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What we know about Family Docket Court so far

Ken Proudman - view Arbitration availability
Barr Picard Law (Alberta. Joined 2017)

By now you've probably heard that the QB limitation of hearings was extended again to at least June 26, 2020. Last week QB announced a Family Docket Court in Edmonton and Calgary: https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements/launch-of-family-docket-court

It sounds like a significant focus of the new process will be to push litigants towards alternative dispute resolution processes, and that the Court will rely on the March 2020 amendments to Rule 4.16 to order parties into ADR and determine the particulars of that ADR process. An announcement was published today, which also links to resources with directories of ADR professionals, including arbitration (the Court even linked to FamilyCounsel.ca!), mediation, collaborative law, parenting coordination, and Alberta Justice programs. See: https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements/family-law-dispute-resolution-processes-rule-4.16-amendments-and-family-docket-court

There has been a discussion board on this website discussing Family Docket Court. Several lawyers have graciously published information that they've received from the courthouse, that has been very informative. See: https://familycounsel.ca/chat.php?id=2052

Tina Huizinga was able to set up a time to speak to Pam Jonas, the Clerk Supervisor for Edmonton QB Family. Tina was kind enough to permit me to re-post what she learned (thank you Tina!), being:
  1. All matters except the desk process gets spoken to in docket to schedule;

  2. Requests to schedule docket are planned to be processed same date, but ensure the subject line says that it’s a docket request. Even though it says they can be filed in person, don’t. Send by email.

  3. Simple written do not require the consent of the other side – give at least 3 days for this to be filed;

  4. Complex written do require the request of the other side (plus the consent order for deadlines etc.);

  5. Consent orders are currently taking about 2 weeks to process. If it has been more than 2 weeks, you can contact her to look into what happened;

  6. Generally other filing for emergency hearings are taking about 1-2 days. Once it is filed it is sent back by email immediately. If it is an urgent hearing and more than 2 days have passed (full working days), you can contact Pam to inquire;

  7. Divorces are still supposed to be 6-8 weeks. If it has been 10 weeks, you can check with divorce, but not before that.


0 81 days ago

Doug Moe Q.C. - view Arbitrator profile
Moe Hannah LLP (Alberta. Joined 2017)

Ken, having your website referred to by the Court is a big deal. Congratulations. It should be referenced. Rule 4.16 means ADR but not arbitration as the Court still can't delegate it's decision making authority. Agreements or contracts or legislation is the basis of arbitration, any Court Order to arbitrate must be because one of those exists. Hopefully no one will read the rule and make an application to compel arbitration without that. I know it sounds condescending to say that to lawyers, but if you hang around in this business long enough you see all kinds of unimaginable things.

4 81 days ago - edited 80 days ago

Ken Proudman - view Arbitration availability
Barr Picard Law (Alberta. Joined 2017)

I definitely agree, the court can't order arbitration. Hopefully they when they tell people that they're goign to be directed to ADR they're given the option to choose arbitration though, and they realize that arbitration would likely be less costly than ADR plus court.

0 78 days ago

Anonymous
(Alberta. Joined 2018)

Has anyone heard what the procedure is for without notice applications? I spoke with the QB clerks this morning and they indicated that all without notice applications need to go through provincial court which doesn't make much sense.

0 80 days ago

Ken Proudman - view Arbitration availability
Barr Picard Law (Alberta. Joined 2017)

Haha that's laughably bad advice from the clerks. They just released a without notice desk application procedure yesterday: https://albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements/electronic-without-notice-desk-applications-justice-chambers

0 78 days ago

Anonymous
(Alberta. Joined 2020)

Any thoughts on how to procure Restraining Order Viva Voce Cross examination hearing transcripts from ABQB at this time as Restraining Order transcripts cannot be requested online? Thanks in advance.

0 79 days ago

Ken Proudman - view Arbitration availability
Barr Picard Law (Alberta. Joined 2017)

No idea, sorry! If you contact someone at Latitude Family Law they might know. Amanda Baretta has been really on top of new developments

0 78 days ago

Tina Huizinga - view Arbitration availability
Tina Huizinga PC (Alberta. Joined 2019)

Also, by way of update, Pam has requested that any filing that is time specific (ie if docket has specified a filing date), to include that in the subject line of the email.

1 59 days ago

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