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Recent Changes Affect the Practice of Family Law in Alberta

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta has recently approved 2 changes that will affect the practice of family law in Alberta. Under NPP#2018-03, the following has been in effect since September 1, 2018:

  • An increase in Mandatory Early Intervention Case Conferences [EICCs] from 4 per week to 6 per week in Edmonton and Calgary, and
  • Mandatory pre-trial conferences in some family matters in Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer.

Increase in mandatory early intervention case conferences

Since September 1, 2017, the Court of Queen’s Bench has been conducting 4 EICCs per week, on matters referred from family chambers. With the increase of 2 additional EICCs per week since September 1, 2018, 2 of the 6 weekly spaces will be referred based on written requests.

Written requests can be made by filling in the prescribed form — “Request for an Early Intervention Case Conference (EICC) In a Family Proceeding” — and providing it to the Case Conference Coordinator in Edmonton or Calgary. The form is available on the Court of Queen’s Bench website: https://albertacourts.ca/qb/areas-of-law/family/family-law-forms.

If the matter is accepted to an EICC, written confirmation will be provided and counsel must follow the appropriate protocol and obtain an order and an information package for each of the parties.

Mandatory pre-trial conferences in some family matters

Effective September 1, 2018, pre-trial conferences are mandatory in Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer for family matters where there are 1 or more self-represented litigants and where trials are scheduled to last 3 days or longer. In these instances, trials will not be scheduled until a pre-trial conference has taken place. The conferences will be held in camera in a courtroom and the parties must be in attendance. The parties will not have access to recordings or transcripts without leave of the court.

Want more information?

For more information, please refer to the Notice to the Profession and Public here.