Court staffing shortages prompted one inmate to file an extraordinary motion to force the courts to hear his bail application, which had been postponed because no clerk was available.
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“The lack of a clerk is a recurring problem, not to say systemic. The situation is unacceptable in a democratic society”, is alarmed Me Mike Junior Boudreau in a court document filed last Friday.
The lawyer wanted to force the court to respect the rights of his client, arrested in a domestic violence case. He was due to undergo his bail hearing on Friday, except that, although everyone was ready to proceed, the hearing could not take place.
“A judge referred to the fact that no clerk was available to hear this case as well as those [sic] of other defendants, can we read in the motion. The situation therefore made it impossible to proceed [sic]. »
Faced with this, the lawyer therefore filed an urgent request claiming that the detention of his client was illegal. Ironically, this type of case involving the Attorney General of Quebec must be heard urgently, and Me Boudreau was even able to plead it summarily.
The case was later adjourned to this week, but in the meantime the court has agreed to release the defendant on conditions.
This type of case is likely to occur more and more often due to the shortage of support staff, because employees leave to go to work in the federal, municipal and private sectors, where salaries are much better.
The carnage has continued in recent days, with the announcement of the departure of a special constable, two court ushers, a secretary and a team leader dealing with criminal complaints. and criminal.
And that, just in Montreal.
“The Treasury Board must recognize [the problem],” said Quebec Superior Court Chief Justice Jacques R. Fournier two weeks ago.