| Contact us @  |   Aa  ⇧ Français         
 
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 acoustic guitar that is still worth approximately $2,000. Apart from his $1,200 gross monthly salary, he receives his federal old age security pension and a monthly retirement pension from Retraite Québec.

Four years ago, he had some financial difficulties and did not pay a balance of $1,800 he owed his dentist. The Court of Québec, Small Claims Division, subsequently rendered a judgment against him ordering him to pay the dentist the amount of $1,800 plus the legal costs and the interest provided for by law.

To his great surprise, a bailiff recently visited him and seized his car and his guitar. The following day, Jerôme’s employer informed him that he had received a notice seizing Jerôme’s salary (often referred to as a garnishment). Jerôme is in a panic! Are these seizures valid?

1- The car: NO, because the car is necessary in order for Jerôme to maintain his work income, given that he does not have access to public transport to get to work. The same would be true if his car had been required in order to meet his basic needs, to ensure that he received the care required by his state of health or to ensure that he could pursue his education. However, the presence of accessible public transport could have made his car seizable. Jerôme must retain the services of a lawyer in order to institute proceedings to oppose the seizure.

2- The guitar: YES, because it is not used for his work or for a professional activity. Jerôme has the right to keep in his dwelling movable property that is for his use, that he needs in order to live and that has a total value of up to $7,000, but the guitar is unlikely to be considered movable property that furnishes his residence within the meaning of the law. Therefore, it can be seized and, if it has a market value, can be sold to repay part of the debt.

3- His salary: YES, in part, i.e., the seizable portion of his salary.

The Code of Civil Procedure determines the portion of a debtor’s salary that can be seized by a creditor. To determine the seizable portion of a debtor’s salary, the calculation takes into account all employment income as well as benefits paid to the debtor, such as Québec pension benefits and federal old age security benefits. Benefits that are unseizable under the statute that creates them remain unseizable, even if these amounts are taken into account when computing total income and are used to determine the percentage of the salary that is seizable and that will subsequently be remitted to the creditor.
As an example, let’s assume Jerôme has a monthly income of $2,200, which represents weekly income of $508.08 ($2,200 ÷ 4.33 weeks per month).

The Code of Civil Procedure determines the exemptions to which a debtor is entitled for his basic needs and those of his dependants. As of June 1, 2016, the basic weekly exemption for a single person was $273.17.

Therefore, the calculation will be as follows:

Jerôme’s gross weekly Income:                         $508.08
Minus: The exemption to which he is entitled:  $273.17
Equals: The seizable portion of his salary:        $234.91

Of that amount, 30% can be seized, or $70.47

Jerôme’s employer will therefore have to remit to the court clerk an amount of $70.47 per week (or $305.13 per month) deducted from his salary. The amounts seized will have to be remitted to the dentist at least every three months, until the debt has been paid in full.

For how long is a judgment valid?

A right resulting from a judgment expires after 10 years if the creditor does not take any enforcement measures (a seizure).

It is also important to note that the legal costs, the interest accrued over the past 4 years and the enforcement costs will be added to Jerôme’s initial debt and will therefore increase the amount he has to pay.

Thus, it is in Jerôme’s interest to quickly come to an agreement acceptable to his creditor in order to reimburse the amounts owed.


*The exemption amount, determined pursuant to section 156 of the Individual and Family Assistance Regulation, is indexed on April 1st of each year. This regulation was enacted under the Individual and Family Assistance Act.


Legal brief *
August/Sept  2016
Number  06
Text prepared by   Me Julie Henri,avocate au bureau d’aide juridique de Trois-Rivières
 
* 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.
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? more
 
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017