Updates in Alberta Courts: E-Filing Documents & Revisions to Family Practice

Commencing November 1, 2022, the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta has released updates to email filing procedures and Family Practice Note 4.

The Court of King’s Bench Administration began accepting email filing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the courts determined that emailed documents would be considered in a backdated system. Since filing lead times have now been reduced significantly, the process of backdating will stop. As of November 1, 2022, documents will be considered filed on the date processed and stamped by King’s Bench Administration. Documents that are rejected must not be considered filed until resubmitted and stamped by King’s Bench Administration.

The courts have also specified that email submissions will only be considered “Urgent” under the following circumstances:  where there is a limitation period, where there is a Court ordered deadline, or where there is a statutory filing deadline that is within 3 days or within the current lead time for the location of filing, whichever is longer. For more information on how to correctly file an “Urgent” email, read the court’s detailed guidelines here.

Family Practice Note 4 (FPN4) replaces references to the Dispute Resolution / Child Support Resolution Officer processes in Calgary and Edmonton centres with the King’s Bench Child Support Resolution Program (KBCSRP) – a common process in both centres.

The new process under the KBCSRP will involve parties attending Family Docket Court prior to filing applications for child support or child support variations. Parties are then directed to schedule a meeting with the KBCSRP to exchange and file financial disclosures. The KBCSRP Officer will then assist parties to reach an agreement and provide a report for the court file detailing whether parties have settled in whole or in part, or have agreed to an adjournment. The office may also draft a consent Order for the parties to sign. Where parties have not settled, the Office provides recommendations for other resources and next steps.

FPN4 provides that parties may attend the KBCSRP on a voluntary basis. Spousal support may also be addressed in this program, but only if child support is also an issue.

For more information on these changes in the Alberta courts, visit the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta website here and here. Read the LESA blog here to stay up to date on changes and updates to Alberta law and court system.

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