Effective immediately, in cases where each party is represented by Counsel, with notice applications that would otherwise be heard in Justice Chambers (including Special Chambers) may be submitted to the Court by desk application with written argument.
The following (non-exhaustive) matters may be heard by this desk application process:
- Master Appeals;
- Appeals from the Provincial Court Family and Civil Divisions;
- Estate matters, such as interim distributions, advice and directions;
- Minors’ Property settlements or settlements involving persons under a Trusteeship Order;
- Forfeitures (i.e. proceeds of crime).
The following (non-exhaustive) matters may NOT be heard by this desk application process:
- Restraining Orders;
- Landlord and Tenant stays/appeals;
- Contempt applications.
All Counsel must agree to proceed in this manner or, in exceptional circumstances, it may be directed by the Court.
The agreement to proceed pursuant to this Notice and the applicable deadlines must be confirmed by a Consent Order submitted in accordance with the procedures outlined here.
The Consent Order should include in the preamble whether the matter was a Special Chambers Application previously scheduled for a hearing between March 16, 2020 and June 26, 2020 and adjourned pursuant to the Court’s Master Orders.
The following materials are required on notice to the party(ies) opposite:
- Application or Originating Application;
- any material in support of the Application, including an Affidavit and other evidence pursuant to Rule 6.11 of the Alberta Rules of Court;
- a copy of the originating pleadings (i.e. Statement of Claim or Originating Application) and any other pleadings being relied upon;
- brief and authorities;
- proposed Form of Order;
- Responding Affidavit and other evidence pursuant to Rule 6.11 of the Alberta Rules of Court;
- a copy of the responding pleadings (i.e. Statement of Defence) and any other pleadings being relied upon;
- brief and authorities;
- proposed Form of Order.
It is the responsibility of the Applicant after all filing deadlines have passed, to provide all of the above noted documents in a complete package to the Clerk, including the Consent Order, requesting that the desk application be submitted to a Justice for consideration.
The materials must be submitted in accordance with the procedures outlined here. The subject line must indicate the action number. The Justice determining the desk application will not have ready access to any other materials (including materials previously filed.)
For simple applications that may otherwise be heard in regular/morning Chambers, the briefs are limited to 7 pages.
For more complex applications that may otherwise be heard in Special Chambers, the briefs are limited to 20 pages.
If the application is one that was adjourned pursuant to the Court’s Master Orders, Counsel may set new deadlines for providing materials for the application in the Consent Order.
If the application is new (such that it was not previously scheduled) the deadlines are:
- Applicant's materials - 2 weeks following the “triggering” date;
- Respondent's materials - 4 weeks following the triggering date.
- The “triggering date” for deadlines will be the date that the Consent Order is granted.
- Counsel may agree to alternate deadlines and set them out in the Consent Order.
Special Chambers applications that were scheduled between March 16, 2020 and June 26, 2020 and adjourned pursuant to the Court’s Master Orders, will be given priority for consideration in the desk process for more complex applications.
The desk application will be submitted to a Justice for consideration.
If the Justice determines that the matter is not appropriate for a desk application process, the Justice may direct the parties to a scheduling process for a hearing on all or some of the issues.
The response to the desk application will be returned by email, including: an electronically signed and filed Order with an Endorsement setting out brief reasons; or an Endorsement requiring additional information, or indicating the Justice’s decision for denying the application, or directing the parties to a scheduling process for a hearing, or to prepare a different Order.