October 2010 Law Column
Etienne Ruel, lawyer
In a recent case, the Honourable Yvan Godin, S.C.J., had to rule on a petition filed by a 14-year-old seeking to modify his parents’ custody agreement. The teenager asked to be placed in the sole custody of his mother instead of the shared custody he had been in for the past three years.
The teenager’s mother chose not to petition the Court for sole custody in order to avoid allegations of parental alienation, and the child therefore testified in court and requested the change himself.
The law and caselaw stipulate that a minor must be represented by his/her guardian when exercising his/her access rights. Only in exceptional cases are minors authorized to seek remedy themselves.
The Court interviewed the teenager and concluded that he possessed a certain intellectual maturity, clearly understood the consequences of his legal action and demonstrated the ability to make his own decisions, since he had met with his lawyer four times and consistently expressed his wish to modify the agreement.
In light of the evidence that was presented and the singular nature of the case, the Court authorized the teenager to seek recourse himself to assert his rights and ask that custody be awarded to his mother. The Court was of the opinion that it was in the teenager’s interest to allow him to seek recourse, seeing as he was directly impacted by the custody agreement.
The decision was certainly an exceptional one. We are convinced, however, that it will become a judicial precedent for all family law practitioners who, to ensure that their clients are not falsely accused of urging their children to live with them, will now recommend that minors initiate proceedings to realize their interests.
February 14, 2016, will mark the fifth anniversary of the coming into force of the Business Corporations Act (hereinafter, the “Act”), which replaced the Companies Act and provides corporations in Québec with a system of law that is better suited to their needs.
In construction, contracts between work providers and general contractors include holdback provisions for subcontractors based on the principle of stipulation for another under article 1444 of the Civil Code of Québec. In Compagnie d'assurances Jevco v. Québec (Procureure générale), 2015 QCCA 1034, the Court of Appeal recently reiterated the work provider's obligation to apply the holdback provisions since failing to do so could result in liability.
On September 11, 2015, in Bolduc v. Ville de Lévis (2015 QCCA 1428), the Court of Appeal addressed the issue of the starting point of the six-month prescription period provided in article 586 of the Cities and Towns Act. The appellant owns land on which he built his home. When the home was being built, the appellant was not aware that the property was located in a zone in which construction was restricted under a municipal by-law.
On October 20, 2015, as the minister responsible for the application of the provisions of the Real Estate Brokerage Act (chapter C-73.2) and in accordance with the power granted by article 94 of the Act, the Honourable Carlos Leitão, Minister of Finance of Québec, confirmed the appointment of Me Jean-François Mallette as member and vice-president of the discipline committee of the Organisme d'autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OCAIQ) after consulting with the Québec Bar. Me Mallette therefore reaffirms his commitment to the real estate sector and will pursue his practice as a member of the civil and commercial law group at Prévost Fortin D'Aoust.
We are very pleased to announce that the firm has welcomed a new attorney. In October, Me Charlotte Deslauriers-Goulet joined our construction and civil litigation team at our Boisbriand office.
September 13, 2015
On Sunday, September 13th, the PFD team took part in the 16th edition of the Vélo à notre santé fundraising activity to benefit the Fondation de l'Hôpital régional de Saint-Jérôme.