How can I sue someone?
You may file a Civil Claim at the Alberta Provincial Court if the claim amount is under $50,000.00 for most matters. If you are claiming a larger amount, or if the subject matter requires it, you will have to file a Statement of Claim at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.
What is a Statement of Claim?
A Statement of Claim is a legal document (set out in the form stipulated in the Alberta Rules of Court) explaining your case and remedy sought. It must be filed with the court and served on the affected parties.
I received a Statement of Claim. What do I do?
If the action was commenced and served in Alberta, you have 20 days to file a Statement of Defence. You need to collect all the documentation you have that is related to the case and prepare and serve a Statement of Defence.
What is a Statement of Defence?
A Statement of Defence is a legal document that expressly answers the Statement of Claim in the same court action. It gives you the opportunity to respond to the allegations made against you.
What is a Counterclaim?
Sometimes, a defendant will file both a Statement of Defence and a Counterclaim in response to a Statement of Claim. This is often the case in contract disputes: the plaintiff will allege a breach of contract and sue for damages while the defendant alleges that the plaintiff breached the contract and sues for their own damages in counterclaim. It’s easy to see how court actions can get complicated – that’s why seeking professional legal advice is advisable.
What is Service?
Once a claim or application is commenced, it must be communicated to the affected parties so that they have the opportunity to respond. This is done through “service”. The Alberta Rules of Court dictate how much time you have to serve a particular court document.
What can I sue for?
The categories of what you can sue for is constantly evolving. If you have suffered a loss due to the actions of a specific party, you may have legal recourse. You can sue for things ranging from breach of trust or misrepresentation all the way to fraud and defamation. It is important to seek professional legal advice to ensure you have a legally recognized claim and commence your action in accordance with the Alberta Rules of Court.
Are oral contracts enforceable?
The short answer is yes. If there was an offer, acceptance and consideration you have a valid contract. Handshake deals are more common than you think. The problem is proving what the terms of the agreement are if a dispute should arise. This gets especially tricky in court where the rules of evidence apply. This complexity is why seeking professional legal advice and having a written and signed contract is always a good idea.
How long does it take to bring a claim to court?
The length of time it takes to get your day in court widely varies based on the type of action and a host of other factors. Sometimes, you may be able to get a decision on your action in a matter of months. However, if your matter requires a trial, it will likely take years.
What are pleadings?
Pleadings are the formal documents that set out the positions of the parties to an action and include a Statement of Claim, Statement of Defence, Counterclaim and Replies to these documents.
How can I enforce judgments?
All judgments are enforced in accordance with the Civil Enforcement Act (Alberta). Judgments from both the Provincial Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench are enforceable through the Court of Queen’s Bench. If you receive a court judgment that entitles you to money, you first file the judgment at the Court of Queen’s Bench. You then register a writ of enforcement, which entitles you to enforce the judgment. Once this is done, you can take collection steps.
What is garnishment?
Garnishment is the legal process for collecting money from a person who owes a financial obligation to a debtor. One common form of garnishment is wage garnishment, where a deduction is taken from the debtor’s paycheck.
How can I stop a garnishment?
Here are some ways you can stop garnishment:
- File a consumer proposal
- File for personal bankruptcy
- File for an Orderly Payment of Debts
- Negotiate repayment terms with your creditor and have them agree to remove the garnishee
- Obtain a loan to pay off the debt in full
What is mediation?
Mediation is an attempt to resolve a matter outside of the court process prior to trial. A neutral third party works with the parties to resolve the dispute. Generally, both parties will have to compromise their position in order to reach a resolution.