Strip searches following a release order
It is said that no-one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.
A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
This class action suit against the Government of Quebec alleged the illegality of strip searches performed in detention facilities in the province of Quebec on individuals who had been released by order of the Court. These searches were unnecessary, abusive and in flagrant violation of the class members’ rights to integrity and dignity. Although the alleged practice ceased after the class action was filed, thousands of individuals were illegally subjected to such a search and suffered injury as a result.
A settlement agreement was reached between the parties and approved by the Superior Court on April 19, 2021. According to this agreement, the Government of Quebec will pay the total sum of $4,144,950 to compensate the members of the group and cover all expenses associated with the action.
The group is composed of all persons who were strip-searched:
1) between July 13, 2006 and July 1, 2011;
2) at one of the following facilities: Bordeaux, Rivière-des-Prairies, Roberval, Saint-Jérôme or Québec (male sector);
3) following a court order that they were to be released, and
4) all conditions for their release had been duly completed at the time of the strip search.
Pursuant to the agreement, class members will be eligible to receive up to $1,000 per illegal strip search they were victim of during the period covered by the class action, up to a maximum of $10,000. Only one search per day is eligible.
Not covered by the class action:
– Strip searches that did not occur following a release order
– Strip searches that were conducted by police forces
– Strip searches conducted in a detention facility when the conditions of release had not yet been met.
Claimants had until January 16, 2022 to submit their claim form. This file is now completed.