jeudi 4 juillet 2013

Saisi d'un recours en oppression en vertu de l'article 241 LCSA, la détermination de la compétence des tribunaux québécois est régie par l'article 3148 C.c.Q.

par Karim Renno
Irving Mitchell Kalichman s.e.n.c.r.l.

Quels sont les critères en vertu desquels la juridiction internationale des tribunaux québécois sera tranchée dans le cadre d'un recours en oppression? C'est la question que devait trancher l'Honorable juge Thomas M. Davis dans la récente affaire de GTI V, s.e.c. c. Diablo Technologies inc. (2013 QCCS 2987).



Dans cette affaire, les Demanderesses intentent un recours en oppression contre la Défenderesse par lequel elles recherchent le rachat de leurs actions et des dommages. La Défenderesse, alléguant que son siège est en Ontario depuis 2011, conteste la juridiction des tribunaux québécois et fait valoir que l'action devrait être tranchée par les tribunaux ontariens.

Selon le juge Davis, puisque le recours en oppression institué en vertu de l'article 241 LCSA est une action personnelle à caractère patrimoniale, c'est en vertu de l'article 3148 C.c.Q. que doit être décidé la question de juridiction:
[22]  The next step is to determine the nature of the action instituted under section 241 of the CBCA. As acknowledged by this court in the matter of Cormier v. Delastek Systèmes inc. the action is a personal one. The jurisdiction of the courts of Quebec is determined by article 3148 of the Civil Code of Procedure. 
[23]        Given that the defendant has no domicile in Quebec, one must look at the third paragraph, which reads as follows:  
(3) a fault was committed in Québec, damage was suffered in Québec, an injurious act occurred in Québec or one of the obligations arising from a contract was to be performed in Québec; 
[24]        While Diablo may be correct that no fault was committed in Quebec, it is evident that if GTV I suffered damages resulting from the oppressive conduct of Diablo, the damages have been suffered here. 
[25]        The situation of GTI V is quite different from the debtors in the cases of Richelieu Projects Inc. v. Western Rail Inc. and Quebecor Printing Memphis Inc. v. Regenair Inc. In both of those cases the obligation of the creditor was a material one, the delivery of vehicles in one case and of machinery in the other, to destinations outside of Quebec. The obligation of Diablo towards GTI V is to honour its obligations to the latter as its shareholder, obligations which flow from a statute of national application. Those obligations are owed to GTI V in its domicile, Quebec.  
[26]        The analysis of the Supreme Court of Canada in the matter of Spar Aerospace Ltd. v. American Mobile Satellite is pertinent in this context. In its judgment the Court analysed the article 3148 (3) C.C.P. The following passage is particularly relevant: 
Under the civil law of Quebec, legal persons have a patrimony; although a corporation may have several places of business, it can have but one patrimony.  While no clear rule exists in Quebec for the localization of damage, or for the localization of the corporate patrimony, one approach suggests the localization of economic loss with the respondent’s patrimony and the localization of damage to reputation at the place of the respondent’s domicile.
[27]        The Supreme Court then goes on to state that: “In the case at bar, I agree with the motions judge that the respondent made a prima facie case that it suffered damage in Quebec.” 
[28]        In the present matter the Court must apply the same criteria. The patrimony of GTI V is located in Quebec and such damages as it has suffered have been suffered here.
Le texte intégral du jugement est disponible ici: http://bit.ly/1bgPJ8j

Référence neutre: [2013] ABD 265

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