This guide focuses on Alberta practice (including forms, precedents and limitations) and also refers to some resources from other Canadian jurisdictions.
- Alberta rules of court annotated by Allan A. Fradsham Table of Contents
- Canadian Civil Procedure Law by Linda Abrams & Kevin McGuinness Table of Contents
- Civil Appeals : principle and procedure by James Leabeater et al. Table of Contents
- Civil Litigation: a Practical Handbook, 5th ed by David Stockwood Table of Contents
- Class Actions Law and Practice, 2nd ed by Michael A. Eizenga et al. Table of Contents
- De Smith’s Judicial Review, 8th ed by The Rt Hon The Lord Woolf et al. Table of Contents
- Judicial Review of Administrative Action in Canada by Donald J.M. Brown & John M. Evans Table of Contents
- Procedural strategies for Litigators, 3rd ed by James Morton Table of Contents
- Principles of Administrative Law, 3rd ed by David Jones & Anne de Villars Table of Contents
Forms and Precedents
- Alberta civil practice manual by Legal Education Society of Alberta Table of Contents
- Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Canadian Precedents of Pleadings, 3rd ed by Blair et al. Table of Contents
- Civil Enforcement Procedure Manual by Alberta Court Services
When you visit one of our libraries, you have access to comprehensive caselaw databases:
Alberta Court Judgments
A collection of the judgments of the Alberta Courts is available from CanLII. The official version of the reasons for judgment is the signed original or handwritten endorsement in the court file. If there is a question about the content of a judgment, the original court file takes precedence.
- CanLII – Provincial Court judgments
- CanLII – Court of Queen’s Bench judgments
- CanLII – Court of Appeal judgments
Canadian Legal Information Institute (CANLII) provides free searchable full-text access to Canadian case law. The scope of coverage varies by jurisdiction and court.
Boolean operators, proximity connectors, phrases and date restrictions can be incorporated into your query. Using CanLII’s search interface, you can select one or more jurisdictions to be searched, limit your search to appellate decisions, and restrict your search by type of tribunal.
You can also use CanLII to retrieve cases by citation or name.
- Exchequer Court Act, RSC 1970, c E-11
- Federal Courts Act, RSC 1985, c F-7
- Federal Courts Rules, SOR/98-106
- Supreme Court Act, RSC 1985, c S-26
- Rules of Supreme Court of Canada, SOR/2002-156
- Tax Court of Canada Act, RSC 1985, c T-2
- Tax Court of Canada Rules (General Procedure), SOR/90-688a
- Tax Court of Canada Rules (Informal Procedure), SOR/90-688b
Federal Acts and Regulations can be found electronically at:
An affidavit is a sworn statement or solemn declaration. An affidavit of service is used to certify that a document has been served on a party to a proceeding. An affidavit of documents is a descriptive listing of documents a party possesses controls or has in their power. An affidavit of merits is what a defendant files when responding to a specially endorsed writ. An affidavit is signed by an attendant authorized to do so such as a Commissioner for Oaths.
Is an oral or written request for the court to rule, order, enforce or take an action. A motion does not institute a proceeding but rather constitutes a step taken within a proceeding to advance its progress. Generally a notice of motion precedes each motion unless there is a case of urgency or necessity in which an ex parti (above) motion can be brought forward. [Notice of motions must be served on any and every party interested or affected by the motion (Alberta Rules of Court, Alberta Regulation FIND SECTION] There are many different types of motions. Some examples are:
- dilatory motion – proposes that the original question be disposed of permanently or for the time being
- interlocutory motion
- secondary motion – a motion connected to and arising out of another motion and therefore a motion in order when a main motion is pending. Examples are: incidental motions and subsidiary motions.
SERVICE of DOCUMENTS:
This is action of sending a court approved civil claim to the defendant. A copy of the civil claim must be accompanied by a dispute note and served to the defendant in a one of the specific Methods of Service that have been pre-determined as acceptable by the courts. After service, an affidavit of service must be filed with the court.
Originally meant written communication (1592), the term is now used to describe a document issued by the court that authorizes steps to be taken to enforce a judgment or order. There are five main types: capias – commanding an officer to take the body of the person named in writ; fieri facias – coming up with the sum of a judgment through the goods and chattels of another; levari facias – levying a judgment by seizing and selling goods, land, rents or profits from debtor; elegit – creditor is awarded debtor’s land to have and hold until debt is satisfied, and; extent (an officer may seize land, goods or body without having to choose between person or property). All of these writs are also called writs of execution.
For more definitions, visit the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Glossary of Terms
Civil Procedure Encyclopedia
This multi-volume legal encyclopedia covers all common-law Canada and England. It is arranged by subject. It doesn’t provide a Table of Statutes or Regulations to follow. It’s content is more relevant to court procedures and rules.
A quote from the preface:
“There are very few true shortcuts in looking up practice points. Many apparent shortcuts lead to a cliff or a swamp. For example,
Most new Canadian practice decisions cite very few authorities. Ten per cent are wrong, and do not cite contrary binding authority. In certain topics, such as privilege, that is endemic.
Few lawyers today have the experience needed to go from a bald rule of law to all the practical details needed to draft an affidavit or argue a motion. Often only a few older cases spell out the practical detail.
Often you have a case on point, but have trouble describing or researching the precise topic. In a moment you can find the case in the Table of Cases. It will send you instantly to the full relevant discussion, and the other cases on the same topic.
Though every generation thinks that it finds new procedural problems and new solutions, they are rarely new. Old fallacies masquerade under new names. The basic theory and principles of civil procedure are unknown, still less consistently named. So it is easy to go in circles, or criss-cross territory, always missing one area. Research which omits cases more than a few years old invites that kind of jungle blindness or forgetfulness.
In civil procedure (as in negligence law), a given rule is easy to parrot, but impossible to understand or apply unless you see a number of examples.
Your opponent will likely cite one or two contrary authorities. There is authority for and against many propositions in civil procedure. (Not good authority, but some authority.) So you need an antidote, often on short notice. This book warns you which cases disagree, and which seem questionable.
It is your ethical duty to find and cite relevant authority: see Chapter 66, Part O. Costs penalties (or worse) enforce that duty.”
Canadian Encyclopedic Digest
Canadian encyclopedic digest (C.E.D.) (Western), 4th ed. includes coverage of Federal, Provincial (4 Western provinces) and Territorial legislation.
Titles related to civil procedure include:
- Courts (Western). Volume 16, Title 39
- Injunctions. Volume 33, Title 84
- Judgments and Orders. Volume 36, Title 89
- Trials. Volume 54, Title 157
The CED provides discussion of these areas of law with annotations to legislation and case law.
Also available electronically through: WestlawNext – Canada (LawSource)
Halsbury’s Laws of Canada
Halsbury’s laws of Canada is a multi-volume set includes coverage of Federal, Provincial & Territorial legislation
This encyclopedia explains the legislation and cases which govern civil procedure issues in every jurisdiction in Canada, allowing you to quickly locate, contextualize and apply the basic elements of the law.
There is a single volume dedicated to Civil Procedure :
- Civil Procedure (HCV)
Additional information may be found under other topical headings, and subsequent developments may be located by referring to the Cumulative Supplement.
Also available electronically through: LexisAdvance® Quicklaw®
Additional full-text articles are available electronically through:
Access to Lexis Advance® Quicklaw® is available to clients in all Alberta Law Libraries public locations
Contains a collection of Canadian journals and law reviews, as well as all articles and case comments appearing in Carswell law reports.
Provides full-text access to Canadian and international law reviews and legal journals.
Access to HeinOnline is available to clients in any of our libraries, and remotely for individuals who are registered clients with Alberta Law Libraries.
Sign in using your card number (barcode) & last name.
The Alberta Courts have a well laid out website that has many resources for civil procedure. The web site is divided into four main areas: Provincial Court, Court of Queens Bench, Court of Appeal and Resolution & Court Administration Services. This latter category is for general services that do not necessarily fit into one of the three levels of court: mediation, the law information centers, library, transcripts, the assessment and taxation office, and jury duty.
The Civil or Small Claims (up to $50,000 as of August 1, 2014 via regulation 139/2014) sub-heading provides ample resources to understand the basics of a civil claim. Located here is a unique and concise publication designed specifically to help the average citizen learn how to file a claim in the Alberta Courts (Commencing a Claim in Provincial Court Civil and Getting and Enforcing Your Judgment in Alberta). There are copies of almost all the forms required throughout the civil claim procedure, an outline of the civil claims process, a glossary of terms, frequently asked questions and related legislation. As the civil claim process is designed for self-represented litigants, additional legal and support resources are also listed.
Court of Queen’s Bench
The Court of Queen’s Bench (civil litigation over $50,000) sub-heading maintains access to most of the forms needed to proceed at this level of court. Pay special attention to the link at the top of the forms page linking to the new page containing updated versions of all the civil claims forms. Unlike the Provincial Court link that provides very basic information on civil claims, these publications provide information on getting and enforcing a judgment and more specific points of procedure for the taxation office. Civil practice notes are also included with specific directions regarding the use of technology in civil litigation. The Frequently Asked Questions section mostly addresses Surrogate Court, but there are some general questions as well.
Court of Appeal
The Alberta Court of Appeal website has two major sub-links to guide civil procedure: Publications and Forms, and Practice Notes/Directions. Unlike the other two levels of court, the Publications and Forms link of the Court of Appeal has many sample forms as examples on how to properly fill out forms. There are also more detailed instructions included with many of the forms. The Practice Notes are more extensive and include the entire Consolidated Practice Directions for the Alberta Court of Appeal.