Civil actions arise from all facts of life. A disagreement with a neighbour, personal injury, residential tenancy (landlord and tenant) dispute, a breach of contract or being wrongfully dismissed by your employer are some examples. All civil actions refer to non-criminal law and deal with the private affairs of citizens. In Alberta, your civil matter can be heard in either the Provincial Court of Alberta or the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.
Provincial Court Civil, also known as “Small Claims Court,” allows people to resolve disputes in a simpler, less expensive, and quicker manner. Though we recommend that you consult with a lawyer prior to taking any action, it has become more and more common for people to be unrepresented by a lawyer in Provincial Court Civil. Just remember that the maximum amount that anyone may claim in Provincial Court Civil is $50,000. Any claims that cannot be heard in Provincial Court Civil or exceed the maximum amount of $50,000 must be heard in Queen’s Bench of Alberta.
A link to the Provincial Court Civil can be found here.
The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta is the superior trial court for the Province of Alberta, hearing trials in civil and criminal matters, as well as appeals from decisions of the Provincial Court. The majority of civil litigation files that are heard in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta are of when people have suffered injury and/or financial loss caused by negligence or any wrongful act, or under contract, business, property and other law. Whether you are self-represented or a lawyer, all parties must adhere to the Alberta Rules of Court. There is no limit to what an amount a person may claim. However, the process, majority of the time is both more expensive and more time-consuming.
A link to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Civil can be found here.
Before taking any action, do a const-benefit analysis, consider the amount of time you are willing to wait for a result, and most importantly, contact our office to book an appointment for a free one-hour consultation.