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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 2017

Legal brief
Shared custody, so no support to pay? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Raphaël and Maude lived together without being married and a child, Alice, was born from their relationship. When Alice was only 3 years old, her parents separated. Raphaël moved not far from the daycare and, after some discussion, the parents agreed to share custody of Alice equally. Maude agreed t more
Police Chases (What You Need to Know) This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
At the beginning of the year 2000, section 249.1 was added to the Criminal Code, creating the offence of fleeing a police chase while driving a motor vehicle. 

The following are the elements that make up this offence: 

  • The accused must be driving a motor vehicle;  more
What is a quarrelsome litigant?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Jeanne is the mother of a three-year-old girl, Amélie. She decides to consult a legal aid lawyer in order to get a judgment granting her custody of her minor child and fixing rights of access for the father, given that he exercises his rights of access very sporadically. 

George, the
Are childcare expenses taken into consideration in determining financial eligibility for legal aid? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Isabelle, a victim of abuse who has one child, is accused of murdering her former spouse. Isabelle works as a nurse’s aide in a hospital at an annual salary of $27,000. She does not own any real estate and has no savings. However, she has to pay $1,250 in annual childcare expenses for more
Youth Criminal Justice Act and Extrajudicial Sanctions This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Ethan, who is 12 years old, is visiting his cousins with his parents. While his parents are playing cards with his uncles and aunts, Ethan takes the opportunity to play various games in the basement with his two cousins, Sam and William, who are 6 and 8 years old, respectively. After Ethan and his parents leave in the late afternoon, Sam and William confess some disturbing facts to their parents. Among other things, they mention that their cousin asked them to show him their genitals and to touch his genitals. The following day, the cousins’ mother calls Ethan’s mother to inform her about the situation. While discussing the situation with his mother, Ethan admits everything that happened and agrees to go see a sexologist in order to determine whether assistance is needed so as to remedy the situation. In the meantime, Josephine, the cousins’ mother, files a complaint with the police. The police officers open a sexual assault investigation with respect to the offence. 

A few weeks later, Ethan meets with the investigators and makes a statement in which he admits all the facts mentioned by his cousins—i.e., he makes an incriminating statement. He leaves the police station after having been handed a promise to appear. In the following days, Ethan and his parents meet with Me Delovely, a legal aid lawyer. 

After analyzing the file, Me Delovely contacts the criminal and penal prosecuting attorney (CPPA) in order to check whether Ethan’s file can be referred to the Extrajudicial Sanctions Program, because Ethan has no prior file that was dejudicialized (i.e., diverted from the judicial process) and he has no criminal record. 

In exercising his discretion in order to make a decision, the CPPA will have to consider several factors, including the accused’s young age (Ethan is 12 years old), the fact that he has no criminal record, the fact that he has no prior file that was dejudicialized, the seriousness of the offence committed by Ethan (offence of a sexual nature during a single occurrence), the importance of Ethan’s rehabilitation and social reintegration, the importance of offering positive prospects to Ethan in light of his needs and level of development (Ethan’s mother has already consulted a sexologist to help her son), and the importance of using extrajudicial sanctions in order to intervene promptly and efficiently to correct Ethan’s conduct. 

The CPPA must also consult with the Provincial Director1 before making a decision regarding the dejudicialization of Ethan’s file. When analyzing the file, the members of the Provincial Director’s office meet with the young offender and his family, with the victims and with the victims’ parents. In Ethan’s case, the members of the Provincial Director’s office recommend that the file be dejudicialized and that the appropriate extrajudicial sanction be mediation between the parties. 

By emphasizing the lesser moral culpability of teens as compared to adults and by favouring the rehabilitation of the offender as a means of guaranteeing the lasting protection of the public, in certain cases, such as Ethan’s case, the use of extrajudicial sanctions is a sufficient way to hold teens accountable for their criminal acts. 


Don’t hesitate to have your eligibility for legal aid evaluated by making an appointment at a legal aid office near you. 

To find the contact information for your legal aid office, please visit our Web site at www.csj.qc.ca. 

1    In Québec, it is the Director of youth protection 

Legal brief *
April-May   2017
Number  04
Text prepared by  
* 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.
Georges owns a house and has money in his bank account. Is he financially eligible for legal aid?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
George is married to Theresa and they have four minor children. George works as a part-time employee for a transportation company. Theresa is a teacher and also works part-time. They have a combined annual gross income of $35,000. George and Theresa own their family residence, which has a value of $ more
« You can't search me! » really ?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Contrary to what many people believe, in certain circumstances, school staff can search a student or his personal belongings (such as his knapsack or locker). There are two main reasons for this. First, a school has the obligation and responsibility to protect the students who attend the school, so more
Am I liable for my pet This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In principle, yes. In Québec, it is the Civil Code that deals with harm caused by a pet’s actions. The article of the Civil Code is very clear to that effect and the rules for pet owners are strict.

Whether the situation involves an injury, such as a bite, or other damage ca
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017