option. However, this does not mean Joëlle will be able to be compensated twice for her injuries!

In fact, if she files an application with the IVAC first and is granted benefits, the IVAC will be subrogated in her rights, up to the amount paid. This means that the IVAC will be able to sue the attacker, in Joëlle’s name, in order to be reimbursed for the amounts it paid to her. As for Joëlle, she will be entitled to sue her attacker in the civil courts after having received benefits from the IVAC; however, the IVAC will have to be a party to the proceedings and any agreement between the parties will have to be ratified by it.

Moreover, if Joëlle chooses to go before a court of law first, she will be able to obtain benefits from the IVAC only if the amount she is to receive from the IVAC exceeds the amount obtained from her attacker under the judgment. In such a case, the benefits she will receive from the IVAC will be reduced by the amounts obtained in the civil proceedings.

However, there are two important points to keep in mind.

First, when referring to the amount obtained in civil proceedings, it is the amount the victim actually collects after the judgment, not the amount the attacker was ordered to pay, that is taken into account. In other words, if, for example, the attacker is ordered to pay Joëlle $100,000, but when she tries to collect on the judgment, the attacker declares bankruptcy and only pays her $5,000, the benefits Joëlle will receive from the IVAC will be reduced by $5,000, not $100,000.

Second, one must not forget the time limits for filing the recourses. If the victim decides to go to the IVAC first, the time limit for instituting civil proceedings will not begin to run until the IVAC has rendered a decision as to whether or not to pay benefits, provided the time limit set out in the Civil Code of Québec (usually 3 years) has not already elapsed at the time the victim files her application for benefits.

However, if the victim decides to go before the civil courts first, no matter how long those proceedings last—and they can sometimes last several years—she will have a period of one year following the judgment within which to apply to the IVAC for benefits.

Given all this information, it would seem more prudent for Joëlle to file an application with the IVAC as soon as possible, since the process is simple and quick and the application for benefits form is available on the Internet at www.ivac.qc.ca. This would give her the time to consult a lawyer in order to determine whether it would be advantageous to sue her attacker in a court of law, a much more complex and costly process.

1 R.S.Q., c. I-6.

Legal brief *
June  2013
Number  11
Text prepared by   Me Bruno Boucher,avocat au bureau d’aide juridique Sud-Ouest à Montréal
* 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.
Misconduct and employment insuranceThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Section 30 of the Employment Insurance Act1 stipulates that a person cannot receive employment insurance benefits if they lose their job because of their misconduct or if they voluntarily leave their job without just cause. The notion of misconduct has been defined in the case law more
The obligation of support for spousesThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Marie and Robert have been married for 25 years. During their marriage, Robert worked as an engineer in a well-known company and, on average, earned $150,000 a year. Marie stayed home to look after their three children and their home. During this time, Marie never held a paying job, because she was more
Wasting of property : Consequences during the partition of the Family Patrimony This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You have been married to Pierre for 20 years. You left him due to his gambling problem. He admitted to you that he was going to the Montreal Casino on a daily basis. Two months before your separation, you noticed that Pierre had withdrawn everything from his RRSP, an amount of $20,000. As for you, y more
The IVAC says I’m the author of my own misfortune – What can I do? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Pierre-Olivier occasionally uses illegal drugs. One day, he asks a friend to get him some drugs for a party he is organizing at his home that weekend. During a meeting a few hours after the transaction, the two men get into a verbal argument about an old love feud that goes back several years. While more
Repossession of the dwelling by the landlord This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Marc and Claudia have been tenants in the same dwelling for the past 10 years. Two days ago, they received a notice of repossession of the dwelling from their landlord.

The landlord informed them that he will repossess their dwelling at the end of the lease, so his 18-year-old son, who is a f
I was injured at work - What should I do?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Nowadays, people are quite familiar with the program of the CSST (Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail) and know that they can claim benefits from this agency if they are injured at work. However, when filing an application, many people approach the process rather clumsily, both as re more
Child supportThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Arthur and Marine had been living together for 5 years. They had two children, Philippe and Frédéric.

For some time, things between them had not been going well and they decided to separate. They therefore each found a new place to live and agreed that Marine would have custody of the childre
I am being refused CSST benefits because I allegedly have a 'pre-existing condition'... Do I have a recourse? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Brigitte had worked for the same employer for several years as a maintenance employee. She had never had health problems and even led a very active lifestyle. One morning, her employer asked her to clean premises that were particularly dirty after a party.

She and a co-worker began to clean t
My neighbours are too noisy.What are my rights?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You've been living for a short while in an apartment that seemed to be a peaceful haven when you visited the premises before signing the lease. Now, however, you are being disturbed by neighbours who have little respect for your peace and quiet. They turn up the music, even late at night, slam doors more
Psychosocial assessments in family matters:Part of the EvidenceThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
A psychosocial assessment is an assessment performed by a specialist in social sciences. It is a complete and unbiased assessment of the family and social situation of a child about whom there is a court dispute involving custody or visitation rights.

The purpose of the expert assessment is t
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017