By Al Beeber
Southern Alberta Newspapers
The province of Alberta is simplifying the process of filing civil claims in the province.
The Government of Alberta recently announced that Albertans can now file civil claims for amounts up to $100,000 in the Alberta Court of Justice, previously known as provincial court. It’s an increase of $50,000.
It’s the first time in nine years the province has hiked the claims limit, says the province. Albertans will still have the option of pursuing civil claims in the Court of Kings Bench.
The province says the change will make the claims process easier to navigate than going to the higher court.
The Court of Justice presently handles about 10,000 civil cases each year.
The province says the increase in limit will free time in King’s Bench.
“The Alberta Court of Justice has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of Albertans. This increase reflects that evolution and our increased capacity as a forum for resolving civil disputes. This change empowers the court to handle a broader range of civil cases, easing the burden on higher courts and reducing delays in the judicial process,” said Chief Justice of the Alberta Court of Justice Derek G. Redman in a release.
Changes in the Justice Statutes Amendment Act last fall allowed the province to increase the civil claims limit $200,000 in the Court of Justice but the government chose the $100,000 amount after consultation with the province’s three courts and sending a survey to organizations including the Law Society of Alberta, the Alberta branch of the Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, Legal Aid and other groups.