Quebec City, March 28, 2020 – Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec Sonia LeBel announced two temporary measures allowing notaries to close notarial acts remotely and bailiffs to serve pleadings other than by hand.
These measures are effective until the end of the current public health emergency. They are part of the Québec government’s ongoing efforts to safeguard the rights of citizens while limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Closing notarial acts remotely
Notarial acts may be closed remotely provided that:
- the notary can see and hear each party;
- all parties and intervenors can see and hear the notary;
- where the context requires, witnesses can see and hear the parties and the notary;
- the signatories and the notary can see the act or the part of it that concerns them;
- the signatories other than the notary affix their signature by a technological means that enables their identification and the acknowledgement of their consent; and
- the notary affixes his or her official digital signature.
The notary must ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the documents shared and of the processes leading to the signature of the act. He or she must also maintain the integrity of the act throughout its life cycle, including to ensure its preservation.
Serving pleadings by technological means
Bailiffs may serve pleadings by a technological means, such as email or fax, rather than by hand as is normally required.
Citizens representing themselves may not unreasonably refuse to receive the notification of a document by a technological means. If a person does not have a technological means at his or her disposal to receive a document, the other usual methods of notification must be used.
Lawyers will continue to receive notifications by technological means as is already the case.
“The measures I am announcing today will help to significantly reduce physical contact between individuals, while ensuring that notarial acts are authentic and that the courts continue to function effectively. I commend the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the Chambre des huissiers de justice du Québec on their collaboration in finding innovative solutions to uphold the rights of all citizens in the current context.”
Sonia LeBel, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec
To learn more about the measures taken by the Ministère de la Justice with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.justice.gouv.qc.ca/en/coronavirus.
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|Richard La Charité |
Secretary and Director
Commission des services juridiques
514 873-3562, ext. 232