The citizen’s car had been seized by the SPVM, at the request of theBureau du taxi et du remorquage: he was suspected of offering paid transportation services without holding a taxi driver’s license, in breach of An Act respecting transportation service by taxi (the “Act”). His vehicle was stored in a private pound, for the SPVM.

Approximately one month later, the citizen received a notice from the private pound informing him that if he failed to recover his vehicle, within the following ten (10) days, it would be put up for sale. When the citizen tried to recover his vehicle, however, he was asked to produce a SPVM authorization to that effect, which he was unable to obtain. The citizen then submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman de Montréal to prevent the sale of his car.

Our investigation showed that, under the Act, the pound could not dispose of the vehicle and the SPVM could not authorize the pound to give it back to the citizen. The Act is clear: only a Court of law can authorize such disposal or handing over, to its owner.

In light of the above, the Ombudsman de Montréal quickly issued a Recommendation to the SPVM and to the concerned private pound asking them to:

  • Suspend immediately any proceedings for the disposal of the vehicle; and
  • Ensure that the vehicle would not be sold or otherwise disposed of, except with the specific authorization of the court.

The private pound acknowledged its mistake and immediately corrected the situation. As for the SPVM, it confirmed that appropriate measures had been taken to prevent this sale and to ensure the respect of the Act.

Our intervention prevented the illegal sale of this citizen’s vehicle.

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