28 Postponement and cancellation of a subpoena or summons. No case set for trial may be postponed solely by the consent of the parties or by reason of their absence. In proceedings for the recovery of a small claim, article 557 of the Code of Civil Procedure (chapter C-25.01) applies.
When a party foresees that it will not be able to proceed on the date set by the court or requests the cancellation of a subpoena or summons, it must immediately notify the opposing party and the coordinating judge, associate coordinating judge or a judge designated by one of the former and present an application for that purpose.
Except with permission from one of the above judges, any application for the postponement of a case set for trial must be presented in writing, with reasons, ten days before the date set for the trial.
Prior notice of the application of three working days, excepting Saturdays, must be given to all the parties.
Notwithstanding the time limit provided for in the third paragraph, if the reasons for the postponement are known less than 10 days before the date set for the trial, the coordinating judge, the associate coordinating judge or a judge designated by one of the former may receive a written application for postponement and make a decision, ensuring that the best interests of justice are served.
When the postponement is granted, the reasons for the decision are entered in the record.
29 Opening and adjournment of the hearing. The persons present at a hearing must rise when the judge enters the room and remain standing until the judge is seated.
At the opening of the hearing, the court bailiff or clerk says aloud, as the case may be, “Silence. Please rise. The Court of Québec, presided over by the Honourable Judge is now in session” or “Silence. Please rise. The Court of Québec, presided over by the presiding justice of the peace is now in session”.
Once the judge is seated, the court bailiff or clerk asks those present to be seated.
When the judge leaves, the court bailiff or clerk asks those present to rise, and no person may leave his or her seat until the judge has left the room.
30 Swearing in. The clerk, in the presence of the judge, swears witnesses in by asking them to take an oath or make a solemn affirmation.
31 Interpreter. A party relying on the services of an interpreter must notify the court office without delay.
In civil cases, a party requiring the assistance of an interpreter must retain and pay for the interpreter’s services, unless otherwise decided by the court.
32 Technological devices. The use of personal technological devices is permitted in accordance with guidelines issued by the chief judge on the use of technology in courtrooms.
33 Security in courtrooms. During hearings, the security of the persons present and responsibility for the persons for whom detention or confinement in an institution has been ordered are ensured by a special constable, according to the terms and conditions agreed upon with the Ministère de la Sécurité publique.
Hearings begin when the judge considers that security is ensured.
DIVISION IVSound Recordings, Stenographic Notes and Minutes
34 Sound recording. The clerk is required to make a sound recording of the trial. When requested by the court, the clerk ensures the operation of any other technological communications device.
When the services of a stenographer are required, the stenographer proceeds to the courtroom at the time the hearing begins and remains there until released by the judge, the parties or their lawyers or notaries.
The stenographer is required to record the whole trial, including the addresses, except if exempted by the judge.
35 Testimony outside court. Any testimony given outside court is recorded in a way that allows it to be stored and reproduced.
When a stenographer’s services are used, the stenographer may, in the event of a failure to observe decorum or good order, suspend the taking of testimony in order to obtain from the judge, as soon as possible, a decision on whether to continue.
Stenographic notes may be filed in “four in one” format, with an alphabetical index.
36 Transcript or copy of sound recording. When a transcript of the evidence is required by the judge, the clerk must provide it within 30 days unless the judge decides otherwise.
When a judge renders judgment at the hearing, any request for a transcript or a copy of the sound recording must be sent to the judge in order to review its accuracy.
Unless otherwise provided for or otherwise ordered by the judge, every person may obtain from the clerk, on payment of the fees, a copy of the sound recording of a trial.
In youth protection and adoption cases, except if an appeal has been filed, the sound recording of the trial and the stenographic notes cannot be copied or transcribed without authorization from the court, which sets the conditions for access and disclosure. In such cases, the clerk stores the transcript of the hearing separately from the record.
In youth criminal justice cases, the original transcript of the hearing must be filed in the record.
37 Minutes of hearing. The clerk draws up the minutes of the hearing using the form prescribed for that purpose, on which the clerk enters:
(1) in all matters,
(a) the record number;
(b) the names of the parties;
(c) the presence or absence of any party;
(d) the names of the lawyers or notaries, their permanent court number in the case of lawyers, and the party they are representing or, if applicable, the fact that a party has declined to be represented;
(e) the name of the judge presiding over the hearing;
(f) the names of the clerk and stenographer, if any;
(g) the courtroom number, the date and time of the beginning and end of the hearing and the tape position numbers;
(h) the names of the interpreters;
(i) the names and addresses of the witnesses, and the name of the party calling them to testify;
(j) the code and description of all the exhibits produced;
(k) any admissions;
(l) objections to evidence;
(m) the grounds for any decision made on an application for postponement;
(n) the conclusions of any judgment, decision or measures rendered at the hearing by the judge;
(o) the different stages of the proceedings with the time and, if applicable, the tape position numbers;
(2) in the Civil Division, the minutes must also indicate the nature of the case and the amount of the claim, if any;
(3) in the Criminal and Penal Division, the following information must also be entered:
(4) in the Youth Division, the minutes of a protection case must also indicate:
(5) in the Youth Division, the minutes of a youth criminal justice case must also indicate:
(a) the young person’s date of birth;
(b) a reference to the statute containing the offence the young person is alleged to have committed;
(c) a decision by the young person not to be represented, or the counsel appointed for a young person and the filing of a document of appointment;
(d) the fact that the information or indictment was read or, where applicable, the fact that the represented young person waived the right to a reading;
(e) the explanations prescribed by law concerning the possibility that the young person will be sentenced to an adult sentence or, where applicable, a statement by the young person’s lawyer that the explanation has been provided;
(f) the reading of the text prescribed by law concerning the mode of trial, when the option is offered;
(g) the young person’s election concerning the mode of trial;
(h) the fact that the prosecutor or young person has requested the holding of a preliminary inquiry;
(i) a statement as to whether or not an application for an adult sentence has been received;
(j) a statement as to whether or not the prosecutor has waived the option of applying for an adult sentence;
(k) the name and quality of a person who consults and, if applicable, the exhibits and pleadings of which the person receives a copy; on request, the clerk issues a certified copy;
(l) a waiver of language rights and the notice on language rights.
38 Authorities. Any party may produce a book of authorities containing doctrine and case law. The relevant passages must be identified.
It is permitted to produce only the relevant excerpts of doctrine and case law, in which case the pages immediately preceding and following the excerpts or, for case law, the reference and summary of the decision or order, must be included.
Double-sided printing is permitted.
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