Because the Court concluded “that there were no common issues specific to all members of the group”, the demand for collective action filed by Samuel Cozak against the Establishment of detention of Québec (EDQ) has been rejected.
“If the Tribunal had to examine the conditions for accommodation of detainees who were lying on the ground, those who would declare it under-powered (…) those who have beard hairs in their soup, those who would have had a hot hot summer day (…) it would be so much trial custom as there are individuals,” emphasized the judge Clément Samson, stating that he was not “the intent of a collective action.”
It is in February 2019 Samuel Cozak, held preventively for more than two years, then released after a stay of proceedings under the judgment in Jordan, has filed the class action claim for individuals incarcerated in the Quebec prison since 2015.
Camping and other procedures
The seating for meals and the air conditioning of spaces reserved for prisoners, their under-nutrition, safety and food hygiene, strip searches, access to health care, outdoor activities, segregation, retaliation, physical and moral agents, were all grievances that were referred to by the application for authorization to institute a class action.
The 29-year old man also highlighted the campsite is to the EDQ (a practice which is putting a mattress directly on the floor to sleeping inmates and defendants), as a way to “completely inhuman.”
It pointed out, moreover, that the mattresses used were “inadequate and unhealthy”, that there were “traces of mould” and “that a single mattress could be used for more than a dozen people a week”.
“A photograph submitted by the applicant demonstrates that a mattress ( and not his) is stained. The Court does not believe that, based on this simple fact, it is justified to authorize a collective action for all those who would have slept on the floor on a mattress stained. Between a mattress stained, the cruel and unusual, and inhuman treatment, there is a gap,” recalled the judge.
The judge Samson was also noted that the applicant had challenged “all the aspects of prison life” while he was “not able to allege specific facts concerning”.
“The Court is of the opinion that what he wants is the equivalent of a commission of inquiry, in order to be able to query all of the correctional officers and the administration of the centre. His behaviour is more of revenge,” he noted.
After watching a video on which we saw Samuel Cozak be restrained after he assaulted an agent of incarceration, the president of the Tribunal has also pointed out the behavior of “belligerent” of the applicant, who, he concluded, “has not the qualities to represent nearly a thousand people”.