Filing a Civil Claim
Can I sue more than one party on a Civil Claim?
Yes. Name all people or corporations involved in the problem on one Civil Claim form.
What if my claim is for more than the allowable limit of $50,000?
If your Civil Claim is for more than the limit of $50,000 you can choose to drop the extra amount, referred to as abandonment, or choose to sue for the full amount in the Court of King's Bench. For more information contact the Court of King's Bench.
How do I know what type of Civil Claim to file?
There are many types of Civil Claims that can be filed in Alberta Court of Justice Civil.
The Civil Claim form has attachments for you to fill in the blanks and has been designed for the most common types of Civil Claims filed. If there is no specific type of attachment for your type of Civil Claim there is an attachment titled “other” that you may complete.
The information contained in this section serves as a guideline and there may be additional information and proof required. This information is not intended to be legal advice.
- General Claim (Attachment A)
- A claim for something other than or different from what is listed in attachments B through K.
- Amounts owing for Goods and Services (Attachment B)
- A claim for monies owing for goods provided or services provided or both.
- Include a date for repayment for the goods provided or services rendered and indicate if the party has made any attempts to pay.
- Debt Claim (Attachment C)
- A claim for monies owing for an amount that was agreed to between the parties and has not been paid in full.
- Motor Vehicle Accident (may also include Personal Injury) (Attachment D)
- A claim for property damage or personal injury or both caused by a motor vehicle accident.
- If your don't know the identity of the driver and/or owner of the motor vehicle or if they are uninsured, contact the Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims fund after filing the Civil Claim.
- Return of Security Deposit (Damage Deposit) (Attachment E)
- A claim for the return of a damage deposit that you paid and has not been returned or partially returned to you.
- Damages to Property (Attachment F)
- A claim for damages to property to cover injury or monetary loss and typically include repair or replacement of property.
- Personal Injury (Other than Motor Vehicle Accident) (Attachment G)
- A claim for injury not caused by a motor vehicle accident.
- Payday Loan (Attachment H)
- A claim for monies owing on an unpaid Payday Loan made by a licensed payday lender.
- Breach of Contract (Attachment I)
- A claim for damages caused when a contract has been broken.
- Wrongful Dismissal (Attachment J)
- A claim for damages caused by the loss of your job.
- Return of Personal Property (Replevin) (Attachment K)
- A claim for the return of personal property (also called Replevin) that you own or are entitled to and has been taken or kept by the Defendant.
If you are uncertain if any of these attachments relate to your matter, you can review the Civil Claim form that contains attachments for the most commonly filed claims in Court of Justice Civil to see if another sample better suits your claim.
Who to sue?
It is very important that all Defendants be named properly. The Alberta Court of Justice Office cannot assist in naming a Defendant. Seek legal advice for assistance if you need to.
Naming the Defendant incorrectly can affect your success and you may be unable to collect your money if you obtain a Judgment. A Judgment cannot be enforced against an improperly named Defendant.
How do I name the party I want to sue?
Naming an Individual:
- Use the full first name and full last name of each person you are suing, and any other name by which they are known.
- Use the person's legal name, do not use nicknames and avoid the use of initials and prefixes.
- For example, use "William", instead of “Bill”, unless Bill is the legal name.
- If you name the parties correctly it will assist you later in collecting on a Judgment.
Naming an Individual that is a minor (Under 18 years of age):
- Use the full first name and full last name of the minor and the full first name and full last name of the minor’s litigation representative.
- Typically a minor’s litigation representative would be their parent or guardian.
For example: “Jane Doe, a minor by their litigation representative Mary Doe”
- If there is no automatic litigation representative and no one is willing to be one, an application must be made to the Court to appoint a litigation representative.
Naming a Business:
- You must sue the proper legal name.The name on a business card, invoice, or contract might not be the legal name of the business.
- In order to obtain the proper legal name, a search with an Alberta Registry Agent office is needed to establish the correct legal name of the business and provide a registered address for service. They perform different types of searches, such as:
- Corporate Search
- Trade name Search
- Partnership Search
Fees might vary from one office to another.
- Be sure to keep a copy of any searches you complete and the receipts of payment. The searches may be required when completing and filing the Affidavit of Service and the costs of the searches might be recoverable as part of the Judgment.
Are there different types of businesses?
- There are different types of businesses: incorporated and unincorporated. The differences between the two are very important as you must name them properly in the Civil Claim.
- Incorporated Business: Can be sued only in the name of the business. An incorporated business usually has one of the following after its name: “Limited” or “Ltd.” / “Corporation” or “Corp.” / “Incorporated” or “Inc”.
- Unincorporated Business: This could be a business that is not incorporated and operates as a trade name (often called a proprietorship) or it could be a partnership (often called a firm). There can be more than one person operating under a trade name or a partnership.
- Example of a trade name: John Doe operating as John’s Garage
- Do not use abbreviations unless it is part of a registered name. The following abbreviations should appear in full:
- C.O.B. or COB – should be identified fully as “carrying on business”
- A.K.A. or AKA – should be identified fully as “also known as”
- o/a – should be identified fully as “operating as”
Naming an Insurance company:
- You cannot search for the proper legal name of an insurance company at an Alberta Registry Agent office.
- The office of the Alberta Superintendent of Insurance (ASI) maintains the list of insurance companies operating in Alberta.
- Click to obtain the name and attorney address for service of the insurance company or contact them at TOLL-FREE: (From anywhere in Alberta): Dial 310-0000, then 780-427-8322.
Naming a branch of Government, Policing Agency, Municipality or Metis Settlement:
- If you are suing any of the above mentioned, it is recommended that you get legal advice to ensure that you properly name the Defendant.
What if I do not have a name for the Defendant?
A Plaintiff who does not know the identity of a Defendant may file a Civil Claim using “John Doe” for a male or “ Jane Doe” for a female or “ABC Corporation” in place of an unknown business.
This practice is usually so that the limitation period does not expire before you file your Civil Claim.
This is a temporary measure only and you will need to determine the proper identity of the Defendant and you will be required to file and serve an Amended Civil Claim and blank Dispute Note on them.
I now have the name of the Defendant so how do I amend the Civil Claim?
You will have to file an Amended Civil Claim using a Civil Claim form and you must put the the word “AMENDED” in red underlined writing before the words Civil Claim.
It should read as follows: AMENDED Civil Claim
On the front page of the Civil Claim where it used to read the Defendant’s name as either “John Doe” or “ABC Corporation as the Defendant, you will now insert the proper name of the Defendant and underline it in red.
If within the Civil Claim there was any reference made to the unknown Defendant as, “John Doe” or “ABC Corporation” you will need to replace it and underline in red with the proper named Defendant. Any other changes you make to the Amended Civil Claim must also be underlined in red.
You will need to file and serve the named Defendant with the Amended Civil Claim and a blank copy of the Dispute Note. If there were multiple named Defendants you will also need to serve them with the Amended Civil Claim and a blank copy of the Dispute Note to notify them that the unknown Defendant has now been identified . For more detailed information review the section called Service of Documents or contact the Court of Justice Office.
How can I find a registry office if I want to do a search?
Alberta Registry Agent offices are located throughout the Province.
Where can I file my Civil Claim?
At any Court of Justice Courthouse in Alberta.
Is there a fee to file my Civil Claim?
Yes. The filing fee varies based on the amount of the claim.
How do I complete the Civil Claim?
For detailed information and step by step instructions review the Civil Claim form. You will need to complete the first three sections of the Civil Claim and the applicable attachment (A – K). Nothing else is to be attached to the Civil Claim.
How many copies of the Civil Claim will I need to bring for filing?
You will be required to bring the following number of copies of the Civil Claim, along with the filing fee:
- Original (which the Court will keep for the Court file)
- Copy for your records
- Copy for each named Defendant
The Clerk will return copies of the filed Civil Claim and attach a blank Dispute Note for you for you to serve on each Defendant.
What is the next step after I have filed my Civil Claim?
The next step is to serve a filed copy of the Civil Claim and a blank Dispute Note on each Defendant within one year after the date that the Civil Claim is filed.
For more detailed information refer to the section called Service of Documents.