Ridout Barron

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Access To Court Records

The details surrounding what is public information and what is private information during a civil litigation proceeding are not always clear. Some individuals may be afraid about what to divulge during their case, and other parties may use misinformation as intimidation.

To help provide clarity on the subject, the Alberta courts have published a comprehensive guide on public and media access pertaining to Alberta’s Court of Appeal, Court of Queen’s Bench and Provincial Court.

If you have questions about a dispute that may require legal action, consult a civil litigation firm. A litigator will prepare you for what to expect from the process, and answer any questions you have about bringing your case to court.

What Does Access Look Like?

Generally speaking, access to court proceedings and court records are available to the public. Court proceedings refer to sitting in on a trial. Court records refer to files, documents transcripts and exhibits used in the proceeding. There may be costs to be paid before access is granted to court records.

Access means searching, viewing, or copying court files. All three actions may not always be available for certain files.

Exceptions And Discretion

However, there are exceptions made for cases that require privacy. Certain legislation restricts public access to certain cases. A judge may also restrict access through a court order.

These actions are usually at the discretion of the court or judge, so they may vary from case to case. They are in place to avoid any undue influence on the case, as well as to protect sensitive information to the public due to the nature of the case

Spectators And Supporters

The general public is allowed to sit in on court proceedings, unless prohibited by a court or judge through law or a court order. Spectators and supporters should not interrupt the process. They should remain silent and generally enter and leave as quietly as possible. They are also restricted to the general seating of the courtroom, and should only enter the enclosed part of the courtroom if requested.

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Ridout Barron
1827 14th Street SW
Calgary, AB T2T 3T1

Phone: 587-315-8454
Fax: 403-271-8016
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