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What changes should be made to family law?

These proposals let family law lawyers discuss and vote on what changes they think should be made to the law or court procedures. The results can be viewed and shared with legislators and the Courts. The proposals put forth are written by member lawyers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or its administrators. You can view more proposals or make a proposal yourself.


Proposal: Special Chambers is working well
Court Procedure - Dec 22, 2021

60% in favour out of 10 votes

Ken Proudman - view Arbitrator profile
BARR LLP (Alberta. Joined 2017)

This time the QB Family Law Consulting Committee is seeking feedback regarding chambers. They're looking for both criticism and praise of what does work well, and any suggestions about how to improve the process. I will pass along your feedback, or you're welcome to provide feedback directly to Teri Burant at tburant@emeryjamieson.com or 780-970-6291. Please provide feedback by January 18, 2022.

0 6 months ago

Anonymous
(Alberta. Joined 2017)

Not clear to me what "working well" means. It's certainly become a more confusing process. For instance, on a recent one of mine, we had to file our materials (and they didn't get filed), then put our concise letter together with their special format, then we are told we need to deliver the materials to the court in addition to the emailed materials or else the application is struck, then we are told we should not and to email them to someone else, and I assume the result of all this is going to be a lot of confusion, the justice not getting the materials, and just asking us what we want and either giving us a quick decision or reserving a long time on it.

So maybe "well" isn't clear enough of a question. Here are some ways of narrowoing it down:

1) Is it easy to access? Not particularly
2) Is it quick to access? Often times we start in docket, deal with EICCs first, have the special chambers, and then get a reserved decision, then an order, and then a filed order (which can be a while after the order. So not always quick.
3) Is it a good system for exploring the merits of a situation? I think the mileage can vary on that. PN2 has some limitations that aren't helpful sometimes. And we have all heard stories of people having their day and a judge deciding it is not simple enough for them and not dealing with all the issues. What is more aggravating is when a docket judge may tell the litigants to go to special chambers, and then the special chambers judge saying it doesn't belong there. I have seen that happen as well.

A bunch of stuff with court right now, and for a while, is pretty frustrating, not just special chambers. I'm just commenting because I see currently there are 6 votes out of 6 saying it is working well, and I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people who disagree that things are smooth and working like clockwork at all.


0 5 months ago

Anonymous
(Alberta. Joined 2020)

I agree with you. I am in One hour Special Chambers soon where the Applicant is self rep. & she sent her Affidavit with 209 pages of Exhibits for e-filing without any FIAT. Now the judge has been assigned and the Affidavit and his application is still not filed. The matter is not struck as well. Quite confusing what will happen on the date of hearing.

0 5 months ago

Anonymous
(Alberta. Joined 2020)

Special Chambers would be more helpful if there were more dates available. For many matters, having more short hearings, 1/2 day or full day would be more helpful.

0 5 months ago

Anonymous
(Alberta. Joined 2021)

I agree with previous commentors. the PN2 rules are not as clear as they should be. I have un upcoming Special Chambers which is rather an emergency. Opposing party has missed their deadline to file a response, and we have openly consented to a fiat with no response. Yes a judge can award costs but if this is an urgent application which will likely be struck due to the other sides aggressions they still win, as the matter will be delayed. Special Chambers still has a few loopholes that need to be ironed out.

0 5 months ago

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