Makes You Think

The case of Q. (P.) c. L. (A.), Quebec Superior Court, concerns a claim by a father for damages against his former wife and the mother of his children, based on the fact that she made unfounded allegations of improper sexual touching of their two young daughters against him. The catchlines in 52 C.C.L.T. (3d), 242, say in part, “… Mother’s vindictive behaviour and untimely fashion in which she launched infernal machine against father constituted civil faults for which she was liable”. I cannot find the phrase which was translated into “infernal ma-chine” in the reasons for judgment, though the trial judge does observe that “il n’y a pas de fumée sans feu”. It seems odd to characterize the criminal process as an “infernal machine”, however little the father deserved to have it aimed at him and however much the mother’s harassment put the father at risk of both criminal liability and social ostracism. In the event, the father got $10,000 for having had the infernal machine launched against him.

I am now developing this fascination with what I may find in the catchlines of the cases and, for that reason alone, would resist the move to an all-electronic world.


  1. Wouldn’t any mechanism operated by a group of the devil’s advocates and their acolytes qualify as an infernal machine?