Court of Appeal of Quebec

R. c. Lafortune

January 11, 2018

500-10-006226-169

Bich, Savard, Mainville

Motion to dismiss the respondent’s appeal based on the lateness of the notice of appeal. Dismissed.

Motion to dismiss the respondent’s appeal based on the absence of questions of law. Motion referred to a panel of the Court. Application by the Crown to extend the time to appeal. Allowed.

Following a motion by the respondent, the Court directed a verdict of acquittal on two counts and withdrew them from the jury. The Crown appealed as of right from these two verdicts. The respondent brought two separate motions seeking to have this appeal dismissed. In contesting these motions, the Crown asked in the alternative to extend the time to appeal. According to Beaulieu c. R. (C.A., 2014-12-08), 2014 QCCA 2311, SOQUIJ AZ-51135147, 2015EXP-129, each count is separate from the others and leads to a final judgment. The fact that the jury remains [translation] “seized of the facts of the case” does not modify the finality of the judgment. Thus, the starting point for the deadline to appeal begins on the date that the Court entered the directed verdicts of acquittal, not the date on which a judgment was rendered on all the counts. Therefore, in accordance with s. 678(1) of the Criminal Code (R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46) and s. 21 of the Rules of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Criminal Matters, SI/2006-142 dated 13-12-2006 (2006) 140 Can. Gaz. II 2113, the Ministère’s notice of appeal is late because it does not respect the 30-day deadline. That being said, it is always possible to form an appeal in due time by seeking a suspension of the file until the jury renders a verdict on the remaining counts or by seeking an extension of the time to appeal. Moreover, even though the Ministère de la Justice should have diligently brought the application to extend the time to appeal once informed of the respondent’s position that the appeal was late, the application meets the test established in Lamontagne c. R. (C.A., 1994-12-02), SOQUIJ AZ-95011048, J.E. 95-28 and R. v. Roberge (S.C. Can., 2005-08-18), 2005 SCC 48, SOQUIJ AZ-50359465, J.E. 2006-618, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 469. At first glance, the notice of appeal raises questions of law. This application should be referred to the panel that will hear the merits of the appeal to analyze the alleged absence on this issue.

*Summary by SOQUIJ
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