The Supreme Court of Canada will rule today on the case of a woman who was arrested in 2009 for refusing to hold an escalator handrail in a Metro station in Laval, Que.
Bela Kosoian was at the Montmorency Metro station when a police officer told her to respect a pictogram with the instruction, “Hold the handrail.”
The situation grew tense when she refused to comply and declined to identify herself when asked.
She was arrested, detained for 30 minutes and finally let go with two tickets: one for $100 for disobeying a pictogram, and a $320 fine for obstructing the work of an inspector.
She was acquitted of the two infractions in Montreal municipal court in 2012 and subsequently filed a $45,000 lawsuit against Montreal’s transit authority, the City of Laval and one of the officers, Fabio Camacho.
Her suit was rejected by Quebec court in 2015 and by the Quebec Court of Appeal in 2017, which said Kosoian was the “author of her own misfortune.”
She took her case to the country’s highest court, which said last year it would hear her case.