Prepared By Timothy C. Platnich

The content of this article is intended to be informational only. We caution you against using or relying upon any information contained in this article without first seeking legal advice regarding your particular matter. All matters arising from the use of our website, including this article, shall be governed by Alberta law and shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Alberta.

 

Introduction

This article deals with the structure of the Courts in Alberta.  There are three levels of Court in Alberta: the Provincial Court, the Court of Queen's Bench (including the Surrogate Court) and the Court of Appeal of Alberta.

The Provincial Court

The Provincial Court is established by the Provincial Court Act. There are four divisions to the Provincial Court of Alberta: the Civil Division, the Family Division, the Youth Division and the Criminal Division.

The Civil Division hears civil claims of up to $50,000.00. This Court is sometimes referred to as the "small claims" Court.

The Family and Youth Divisions deal with certain matrimonial law matters and with Young Offenders.

The Criminal Division deals with criminal matters.

Court of Queen's Bench

The Court of Queen's Bench is the superior trial Court of Alberta. It has general jurisdiction over criminal and civil matters.

The Surrogate Division deals with all matter relating to wills and estates.

Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal is Alberta's highest Court. It is a Court of appellate jurisdiction meaning that it only hears appeals from lower Court (or tribunal) decisions.

This Court sits in panels of three when hearing an appeal.

For further information about the Alberta Court system, please do not hesitate to contact us. Also visit the Alberta Courts website at http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca