Effective May 13, 2020, the Court will be implementing a Family Docket Court in Calgary and Edmonton. All family matters must first be scheduled in Family Docket Court before any other Court process can be scheduled. It is anticipated that the first sittings of the Family Docket Court will occur in the week of May 18, 2020.
The purpose of Family Docket Court is to allow the Court to better assess what services and court processes will best serve a family’s needs and to better manage family law matters coming into the Court. The focus will be on reducing lead times and referring parties to processes that will reduce the amount of conflict to which any children are being exposed.
To schedule a matter into Family Docket Court, the following steps are required:
1. Select a date from online availability:
Calgary Family Docket Availability
Edmonton Family Docket Availability
2. Complete a Notice to Attend Family Docket, file it in person or by email at QBfiling.Calgary@just.gov.ab.ca for Calgary and QBfiling.Edmonton@just.gov.ab.ca for Edmonton and serve it on the opposing party and on any other parties involved with the matter (e.g. lawyer for children, Director of Maintenance Enforcement, Director of Child and Family Services).
If you are submitting the form for filing by email, you must copy the opposing party(ies) and please include in your subject line ‘Family Docket Court – [date requested] – [Your Last Name] v. [Respondents Last Name]'
3. The Notice to Attend Family Docket must be served on the other party(s) at least 5 days before the date the matter is scheduled to be heard in Family Docket Court. Service can be affected by personal service, or by email, text message or social media. Whichever method is used for service, the Applicant must be able to satisfy the Court that the party served received the document;
It is not necessary for an action to have been started before a matter can be scheduled into Family Docket Court. If you are subsequently directed to file a Claim, Statement of Claim or Application, all of the usual filing fees will apply.
It is recommended that the Applicant and Respondent take the online Parenting After Separation course and attempt to resolve their dispute using a process outside the Court before scheduling a Family Docket Court date.
The Court anticipates that there will be access to Legal Aid Duty Counsel as well as other supporting services for Family Docket Court. These supporting services may be somewhat more limited until the Court is fully operational.
In Family Docket Court, the following will occur:
a) The Court will first explore the possibility of a Consent Order on the issues before the Court;
b) Where no alternate dispute resolution has been attempted, the Court may, depending on the degree of urgency and after considering whether the matter is appropriate for alternate dispute resolution, refer the parties to mediation, Family Resolution Counsel, Early Intervention Case Conference, or other form of dispute resolution before scheduling a more formal Court process;
c) Where appropriate to do so, the Court will schedule the matter for a more formal Court process, including desk application, chambers, and special chambers. As suspensions are lifted, more Court processes will be available for referral.
d) A Family Docket Court Endorsement will be completed by the Court and provided to the parties/Counsel. Where required, a formal Order will also be prepared by the Court or by Counsel;
e) If a matter is not ready to proceed, the Court may adjourn the matter to another Family Docket Court date.
If a matter has been referred to a more formal court process from Family Docket Court, and unless that process resulted in a final order, the parties must return to Family Docket Court before any further formal Court processes are scheduled.
Resolution and Court Administration Services (RCAS) is a group of programs and services offered by the Government of Alberta, Justice and Solicitor General in collaboration with the courts of Alberta. These services include information services, assessment services, the Alberta Law Libraries and Dispute Resolution Services.
Resolution and Court Administration Services Pamphlet
If you have any questions or require information about safety supports for domestic violence, please call the Resolution and Court Administration Services Contact Centre at:
Toll Free: 1-855-738-4747
Or visit www.rcas.alberta.ca