Court of Appeal of Quebec

Time limits suspended

Time limits in civil matters

In the wake of the Government’s order in council 177-2020 dated March 13, 2020 declaring a state of health emergency, the Chief Justice of Quebec and the Minister of Justice, acting under art. 27 C.C.P., jointly adopted order no. 2020-4251 on March 15, 2020.  The order, which takes effect immediately, suspends time limits pertaining to extinctive prescription and forfeiture in civil matters as well as civil procedure time limits, the whole for the entire duration of the health emergency. The order also sets out certain conditions for serving pleadings in civil matters on the Attorney General of Quebec.

Consequently, throughout the period covered by order 2020-4251, the following, for example, are suspended: the deadline for filing notices of appeal or applications for leave to appeal as well as the time limits for filing briefs, memoranda and books of authorities in civil matters. 

For urgent matters, such as confinement in an institution, child abductions, proceedings in habeas corpus, orders for treatment and other similar matters, parties are asked to contact the office of the Court of Appeal by fax or email in order to ensure that such files will continue to progress notwithstanding the suspension of civil procedure time limits. 

Time limits in criminal matters

For the time being, time limits in criminal matters have not been suspended.  Therefore, notices of appeal and applications for leave to appeal must be filed within the usual time limits, subject to such extensions as may be requested in accordance with the ordinary rules. In other respects, if parties believe they will not be able to meet the deadline for the filing of briefs or the documents that stand in lieu of the brief (appeal from a sentence), they are asked to send a letter by fax or an email (see the email addresses of the offices of the Court of Appeal below) in order to request an extension.  Given the exceptional circumstances, the Court of Appeal will adjust time limits accordingly.

·      Office of the Court in Quebec City:  Fax: 418-646-6961 or

·      Office of the Court in Montreal: Fax: 514-864-7270 or

To read order in council 177-2020 or joint order 2020-4251, click on the following link: 

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