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Navigating Alberta’s Civil and Provincial Courts

The civil law system in Alberta, Canada, deals with disputes between private individuals and corporations. If a dispute arises, they can file a lawsuit in court seeking a legal remedy.

Civil litigation is a complex process that involves various steps that can be hard to navigate, especially if you do not have experience with the legal system. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview of Alberta Civil Laws and Procedures and the

Court of Queens Bench in Alberta, their jurisdiction, and how to file a claim and appeal a Provincial Court decision.

Types of Disputes Dealt with under Civil Law

Private individuals and corporations can file civil lawsuits to seek compensation for economic or non-economic harms caused by negligence, fraud, or other wrongful acts. Personal injury claims, wrongful dismissal, breach of contract, and defamation are some common types of disputes that are dealt with under civil law in Alberta.

If you have been involved in an accident that resulted in an injury, you may have a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims are filed to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other resulting costs.

Similarly, if you have been wrongfully dismissed from work, you can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for lost income and damages. In a breach of contract dispute, one party claims that the other party has not fulfilled their contractual obligations.

For instance, if you own a business and had contracted a company to provide a service, but they did not meet the terms of the agreement, you might file a breach of contract lawsuit.

The Civil Litigation Process in Alberta

Civil litigation in Alberta involves various steps, each of which must be taken seriously and followed diligently. The first step in the process is pleading, where both parties submit their statements of claim, and the defendant must respond to the allegations.

The next step is discovery, where both parties exchange relevant information and evidence related to the dispute. Once the discovery is concluded, the parties may try to resolve the dispute through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques like negotiation, mediation, or arbitration.

If the parties fail to resolve the dispute using ADR, the case proceeds to trial. The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit and must prove their case on a balance of probabilities.

If the plaintiff can show that it is more likely than not that they are entitled to the relief sought, the court will award a remedy. Some typical remedies include damages for economic loss, non-economic loss (e.g., pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life), and injunctions (court orders that require a party to take or refrain from taking certain actions).

Court of Queens Bench in Alberta


Court of Queens Bench in Alberta is the superior court of civil and criminal jurisdiction in the province that hears appeals from the Provincial Court and other administrative tribunals. The jurisdiction of the court includes personal injury claims, litigation involving wills and estates, commercial litigation, and appeals from the lower courts.

If you are involved in a civil lawsuit, the

Court of Queens Bench in Alberta can hear your case if the dispute involves a significant amount of money, is especially complex, or if the case has already been heard and decided by the Provincial Court.

Filing a Claim and Appealing Provincial Court Decisions

If you plan to file a claim in the

Court of Queens Bench in Alberta, you will need to fill out and submit a notice of claim. This document identifies the parties involved, outlines the cause of action, and specifies the relief being sought.

Once the notice of claim is filed, the defendant has a certain amount of time to file a statement of defence. If you are unhappy with a Provincial Court decision, you can file a notice of appeal and a transcript of the Provincial Court proceeding in the Court of Queens Bench.

The notice of appeal must identify the grounds for the appeal and the relief being sought. It is essential to understand that filing a lawsuit or an appeal is not always the best way to resolve a dispute.

Alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation or arbitration can save both time and money while reaching a satisfactory outcome. Furthermore, pursuing a remedy in court involves costs that can add up quickly, including legal fees and other expenses.


In conclusion, the civil law system and the

Court of Queens Bench in Alberta play a critical role in resolving disputes between private individuals and corporations. Whether you have a personal injury claim, breach of contract dispute, or another type of civil matter, understanding the civil litigation process and filing requirements is essential.


Court of Queens Bench in Alberta is a superior court with extensive jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters, and if you disagree with a Provincial Court decision, you can file an appeal. If you have a dispute, it is essential to seek legal advice to help you navigate the legal system and evaluate the options available to resolve the matter.

Types of Disputes Dealt with in Provincial Court

The Alberta Provincial Court is an alternative to the Court of Queen’s Bench that deals with disputes valued below $50,000. It is a cost-effective and efficient way of resolving disputes that do not require the extensive resources and time-consuming processes involved in higher court cases.

Small claims cases are the most common type of dispute heard in the Provincial Court. These disputes usually involve individuals or small businesses that are looking to recover money owed to them, damage to their property or assets, or compensation for injuries sustained in accidents.

Small claims cases have a limit of $50,000 and are designed to be simple and straightforward. In addition to small claims cases, Provincial Court also deals with family law matters, criminal cases, traffic violations, and various administrative tribunals.

However, the majority of cases in the Provincial Court system are small claims disputes.

Limitations and Proceedings in Provincial Court

There are a few limitations and procedural requirements to be aware of if you plan to file a claim in the Provincial Court. The first is that there is a two-year limit for filing a claim.

This means that you must file your claim within two years of the date when the incident or injury occurred, or when the money became owed to you. Once a claim is filed, the defendant has 20 days to respond by filing a statement of defense.

The statement of defense outlines the reasons why they dispute the claim and their version of events. If the defendant fails to file a statement of defense, the plaintiff is entitled to file for default judgment.

If the defendant files a statement of defense, the plaintiff can file a reply to the defense statement within 14 days. The reply to defense sets out the plaintiff’s position on the issues raised in the defense statement.

If the defendant has a counterclaim against the plaintiff, they may file it at the same time as the statement of defense, or within 14 days of filing the statement of defense. The counterclaim outlines the defendant’s claim against the plaintiff and the relief being sought.

A plaintiff who files a claim against a defendant may also need to file a Notice of Claim Against Co-defendant if there is more than one defendant in the case. The Notice of Claim Against Co-defendant must be served on all co-defendants, and the co-defendants must respond within the same time limit as the defendant.

Finally, if a claim is abandoned by the plaintiff, either voluntarily or through inaction, the defendant has the right to seek a dismissal of the claim. The plaintiff may also be required to pay the defendant’s legal fees and costs.


The Provincial Court system is an accessible and efficient way of resolving small claims disputes without the need for complex legal procedures and extensive resources. It provides an opportunity for individuals and small businesses to recover damages and seek compensation for injuries and wrongful acts.

Understanding the limitations and procedural requirements of Provincial Court is essential to navigate the system effectively. In this article, we have explored the Alberta Civil Laws and Procedures, the

Court of Queens Bench in Alberta, and the Alberta Provincial/Small Claims Court, their jurisdiction, and procedures.

Civil law allows for private individuals and corporations to resolve disputes through legal remedies such as suing for damages, while the Provincial Court is an alternate and cost-effective option for disputes valued below $50,000. It is essential to understand the limitations and procedural requirements for each court to navigate them effectively.

Seeking legal advice and exploring alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation and negotiation can save time and resources. Understanding the court options and procedures can help individuals and businesses to effectively address legal disputes.

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