The Judicial Clock Will Be Running Again in September

By Mariella De Stefano, from our Insurance Law Practice Group

July 15, 2020 — Over the last month, activities in various sectors are gradually resuming and the re-openings are occurring in phases — as has been the case for our courts.

You may recall that last March, ministerial orders were issued to order the suspension of numerous delays and limitation periods until the Government of Quebec announces the end of the current state of emergency, which continues to be extended. On May 28, we informed you that the Courts would gradually resume their activities as of June 1st. We highlighted that the delays which were suspended temporarily, including prescription periods and procedural delays, would eventually be lifted.

As was to be expected, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec, Mr. Simon Jolin-Barrette, and the new Chief Justice of Québec, the Honourable Manon Savard, have just announced that the suspension of these delays will be lifted on August 31st, which means that as of September 1st, the clock starts ticking again. As such, whatever time remained prior to the pandemic is added. In addition, if, on March 15, a protocol to ready the file for trial was in force, a 45-day grace period will be added to facilitate the process.

Mr. Jolin-Barette stated that the objective for making this early announcement is to inform citizens and the legal community so that necessary measures are taken by all as soon as possible. It is hoped that this will attenuate some impacts of the pandemic on both the citizens and the legal system.

Now is the time to re-activate files and ensure that whatever claims you may have are reviewed to ensure that your rights are preserved.

  • If you are presently involved in litigation, make sure to contact your lawyer to get updated instructions on how to prepare.
  • You should also contact a lawyer if you are in a potentially litigious situation that has not yet triggered legal action. Time will be running, and certain rights may become unenforceable.

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