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Alberta Streamlined Procedure (Part 48)

Year: 
1998
Description: 

Alberta Queen's Bench Rules of Court mandating streamlined procedure for civil actions of up to $75 000.

Status: 

Permanent implementation

Jurisdiction: 

Alberta

Court: 

Court of Queen's Bench

Body Responsible: 

Rules of Court Committee

Timeline: 
1998 Rules implemented
2003 Alberta Law Reform Institute review
Purpose: 

The Streamlined Procedure rules address the lack of proportionality between the amount being sued for and the cost of litigation. In many cases it is not economical to litigate for amounts less than $50 000 using the regular track.

Description of Reforms: 

The Streamlined Procedure rules set forth in Part 48 are mandatory for civil actions up to $75 000. They can also be ordered by the court or agreed upon by both parties. Other rules continue to apply but only to the extent consistent with this procedure.

  • Parties can apply for a pre-trial conference after examinations for discovery. Timelines for submissions can be set by the court as well. [665]
  • Any party can apply for case management. [668]
  • Disclosure of connected witnesses is mandatory. [661(4)]
  • Examination for discovery of a party is limited to 6 hours. [662(1)]
  • Examinations can be done through writing. Written interrogatories are limited to 1000 words. [662(5)]
  • Appeals are allowed only from a final judgement or order. [671]
  • Each party must file and serve affidavit of documents within 30 days of close of pleadings. [661(1)]
  • Generally, no motions may be made without leave of the Court if banned by a case management judge or master. [669]
  • Costs are imposed for "unnecessary or ill-founded motions" and for failing to comply with deadlines.
Results: 

In March 2003, the Alberta Law Reform Institute released a report analyzing the effectiveness of Streamlined Procedure. It collected responses and sent out proposals for the reform of streamlined procedure or the introduction of a simple track, or both. Some of the criticisms of Streamlined Procedure included:

 

  • Streamlined Procedure should not come in only based on dollar amounts but rather the complexity or simplicity of the case.
  • After the Affidavits of Records stage, the procedure slows down significantly and becomes no different than the regular track.
  • Lack of awareness of the availability of streamlined procedure by lawyers and clients, as well as a concern among lawyers that the limitations would mean the submission of a less than complete case for final disposition.

As a result of this study, the Alberta Law Reform Institute concluded in its 2004-2005 Annual Report that if different tracks for different types of cases are implemented, then streamlined procedure should be eliminated.

Revision History:
This summary was last reviewed in Oct 24, 2013:custom:F, Oct 24, 2013:custom:Y.