| Contact us @  |   Aa  ⇧ Français         
Click to search
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

Legal brief
Brief overview of the legalization of cannabisThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
On October 17, 2018, Canada legalized cannabis. However, it would be wrong to think that, from now on, anything goes. On the contrary, various laws and regulations govern cannabis, and a person who steps outside of the legal framework could be charged with a criminal offence or receive a statement o more
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 judgment is prescribed by 10 years. Therefore, the landlord will have to carry out a seizure within that deadline to avoid losing his right. After that date, Jasmin will be released from the debt, because the judgment will no longer be legally valid. However, it is crucial that Jasmin not acknowledge owing the debt during that period of time. Otherwise, the 10-year prescription period will begin to run again as of the acknowledgement of the debt.

If Jasmin refuses to pay voluntarily, after a period of time set by law, which is generally 30 days from the date of the judgment, the landlord will be able to proceed with the compulsory execution of the judgment, commonly referred to as a seizure. It should be noted that no one is immune from seizure and everyone has the obligation to repay their debts to their creditors. However, several exceptions set out in the Code of Civil Procedure of Québec1 make it difficult to carry out a seizure against someone with Jasmin's financial means. 

A passenger vehicle is seizable, but may be excluded under certain conditions. The vehicle must be necessary in order to maintain work income or an active job search. Nor can it be seized if it is necessary in order to meet the basic needs of the debtor and the debtor's dependants or ensure that they receive the care required by their state of health or can pursue their education. Thus, if Jasmin is actively looking for work or has a child who attends a school where no school transportation is provided, he will be able to oppose the seizure of his vehicle. However, no public transport must be available for him to carry out his job search. 

If Jasmin owns a house, he need not worry about the seizure of his immovable property. For a creditor to be able to seize immovable property and have it sold in a judicial sale, the debt must be greater than $20,000. The creditor will be able to register a legal hypothec on the house, which will guarantee the debt and the interest on that debt. In such a case, he will have to wait until the house is sold or seized by a creditor with a sufficiently large enough debt to have the house sold under judicial authority. 

Furthermore, the Code of Civil Procedure provides that benefits paid pursuant to their originating statute, such as the last resort benefits Jasmin receives under the Individual and Family Assistance Act,are unseizable.

 The following benefits are also unseizable:
  •  Special allowances for children;
  • Old Age Security benefits;
  • Unemployment benefits.

One of the options often favoured by creditors is the seizure of bank accounts. Here, too, Jasmin's landlord will not be able to do indirectly what he cannot do directly. In other words, if the amounts in Jasmin's bank account are unseizable at their source, such as his last resort financial assistance benefits, Jasmin will be able to oppose the seizure of his bank account. However, in order for the court to allow the opposition, all of the amounts in the bank account must be unseizable under the law or easily identifiable.


Sometimes, a creditor who is unfamiliar with the law seizes property that is unseizable. This is why it is important to consult a lawyer from the legal aid office in your region to find out whether the movable property seized by a creditor is, in fact, seizable. However, you must act quickly, because the deadline for opposing a seizure is 15 days after receipt of the minutes of seizure, the notice of sale or the seizure in the hands of a third person, as the case may be. Often, discussions with the creditor can, in and of themselves, lead to a lifting of the seizure before the matter even gets to court.

The relevant articles of the Code of Civil Procedure of Québec are articles 692 to 721
Individual and Family Assistance Act


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 website at www.csj.qc.ca.

Legal brief *
November  2018
Number  09
Text prepared by   Me Jean-Sébastien Faust
* 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 i
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