What Happens After the Civil Claim Has Been Served?

How long does the Defendant have to dispute the Civil Claim or pay?

The Plaintiff is required to wait 20 days from the date the Defendant is served in Alberta, or 30 days from the date the Defendant is served outside of Alberta to see if the Defendant settles the Claim or files a Dispute Note.

If the 20th day or 30th day is a weekend day, a Statutory Holiday or a day when the Provincial Court Office is closed, the Defendant will have until the close of business on the next business day to file their Dispute Note.

A Dispute Note may be filed after the expiry of the 20 day or 30 days period unless the Plaintiff has filed a Request to Note in Default or a Request for Default Judgment.

Any party may contact the Provincial Court Office to determine what stage the Civil Claim is at in the Court process.

What happens if the claim is disputed?

The Clerk at the Provincial Court Office will send a copy of the Dispute Note(s) to all parties at their address for service.

If the action is selected for Mediation, a letter will be sent to the parties with the date, time, and location of the Mediation. If the file is not settled at mediation or is not selected for Mediation, the Court will then decide how the action will proceed. 

The Court may attempt to settle the action by proceeding with a Pre-Trial Conference. If the file is not settled at the Pre-Trial Conference or selected for a Pre-Trial Conference, then the action will proceed to a Simplified Trial, Trial or the parties will be invited to participate in Binding Judicial Dispute Resolution.  In all cases, all parties will receive a Notice from the Court sent to their address for service telling them of the date, time and location to attend Court.  

Note: The action will only proceed once all of the Defendants have filed a Dispute Note or the Plaintiff has taken the step to file a Request for Default Judgment or Request to Note in Default against a Defendant that failed to file a Dispute Note.

For more detailed information review the sections called All The Claims and Disputes Have Been Filed, What Happens Next? and Resolution Tracks: Are There Different Ways a Claim Can Be Resolved?.

What happens next if the Defendant offers to settle the Civil Claim?

The Defendant may offer to settle the Civil Claim directly with the Plaintiff or pay money into Court at any time. For more detailed information review the section called The Defendant Has Offered To Settle (Pay) The Claim, What Do I Do?

Can the Defendant file a claim against me? What do I do?

Yes, the Defendant may file a Dispute Note that could contain a Counterclaim if they believe that they have a claim against you. You may choose to pay the Counterclaim or file a Dispute Note to their Counterclaim.

If a Dispute Note with a Counterclaim is filed by the Defendant, they also become known as a Plaintiff by Counterclaim.

Is there a fee to file a Dispute Note to Counterclaim?

Yes, there is a filing fee to file a Dispute Note to Counterclaim.

How do I complete a Dispute Note to Counterclaim?

For more detailed information and instructions review the Dispute Note to Counterclaim. Nothing else is to be attached to the Dispute Note to Counterclaim.

Where can I file the Dispute Note to Counterclaim?

You may file your Dispute Note to Counterclaim and pay the filing fee at any Provincial Court Office in Alberta. It is recommended that you file it at the Provincial Court Office where the Civil Claim was filed. 

How many copies of the Dispute Note to Counterclaim will I need?

You will be required to bring the following number of copies of the Dispute Note to Counterclaim, along with the filing fee:

  • Original (which the Court will keep for the Court File)
  • Copy for your records
  • Copy for each named Defendant (Plaintiff by Counterclaim) which the clerks’ office will send to each party

Can the Defendant file a claim against someone else? What do I do?

Yes. In some cases, the Defendant may bring in a new party to the action on their Dispute Note and Counterclaim.  This is called adding a Defendant by Counterclaim.  In other cases, the Defendant may file a claim against another party if they believe that they are not responsible for the Civil Claim against them. This is called a Third Party Claim.

It is recommended that you get legal advice if you want to add a new Defendant by Counterclaim or file a Third Party Claim as the action may become complex.

See Links, Videos And Legal Resources for more help.