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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 2018

  Month
Number
Legal brief
November
 09
Should I worry about a seizure if I am recipient of last resort assistance?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Jasmin has just lost a case before the Régie du logement. He now owes his landlord $3,000. The landlord has told him he will seize everything he owns, which worries Jasmin, who is a recipient of last resort assistance.

First and foremost, Jasmin should know that the right resulting from a jud
more
October
 08
I just found out that I am not my child's fatherThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Mario and Joanie (fictional names) have been living together for several years and have a child together. The act of birth of the child, whose name is Vincent, indicates Mario and Joanie as his parents. The couple separates when Vincent is seven years old. Despite the separation, Mario continues to more
August - September
 07
Réal lives in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and wants know whether he is financially eligible for legal aidThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Réal has been living in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine for close to 10 years and wants to get custody of his son Michel, who is 10 years old and lives with him.

Real has a yearly gross income of $32,050. He has $5,000 in the bank. 

He wonders whether he is financially eligible for legal
more
June-July
 06
What is bullying?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Bullying, also known as intimidation, is repeated behaviour that is intended to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other forms of harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, reputation or property: Bullying can be direct or indirect and can take place by physical, verbal or more
May
 05
Voluntary Disclosure ProgramThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Perhaps you didn't fulfil all your obligations under the tax laws. For example, perhaps you failed to declare some income over the past few years. The voluntary disclosure program may allow you to rectify your tax situation.1

If your application more
April
 04
Voluntary depositThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
If you are having trouble paying your bills and your creditors are losing patience, voluntary deposit may be an interesting solution for you. It may allow you to avoid bankruptcy.

Voluntary deposit is dealt with in articles 664 and following of the Code of Civil Procedure of Québec.1&nbs
more
March
 03
Am I obliged to identify myself at the request of a police officer?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
As a general rule, despite the existence of a moral and social duty on the part of every citizen to answer questions from a police officer and assist the police,1a person does not have the obligation to disclose their identity to a police officer. However, it is important to realize that more
February
 02
Acknowledgements of debtThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In January 2015, Alex lends Rose, his co-lessee, an amount of $3,000 to help her buy a used car. “I’ll pay you back very soon,” she promises. No document is signed. Time passes and Rose seems to have forgotten her debt. 

In June 2016, Rose, who no longer has a car, is about to move out in order to be closer to the university she attends. Alex finally works up the courage to ask her if she can pay him back. He is worried that Rose thinks he gave her a gift and he does not want to ruin their friendship. 
Rose apologizes profusely, and gives him a personal cheque for $500 bearing the mention “balance of $2,500 still to be paid.” Alex is disappointed, because he was expecting payment in full. 

That evening, there is a birthday party for Alex. Rose gives him a birthday card in which she provides her new address. In the card, she writes that their friendship is precious, that she knows she still owes him $2,500 and that she will repay him in September 2016. 

Autumn comes, and so does winter… Alex doesn’t hear from Rose anymore. It is only in February 2018, when Alex notices that Rose has unfriended him on Facebook, that he decides to sue her in Small Claims Court in order to claim the balance of the loan. 

His friends try to dissuade him, because he does not have a written agreement. Rose argues that she no longer owes Alex anything, because more than three years have passed. In the absence of written evidence, does Alex have a chance of seeing justice done? 

Article 2862 C.C.Q. states that proof of a juridical act may not be made, between the parties, by testimony where the value in dispute exceeds $1,500. Fortunately for Alex, the second paragraph of that article tempers the application of this requirement. If there is a commencement of proof, testimony may be admitted even if the value in dispute exceeds $1,500. 

Article 2865 C.C.Q. defines commencement of proof as follows: 

“A commencement of proof may arise from an admission or writing of the adverse party, his testimony or the production of real evidence, where it renders plausible the alleged fact.” 


Thus, Rose’s cheque and card can be considered a commencement of proof in writing. Phew! Alex will be able to prove the existence of the loan. 
But is it too late to institute legal proceedings? Given that the money was lent in January 2015, is Alex’s recourse already prescribed in February 2018, as Rose claims? 

Article 2925 C.C.Q. imposes a prescription period of three years within which to claim the repayment of a debt. After this time limit, if no judicial proceedings have been instituted, the debt is extinguished by extinctive prescription. However, prescription can be interrupted. 

Article 2898 C.C.Q. states the following: 

“Acknowledgement of a right, as well as renunciation of the benefit of the time elapsed, interrupts prescription.” 


Fortunately for Alex, the law does not impose specific formalities. 

Consequently, Rose’s card can be considered to be an acknowledgement of her $2,500 debt owed to Alex, which came due in September 2016. Prescription will therefore be interrupted and the three years will begin to run again as of that date. Alex’s recourse is not prescribed. 

Alex is pleased with himself for having held on to the lucky birthday card! 

It is wise to set out in writing the terms and conditions of the repayment of a loan or even of a simple acknowledgement of debt. The written document should make the agreement between the parties clear, unequivocal, and formal. 

What should a simple acknowledgement of debt contain?
 
1. The identity of the parties (name, home address, date of birth); 

2. The acknowledgement, by the debtor, of his debt towards the creditor; 

3. The amount loaned, in numbers and letters; 

4. The debtor’s undertaking to reimburse the creditor no later than the agreed upon date; 

5. The specific date of the repayment (the most important element, often forgotten!) 

6. The date and place of signing by the parties; 

7. The signature of the parties, in blue ink (to differentiate the original from copies). 

Spoken words fly away, written words remain. 






























Legal brief *
February  2018
Number  02
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.
January
 01
Can I object to a notice of assessment?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You’ve just received a notice of assessment or determination from the government indicating that you owe a significant amount of money. You are completely flabbergasted, because there is no way you owe that much. In fact, you provided all the required documents. There must be a mistake! The followin more
 
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017