The Provincial Court of Alberta has announced that the limit for civil claims will increase beginning Aug. 1. Currently set at $25,000, the limit for civil litigation is to double to $50,000. The court has also announced plans to begin implementing dispute resolution systems that will be aimed at resolving civil litigation faster and for less money.
According to the minister of justice and solicitor general, the combination of changes to the civil court will provide Albertans with more access to justice. With more options for dispute resolution and an increase in the civil claims limit, some say that cases that are more complicated will now be able to take advantage of services and resources of the court that they could not use before.
In response to the changes, the chief judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta commented that the mission of the court is to provide justice that is affordable, accessible and efficient. He went on to say that the court is committed to offering Albertans fair and just resolution of their civil disputes using processes that are simple and understandable. The new dispute resolution projects will be implemented first in Edmonton and Calgary and are set to begin this fall.
Many times, individuals have a strong case for filing a civil lawsuit but become overwhelmed at a legal process that they do not understand. When this is the case, a lawyer could assist an individual to understand the steps necessary to file a lawsuit and help them to go forward with the civil litigation. The lawyer might also assist an individual who wishes to resolve the civil dispute through one of the dispute resolution mechanisms that are available.
Source: Beacon News, "Alberta small claims court claims limit doubles to $50,000", Jo Ann Lawrence, July 21, 2014