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Inventory of Reforms

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Provincial Court of Alberta, Civil (Small Claims Court)

Year:
1971

Description:
Small claims court with a monetary jurisdiction of $25 000, employing pre-trial settlement conferences and mandatory mediation.

Status:
Permanent implementation

Jurisdiction:
Alberta

Timeline:
1971: Modern Provincial Court established
2002: Most recent increase of monetary jurisdiction, to $25 000

Publications:
Provincial Court Act, External Link R.S.A. 2000, c. P-31.
Sandra L. Hunt MacDonald, “Civil court practice in Alberta = La pratique dans les tribunaux civils de l’Alberta”, Into the Future: The Agenda for Civil Justice Reform / Vers le futur: ordre du jour de la réforme de la justice civile, Montréal, QC, 2006
Alberta Courts, Provincial Court – Civil (Small Claims Court)External Link (webpage) (Alberta Courts, 2010).

Description of Reforms:
The Provincial Court of Alberta is a statutorily enacted Court intended to be an expeditious and inexpensive forum to access civil justice. Although the Court must apply established legal principles, it is not bound by the laws of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings and may admit any oral or written evidence that it, in its discretion, considers proper, whether admissible in other judicial proceedings or not, subject to claims of privilege under the law of evidence or any other evidence which is inadmissible by any other act. Accordingly, the procedural issues put before it are often determined according to principles of fairness or equity and not necessarily according to the strict rules of evidence as used in other courts. Litigants may be unrepresented, represented by agents, or by lawyers.

There are no formal Rules of Court governing the Court’s procedure. The Act sets out most of the procedural requirements. Where the Act on regulations do not provide for specific practice or procedure, the Court may apply or modify the Alberta Rules of Court (Queen’s Bench Rules) as needed. …]
Hunt McDonald at 1.

  • Cases in the Court are heard by provincially appointed judges.
  • The monetary jurisdiction is $25 000.
  • Pre-trial conferences may be used to encourage parties to settle, or identify key issues if settlement is not achieved.
  • Cases may be referred to mandatory mediation sessions.

Revision History:
This summary was last reviewed in Oct 10, 2013