Service of Documents
Once the court has issued the Civil Claim and returned it to you, the next step is to give it to the defendant. This is called service. You must serve a Dispute Note with the Civil Claim on each defendant. The form of Dispute Note can be obtained at the court office, and it is for the defendant to fill out.
You may serve the Civil Claim and form of Dispute Note on any day of the week. Someone else may serve the Civil Claim and form of Dispute Note for you. If you are unable to serve your documents by one of the authorized methods, contact the court office for further instructions.
You (the plaintiff) may also hire a process server to serve the documents on your behalf. If you are successful with the law suit, the court will normally order the unsuccessful party to pay service costs.
Methods of Service
You may serve the Civil Claim and form of Dispute Note on a person by:
- giving the documents to that person;
- leaving the documents at that person's most usual residence with a resident who is apparently 16 years of age or older; or
- mailing the documents by registered mail. The defendant or someone on the defendant's behalf will sign to receive the documents. Keep the original postal receipt. Contact your post office to obtain a Copy of Signature or a Certificate of Delivery Confirmation document.
You may serve the Civil Claim and form of Dispute Note on a corporation by:
- giving the documents to the president, chairman, head officer or a director of the corporation;
- giving the documents to a manager, agent or officer of the corporation located where the Civil Claim was issued; or
- leaving it at or sending it by registered mail to the registered office of the corporation.
- if service is done by registered mail it is considered to be served 7 days from the date of mailing to an address in Alberta and 14 days if mailed to an address in Canada, outside of Alberta. Obtain a corporate search at an Alberta Registry office to prove to the court that you have properly served the registered office of the corporation.
Affidavit of Service
After serving the defendant, the person who served the Civil Claim and form of Dispute Note must
- fill out the Affidavit of Service
- take the Affidavit of Service in person to a Commissioner for Oaths to be sworn. This may be done at any court office.
- give the commissioner the postal receipt and a copy of Signature of Certificate of Delivery Confirmation document if served on a person. This confirmation document is obtained through the post office. You can also obtain the confirmation through the Canada Post website. The commissioner will attach and mark the receipts and documents as exhibits.
- give the commissioner the postal receipt from the post office if served by registered mail on a corporation. The commissioner will attach and mark the receipt as an exhibit.