Can I have my civil trial in French?

These French language rights are available in all court proceedings, including your civil hearing or trial:

  • you’re allowed to file your court documents in French
  • you have the right to ask the court to translate the Reasons for Judgement or any other document filed with the court into either French or English, at no cost to you

If you live in Ontario and speak French, you have the right to have your civil proceedings in French. Civil proceedings can include wills and estates cases, and Small Claims Court cases.

In a civil proceeding, you also have the right to a bilingual jury in these areas in Ontario:

  • the counties of Essex, Middlesex, Prescott and Russell, Renfrew, Simcoe and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
  • the County of Welland as it existed on December 31, 1969
  • the territorial districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Nipissing, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timiskaming
  • the Municipality of Chatham Kent
  • the City of Hamilton, Ottawa, Greater Sudbury, or Toronto
  • the Regional Municipality of Peel

The law doesn’t use the words “French proceeding” or “French trial”. Instead, proceedings are referred to as bilingual proceedings.

You have the right to bilingual proceedings in all hearings in your civil law case, like motions, pre-trials, and conferences.

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