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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 her six-year old son. Isabelle wants to be represented by a lawyer. She wonders whether she is financially eligible for legal aid.

It is important to remember that there are two ways to qualify for legal aid: at no cost or in return for the payment of a maximum contribution of $800. 

To obtain free legal aid, Isabelle must satisfy the following three conditions:

1- Scale of annual (gross) income: 

Gross income must not exceed the following amount for
One adult and one child: $25,050

2- Scale of property owned: 

The value of property owned must not exceed
$90,000, if the residence is owned
$47,500, if the residence is not owned

3- Scale of liquidities: 

The value of liquidities must not exceed
$5,000 for a family
$2,500 for a single person

Even though Isabelle’s financial situation exceeds the annual income scale, she can nevertheless be eligible for legal aid in return for the payment of a contribution.

The following is the calculation method that applies. First, we must determine which class of applicant Isabelle falls into. The Regulation respecting legal aid states that there are six classes of applicants. Isabelle falls into the class of a family composed one adult and one child.

The following amounts must then be added to the amounts provided for in the scales mentioned above:

100 % of the excess income
10 % of the excess property
100 % of the excess liquidities

The total amount represents the deemed income used to determine whether Isabelle is eligible for legal aid in return for the payment of a maximum contribution. In computing income, the law authorizes the deduction of certain amounts, including the amount of the childcare expenses paid, up to the amount eligible for the provincial tax credit. 

Here are the detailed calculations for Isabelle:

Income considered ($27,000 - $1,250) $25,750
Scale (free legal aid)One adult and one child $25,050
100% of the excess income($25,750 - $25,050)  $700
10% of the excess property($0 - $47,500)   $0
100% of the excess liquidities($0 - $5,000)   $0
Deemed income $25,750

The legal aid scale below (which is also found on the Web site of the Commission des services juridiques) indicates that Isabelle is eligible for legal aid in return for a maximum contribution of $100.*

Family composed one adult and one child

Income Contribution level
from $25,051 to $26,292 $100
from $26,293 to $27,533 $200
from $27,534 to $28,775 $300
from $28,776 to $30,017 $400
from $30,018 to $31,258 $500
from $31,259 to $32,500         $600
from $32,501 to $33,741 $700
from $33,742 to $34,984 $800

* The director general can, under certain conditions, agree that the contribution will be paid in several instalments. The total period for such instalments cannot exceed 6 months.
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.

Legal brief *
June-July  2017
Number  05
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.
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 more
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