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    François Bergeron v. Attorney General of Québec

    Illegal strip search in Rivière-des-Prairies and Bordeaux

    This class action seeks indemnity for every person who has had to undergo a strip search when entering the provincial correctional Rivière-des-Prairies and Bordeaux for the purpose of a first visioappearance and who has been released after visioappearance.

    The proceeding alleges that these strip searches are illegal, abusive and practised in violation of the rights to integrity and dignity of members of the group. This class action seeks to obtain compensation for the prejudice suffered by the members and punitive damages for the intentional breach of their fundamental rights.

    Latest news

    An agreement has been reached at a settlement conference chaired by Justice Carol Cohen. The settlement agreement provides that the Attorney General of Quebec will pay $7,650,000 to cover the compensation of members, legal fees, administrative fees, and the fees of the representative’s lawyers.

    Depending on the number of claimants, each person could receive up to $2,000 per eligible strip search.

    The settlement agreement will be presented to the Quebec Superior Court on January 27, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. Justice Catherine Piché will have to determine whether the agreement is reasonable and in the best interests of class member.

    If you are a class member, you have the right to object to the approval of the agreement or to the approval of the lawyers’ fees. To do so, you must submit an objection by email, fax or mail to the representative’s counsel no later than January 20, 2023. The objection must contain the following information:

    – your name

    – the detention facility where you were strip searched before the video-appearance and the approximate date

    – your reasons for contesting

    The representative’s lawyers will file any written objection received to the Superior Court. You may also be able to explain to Justice Catherine Piché your reasons for objecting to the settlement agreement at the January 27, 2023 hearing.

    If the settlement agreement is approved, further notices will be issued to inform class members of the procedure to follow to claim their compensation.


    Are you a member?

    The class members are defined as follows:

    All persons who were:

    – brought for the purpose of a first video-appearance to Rivière-des-Prairies or Montréal (Bordeaux) detention centre, and

    – between October 11, 2016 and March 20, 2020, and

    – strip searched at the detention centre before the video-appearance and

    – released by the Court, following the video-appearance, with or without conditions.

    If you think you are a class member and want to receive information on the file, you can sign up to our mailing list by signing the form below. We will send the procedure to claim by email.

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