The Appeal of the Decision in Small Claims

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The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide general information on a wide variety of legal issues in the Province of Alberta.  This service is provided by Calgary Legal Guidance funded in part by the Alberta Law Foundation.

This topic discusses the appeal process of a decision made in the Civil Division of the Provincial Court.  This Court is referred to as the small claims Court.  Appeals of the decisions made in the Civil Division of the Provincial Court are heard in the Court of Queen’s Bench.  The Court of Queen’s Bench process is formal, expensive and complex.  You should consult with a lawyer if you want to appeal the decision.

The appeal must be made within 30 days of the decision.  You must file a Notice of Appeal setting out the grounds and serve the Notice on the other parties.  Once the Notice of Appeal has been filed the Appeal operates as a stay of proceeding.  This means that the Civil Division judgment cannot be enforced or collected until the appeal is decided.  This stay of proceedings is, however, subject to any Order of the Court of Queen’s Bench.

The Notice of Appeal must be served personally, by registered mail or as ordered by the Court of Queen’s Bench.  Proof of service is required.  Proof may be an Affidavit of Service by the server or an acknowledgement of signature when registered mail is picked up.  To personally serve a corporation, leave a copy at the corporation’s registered office or hand it to the president, head officer, secretary or a director.  You can get the address of the registered office of a corporation as well as names of directors and shareholders by doing a corporate search at a private Registry office.  If the defendant is outside the Court district in which you brought your claim, but the defendant has an agent, manager, office manager or other representative living in and carrying on his business within the same Court district, then you may serve that representative.  You should have two copies of the Affidavit of Service or the post office receipt.  File one copy with the original Notice of Appeal and mark it as an exhibit to the Appeal documents.  Keep the other copy for your records.

You will also require the transcript of evidence from the Civil Division of the Provincial Court.  The transcript of evidence must be filed within 3 months of date of the request for an appeal at the Court of Queen’s Bench. The transcript must be paid for in advance.   If the transcript of evidence is not available to the Court of Queen’s Bench, the Judge may return the matter to the Civil Division of the Provincial Court for a new hearing or order what is considered appropriate in the circumstances.

The decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench is final and cannot be further appealed.  You may abandon or stop the appeal before the hearing by filing a Notice of Abandonment with the Court of Queen’s Bench.