Claim or complaint: What's the difference?

Last updated August 17, 2021

Were you wronged or harmed and want to know your rights and recourses? In Montréal, you can file a complaint or a claim, depending on the situation.


The procedure depends on the situation you want to report. 

You must provide your contact information and the address of the owner or establishment you want to report. If you do not have this information, you will need to provide the specific time and place of your observations.

Montréal municipal staff

  • Call 311 to make a complaint about a city staff member’s behaviour. 
  • If your complaint involves a Montréal police officer or civilian staff member, please see the applicable procedure.


Unlike complaints, claims, if accepted, may provide you with financial compensation. If the claim involves material goods, the value will be based on their condition at the time of damage. 

A claim must contain three elements in order for the city to be held responsible:

  • Damage
  • Fault
  • A direct link between the fault and the damage

Who can file a claim?

Physical and moral persons can make a claim, whether or not they live in Montréal. Physical persons are individuals, while moral persons are companies or non-profit organizations.

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