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Recognizing And Enforcing An Ontario Judgment in Quebec (Overview)

Looking for information related to recognizing and enforcing an Ontario judgment in Quebec?

You have a judgment in Ontario that you want to exercise against the defendant in Quebec?

Perhaps you are evaluating whether or not it may be worth it to enforce an Ontario judgment in Quebec.

No matter the reason, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we will look at the recognition and enforcement of an Ontario judgment in Quebec, which court has competence to hear the case, will your judgment be enforced, what about a default judgment rendered in Ontario, the documents you need, on what grounds the Quebec courts may refuse your Ontario judgment and more.

We have divided this article into the following sections so you can navigate to the sections you feel more relevant to you:

Let’s begin.

Quebec Laws Applicable 

The recognition and enforcement of an Ontario judgment can be done in Quebec pursuant to the terms of the Civil Code of Quebec and the Code of Civil Procedures.

The Civil Code of Quebec establishes the jurisdiction of the Quebec Courts and outlines the conditions to satisfy for the recognition and enforcement of an Ontario judgment.

The Code of Civil Procedures establishes the procedural rules to be observed to achieve the same.

Which Quebec Court Has Competence?

Depending on the nature and the value of the Ontario judgment, different courts in Quebec may have competence.

The Quebec Superior Court will have jurisdiction to recognize and enforce an Ontario judgment when the value of the judgment is above $85,000.

The Quebec Superior Court can also hear all injunction-related matters.

The Quebec Court will have jurisdiction to recognize and enforce an Ontario judgment when the value of the judgment is below $85,000.

To establish the competence of the Quebec courts, you must consider the value of the Ontario judgment as not the amount that was originally claimed.

The Quebec administrative courts may also recognize and enforce an Ontario judgment if the matter in question falls within their legally assigned jurisdiction. 

Will The Quebec Courts Enforce The Ontario Judgment?

Ontario judgments are typically enforced quite well in Quebec.

The Quebec laws are designed to allow the enforcement and recognition of foreign judgments when the fundamental rights of the defendant have been respected.

If a judgment was rendered in Ontario, there will be a presumption that the Ontario judgment is valid in such a way that the Quebec courts can recognize it and declare it executory in the Province of Quebec.

The Quebec courts will not consider the merits of the Ontario judgment and will not render a judgment to complete or substantively complement the Ontario judgment.

The recognition and enforcement will respect the terms of the Ontario judgment as it is rendered.

On What Grounds Can The Ontario Judgment Be Refused?

There are six grounds based on which the Quebec Courts may refuse to recognize an Ontario judgment.

These exceptions are:

  1. The Ontario court had no jurisdiction to render its judgment 
  2. The Ontario judgment is subject to appeal and is not final
  3. The Ontario judgment was rendered in violation of the fundamental principles of procedure
  4. The Quebec courts have rendered a decision between the same parties, based on the same facts and having the same subject or a similar case is pending before the Quebec courts
  5. The Ontario judgment is manifestly inconsistent with the public order as understood in international relations
  6. The Ontario judgment relates to the enforcement of tax-related obligations

In evaluating if the Ontario judgment must be recognized or not, the Quebec court must not consider the merits of the case.

The Quebec courts must strictly consider if the recognition of the Ontario judgment is going to raise an exception as outlined above or not.

What About A Default Judgment Rendered In Ontario?

Ontario judgments rendered by default may be recognized and enforced in Quebec.

The applicant must demonstrate to the Quebec court that it had duly served the legal documents to the defendant in Ontario and fully respected the Ontario laws in order to obtain a default judgment.

The Quebec courts will consider that judgments rendered by the Ontario court are generally rendered in full compliance with the local laws while respecting the rights of the parties to be heard.

If the Ontario court has rendered a judgment and the applicant can demonstrate that the proper procedures were observed to get such a judgment, the Quebec courts should have no hesitation in recognizing and enforcing the default judgment rendered in Ontario.

What Documents Are Required To Enforce An Ontario Judgment?

There are a few key documents that must be filed before the Quebec courts for the recognition of an Ontario judgment.

The applicant must file a copy of the foreign judgment along with a certificate from the Ontario court official validating that the judgment is final and executory.

If the Ontario judgment was rendered by default, the applicant must also provide proof that the Ontario legal proceedings were properly served onto the defendant.

Although the Ontario courts would have validated that the defendant in Ontario was duly served before rendering their default judgment, the applicant must nonetheless provide evidence to the Quebec courts that the legal process documents in Ontario were duly served to the Defendant. 

What Is The Applicable Statute of Limitation?

There is no specified statute of limitations applicable to the recognition and enforcement of an Ontario judgment in Quebec.

Typically, the Quebec courts will apply a 10-year rule as a statute of limitations for the recognition and enforcement of an Ontario judgment.

How Long Will It Take To Enforce An Ontario Judgment In Quebec?

Generally speaking, if the defendant files an opposition against the recognition and enforcement of the Ontario judgment in Quebec, it may take between 6 to 8 months for the Quebec courts to hear the case. 

As of the hearing, it may take up to 6 months for the court to render a judgment. 

For a contested matter, you can consider an overall average of 1 year for the enforcement of an Ontario judgment.

If there is no contestation, you may get a recognition judgment within 3 to 6 months. 

Takeaways

The Quebec courts readily recognize and enforce Ontario judgments.

Depending on the nature of the Ontario judgment and the value of the judgment, different courts in Quebec may have jurisdiction.

Generally speaking, an Ontario judgment over $85,000 will be heard by the Quebec Superior Court while below that amount will be heard by the Quebec Court.

There are also some exceptions where the Quebec court will not recognize the Ontario judgment.

The most notable of these exceptions is that the Ontario judgment was rendered in violation of the defendant’s procedural rights and rights to be heard.

Our law firm acts and represents Ontario clients looking to enforce Ontario judgments in Quebec.

Should you wish to have an Ontario judgment recognized and enforced in the Province of Quebec, feel free to reach out to our Montreal lawyers experienced as such to support you.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed this article.

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