A citizen complained that several years after proceedings, his “criminal case file” remained publicly accessible, through the records of the Cour municipale de Montréal, even though acquitted of the charges brought against him.

Supported by an administrative directive in effect for provincial court records since 1998, this citizen requested Cour municipale de Montréal to bar public access to his case file, but his request was refused. He then asked the Ombudsman de Montréal to intervene.

The citizen contended that the fact that people could even find out that he had been accused of a criminal act was sufficient to cause serious harm to his reputation and impair his efforts to find employment.

Due to the intervention of the Ombudsman de Montréal, Cour municipale de Montréal agreed to remove the file of the citizen concerned from criminal court records.

The Ombudsman de Montréal pursued his petition to Cour municipale de Montréal and Recommended that, in all cases already covered by directive D-21, all the files of citizens acquitted or otherwise freed of criminal charges brought against them cease to be accessible to the general public, and this, automatically, upon expiration of certain predetermined reasonable delays.

The Cour municipale de Montréal accepted this Recommendation, in part, and committed to implement a procedure for the removal of files “upon request”, that came into effect in 2005.

The significant number of requests submitted and accepted, from year to year, confirms the importance of this measure. On December 31st, 2012, 3498 citizens had benefited from this restriction of access.

We apologize but this Website is available in French only.