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Civil Law/Private Law. CIVIL LAW – law that governs the relationship between individuals Civil law deals largely with private rights and obligations.

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Presentation on theme: "Civil Law/Private Law. CIVIL LAW – law that governs the relationship between individuals Civil law deals largely with private rights and obligations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Civil Law/Private Law

2 CIVIL LAW – law that governs the relationship between individuals Civil law deals largely with private rights and obligations. These include: Contractual rights Property rights Torts (civil wrongs)

3 Parties are called litigants (Litigation is the action) Plaintiff - party that initiated the legal action Defendant -litigant against whom the action is taken ie: Pereira v. Ward Onus is on the plaintiff to prove the case on a “ balance of probabilities ”-the weighing of evidence to decide whether it is the plaintiff’s or the defendant’s version of the events that is more convincing.

4 What are some causes of Civil Action? Torts Breaches of Contract Consumer problems Unpaid Debts Landlord/tenant disputes Property disputes Family matters: adoption, custody, divorce etc. Bankruptcy

5 Did you know that… Persons under the age of majority cannot sue or be sued in their own name. A minor who wishes to sue must be represented by an adult, known as a next friend. If an infant or a person “under a disability” is sued, the court will appoint a guardian or adult to act as the minor’s representative. This person is also known as a “guardian ad litem”.


7 What are the courts involved? 1. Small Claims Court Referred to as “The People’s Court” Simple and inexpensive Concerns money and property $10 000 or less Examples: Landlord and tenant conflicts, consumer complaints, consumer debts, recovery of property from another

8 Other Courts – Using the note define each: Provincial Supreme Court Court of Appeal Federal Court of Canada Supreme Court of Canada

9 Civil Law Part 2


11 GENERAL DAMAGES I Pecuniary – monetary compensation for losses that can be calculated based on how much money the plaintiff lost. Example: car accident victim that confines the victim to a wheelchair for life. You can sue for damages to replace the car and also loss of future earnings. Q: How would age play a factor in complicating this matter?

12 GENERAL DAMAGES II Non-pecuniary – terrible personal loss which does not involve an actual loss of money and is difficult to quantify. Example: pain and suffering, loss of a loved one, mental anguish, aggravated damages (humiliation or distress) CAN A PRICE BE PUT ON THESE? Judges will usually make the monetary compensation based on rule of precedent. However, there is a maximum of $280 000 (recently increased from $100 000 due to inflation) WHAT DO YOU THINK?

13 SPECIAL DAMAGES -compensation for out of pocket expenses Example: medication, therapy, ambulance services, medical expenses, lost income (fixed period of time), car repairs

14 PUNITIVE DAMAGES – punish the defendant for reprehensible /malicious conduct Example: false imprisonment or arrest, assault, battery, libel and slander

15 NOMINAL -minimal compensation to acknowledge a moral victory Example: someone was using your land and you wanted them to stay off, you may be awarded $1 for you suffered no loss but merely wanted to assert your rights

16 SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE -court order compelling someone to fulfill the terms of a contract Example: buy a puppy from a breeder but the breeder changes her mind and gives you your deposit back. You don’t want the deposit, you want the puppy!

17 INJUNCTIONS a court order requiring someone to do or not do something Mandatory injunction – to do Prohibitory injunction – forbid to do *These may be permanent or temporary Example: apply dangerous chemicals, copyright trademarks, force striking workers to return to work

18 ENFORCING A JUDGEMENT You are on your own. The court doesn’t cut a cheque. But….if the defendant doesn’t pay you can take the following steps:

19 ENFORCING A JUDGEMENT Examination of a Judgment Debtor – being questioned under oath to find out about the debtor’s assets Garnishment – courts can order a % of wages, bank accounts be deducted to pay to plaintiff Execution or Seizure – sheriff seizes assets of debtor and sells them

20 Alternative Sources of Compensation I Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance – money from the insurer of the defendant’s vehicle (only in motor vehicle accidents) Problem: not everyone has liability insurance II No Fault Insurance – provides immediate funds without evidence of fault III Worker’s Compensation – provincial Workers Compensation Fund IV Criminal Injuries Compensation – criminal injuries compensation boards have been created to compensate innocent victims when the assailant doesn’t have any assets or insurance.

21 How does the Trial Work? In a trial by jury the judge instructs the jury on the law applicable to the facts of the case. The jury must consider this as well as other considerations: Who was at fault? Is that person totally at fault? (%) How should damages be determined? How much should they be?

22 Class action suit – a lawsuit initiated by a group of people over a complaint common to all. Examples? Page 369-370 Google Class Action

23 Benefits Avoid the necessity for many similar lawsuits Similar claims are treated similarly Eliminated barriers like economic barriers that prevent people from pursuing legal action

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