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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 2016

  Month
Number
Legal brief
December
 08
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. Only people who have previously obtained a judgment with respect to child custody or support who agree on more
October/Nov
 07
SARPA – Service administratif de rajustement des pensions alimentaires pour enfants [Child support recalculation service] This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The Service administratif de rajustement des pensions alimentaires pour enfants (SARPA) [child support recalculation service] is a purely administrative service. Where support for a minor child has already been determined by a court judgment, parents can use the SARPA to obtain the recalculation of more
August/Sept
 06
There's a bailiff at my door! This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Jérôme Blais, a former musician, is 66 years old and is still working. He lives in an apartment in a village and has a car that he uses to get to work, since there is no public transport where he lives. His furniture is old and the only thing of value in his possession, in addition to his car, is an more
June/July
 05
Can my landlord have access to my dwelling This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The answer is yes, but there are rules that must be followed under the Civil Code of Québec.* The law states that the landlord has the right to check the condition of the leased property, to carry out work in it and to have it visited by a potential tenant or purchaser. However, the landlord must ex more
May
 04
Recipients of last resort financial assistance and stays outside Québec This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In order to be eligible for financial assistance, an adult must reside in Québec within the meaning of the Individual and Family Assistance Regulation.

Major amendments to this regulation came into force on May 1, 2015. The purpose of one of these amendments was to tighten the conditio
more
April
 03
Protecting yourself when making online purchases This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Given the many advantages of online shopping, it can be a quick and practical way to make purchases. It allows you to search for the item you need, compare what is available, select the product you want and purchase it, all from the comfort of home. However, it can also expose you to fraud. It is th more
February/March
 02
Child benefits and agreements between parents: is this a good idea? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
How many times has a judge heard an accused person defend himself against a charge of theft by simply alleging, without providing specific details, that he didn’t really want to steal the object in question, but only borrow it from the legitimate owner with the intention of eventually returning it? more
January
 01
When borrowing becomes stealing... This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
How many times has a judge heard an accused person defend himself against a charge of theft by simply alleging, without providing specific details, that he didn’t really want to steal the object in question, but only borrow it from the legitimate owner with the intention of eventually returning it? In certain specific instances, the court has given the accused the benefit of reasonable doubt and acquitted him, but in many instances, the accused was convicted of the theft with which he was originally charged.

In order to understand how an act which, at first glance, may appear to be someone simply borrowing an object can, based on the facts, become a criminal offence, it is essential to define the concept of theft under the Canadian Criminal Code, a concept that is found, in particular, in section 322. Simply stated, theft is an act in which someone “fraudulently and without colour of right takes... anything... with intent to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it.” Moreover, within the meaning of the Criminal Code, the theft is committed as soon as the object in question is moved.

In practical terms, I will be considered to have committed a theft if I take an object that doesn’t belong to me when I do not have a justification authorizing me to have the object in my possession, even if I take it for a very brief period and even if I intend to eventually return it to the owner.

In this context, what does “without colour of right” mean? Simply stated, it refers to any legal or legitimate reason authorizing a person to have in their possession an object of which they are not the owner or authorized holder. For example, this will be the case if I ask my neighbour to borrow his ladder and he agrees to lend it to me for the duration of the work on my home. In such a situation, there is an agreement between me and the actual owner, which constitutes a valid reason justifying my possession of the object in question. Using the same example, it is important to note that the mere fact that I do not return the ladder to my neighbour at the end of the agreed upon time will not result in a charge of theft, unless there is fraudulent intent, since the delay in returning the ladder may be explained, for example, by the fact that I simply forgot or that it was impossible for me to return it when agreed.

However, the situation will be entirely different if I go to my neighbour’s house and take his ladder without his authorization or knowledge. In such a case, I could be charged with theft.

Similarly, if I borrow an object from its legitimate owner using a false pretext in order to get his consent, when my real intention is not to return the object to him or to return it only when I decide to do so, I will have “fraudulently” obtained possession of an object that does not belong to me, which could lead to a charge of theft or fraud, as the case may be.


As we have seen, when borrowing an object, basic prudence suggests that we obtain the prior authorization of the owner and agree with the owner on the terms and conditions of use and return of the object.


Legal brief *
January  2016
Number  01
Text prepared by   Me Michel Loranger ,avocat au bureau d’aide juridique de Roberval
 
* 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.
 
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017