Civil

Student Legal Assistance is able to offer assistance in the following civil matters:

  • Small Claims ($25,000 limit)
  • Consumer Contracts
  • Bailment/Personal Property
  • Debt/Collection Agencies
  • Motor Vehicle Damage
  • Wrongful or Dismissal
  • Return of Personal Property
  • Sale of Goods/Consumer Law
  • Automobile Transactions
  • Vehicle Insurance

SLA is unable to assist in the following matters:

  • Matters requiring appearances in the Court of Queen’s Bench;
  • Personal injury claims;
  • drafting commercial contracts;
  • matters involving the sale of interest in land.

What Might Happen?

Civil proceedings are each subject to their own unique circumstances, but are almost always lengthy. For a quick overview a civil proceeding see: small claims process.

Frequent Questions:

Here are common questions you might encounter when involved in a civil proceeding:

  1. What should I consider before beginning a civil claim? Click here for details about alternatives to suing, whether you are eligible to sue, and limitations on what you can sue for.
  2. Is there a time limit to give the Court (file) my claim? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding limitation periods.
  3. Is it worth filing a claim?  Click here for details from Alberta Courts regarding the costs and realities of a civil court action.
  4. How much does it cost to file a claim? Claims up to $7,500 cost $100, while claims over $7,500 cost $200.
  5. Who should I sue? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts about identifying individuals and businesses in a claim.
  6. What forms do I need to file?  Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding the necessary forms that need to be filed to initiate a claim.
  7. How do I “serve and file” a claim? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding methods of service and the affidavit of service that must be filed.
  8. Somebody is suing me, what choices do I have? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding settlement and dispute alternatives.
  9. I have a hearing coming up, how do I prepare? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding the preparation of your evidence.
  10. I want to have witnesses at my trial, what do I do? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding serving and paying witnesses.
  11. I want to delay my civil matter, what happens if I “adjourn”? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts on how to adjourn your matter and the potential implications of an adjournment.
  12. I’m in the Courtroom, now what? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding speaking in court, examination and cross-examination.
  13. Can I get a judgment without a hearing (Default Judgment)? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding how and when to apply for default judgment.
  14. How do I obtain and enforce my certificate of judgment?  Click here for details from the Alberta Courts on how to obtain your certificate of judgment and how to enforce a judgement.
  15. The judgment came in and I have to pay, how do I pay? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts regarding your payment options.
  16. The Court ruled against me and I want to argue my claim again (appeal), what do I do? Click here for details from the Alberta Courts on how to appeal a court decision.

Civil Terminology to get Familiar with:

Applicant: The person who filed the claim.

Burden of Proof: In a civil proceeding it is the Applicant who must prove their claim. this burden may shift in certain circumstances.

Defendant: The person who is being sued.

Default Judgment: This is where a judgment is obtained against a defendant without a hearing. This type of judgement is only possible in certain cases under strict procedures.

Mediation: An informal method to resolve the dispute where the parties attempt to reach an agreement with the assistance of a mediator. Both parties are given an equal opportunity to describe and discuss the sources of conflict where the mediator acts as a neutral party who helps the parties to reach a mutually acceptable solution. If the matter cannot be resolved at a mediation session it will then be set for a hearing before a judge and both parties will be notified in writing of the date and time of the hearing.

Pre-Trial Conference: An informal hearing between the parties and a judge, at which time each party will be given an opportunity to set out their position and attempt to reach a resolution. If no resolution can be reached the judge will direct the matter proceed to trial and may issue such pre-trial orders, as may be necessary.

Standard of Proof: In a civil proceeding a judge must find the defendant guilty on a “balance of probabilities”.