This week, the Alberta Court of Appeal, Court of Queen’s Bench, and Provincial Court of Alberta, released a new Court Information Access Guide for Alberta.
This guide replaces the decade-old Alberta Courts Public and Media Access Guide, and covers how members of the public can access court proceedings, information, documents and exhibits. It does not deal with access to court administration records under the custody or control of a public body, which is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). This guide is a practical resource and is not a substitute for legal advice and research.
The Guide updates the applicable legislation, case law and procedures. With an increase in public and media requests to access court file information, the Guide provides more comprehensive guidance for making and processing these requests.
Some of the notable changes to search procedures include:
- Copies of paper documents may be made using a smartphone or portable scanner, eliminating page fees. A $10 search fee still applies to retrieve and view the file.
- Copies of court audio files may be obtained by submitting an Undertaking and receiving court approval. This Policy does not apply to the Court of Appeal.
- Queen’s Bench civil and family search requests are through an online search portal. Pre-payment must be made through the website by credit card and Interac.
- Court of Appeal and Provincial Court search requests and payment continues to be made at the specific court location using the search request form.
Link: Court Information Access Guide for Alberta