The Court of Appeal is the highest court in Alberta. It can be asked, through an appeal, to review decisions made in a lower court or an administrative tribunal like the:
- Court of Queen’s Bench
- Criminal Injuries Review Board
When making an appeal, you must show that the previous decision-maker made a factual or legal error that affected the outcome of your case. An appeal isn’t a new trial or a way to re-hear your case.
There are 2 main parties in an appeal:
- The person who makes the appeal
- The person who responds to the appeal
You don’t have an automatic right to appeal for all matters. You should speak with a lawyer to determine if you require permission to appeal; to obtain permission, you must file an application and pay a fee.
Some kinds of appeals are only heard at the Court of Queen’s Bench. Check to see if your case is one of these.
For more information about the appeals process, see these flowcharts:
If you’ve decided to represent yourself in court, read and become familiar with the:
- Alberta Rules of Court (4.3 MB) – especially Part 14
- Consolidated Practice Directions of the Court of Appeal (0.1 MB)
- legislation that may be applicable to you
Orders and judgments
An appeal doesn’t stop enforcement of an order or judgment and isn’t a way to avoid complying with a court decision. To stay an order or judgment, you must do both of these things:
- file an application for stay of enforcement
- pay an application fee
If circumstances have changed since the order or judgment was made, you should apply to the court where the original hearing took place to vary the order or judgment instead of appealing it.
There are time limits for filing an appeal:
- civil notice of appeal: 1 month from the day that the judge stated who won the case
- criminal notice of appeal: 30 days from the date of sentencing
There are some exceptions to these time limits. It is your responsibility to know what your time limit is. Talk to a lawyer to confirm your time limit.
If you’ve missed your time to appeal, talk to a lawyer to determine if the time limit can be extended.
The filing fee for a civil notice of appeal is $600.
There’s no filing fee for a criminal notice of appeal.
You must order and pay for transcripts and then prepare an appeal record. The cost of doing this can be hundreds of dollars and sometimes more.
How to make your appeal
Step 1. Fill out the forms
Civil Notice of Appeal (0.1 MB)
If you don’t have counsel on a criminal matter
Fill out Criminal Notice of Appeal: Form A (PDF, 0.1 MB)
If you have counsel on a criminal matter
The person counselling you must fill out Criminal Notice of Appeal: Form B (PDF, 0.1 MB)
Step 2. File and serve the appeal
File and serve the notice of appeal within your time limit. Appeals are filed in the Court of Appeal in:
Step 3. Get a transcript and appeal record
If you want to prepare your own appeal record
Order a transcript from the original court hearing.
If you want to have your appeal record prepared for you
Order an appeal record, which includes a transcript.
Step 4. File and serve the transcript and appeal record
File and serve the transcript and appeal record within the required deadline. Both are filed at the Court of Appeal.
Step 5. Prepare, file and serve your written argument
Prepare, file and serve a written argument, or factum, within the required deadline.
Step 6. Attend court
Attend the Unscheduled Civil Appeals List or the Criminal Speak to List if the appeal either:
- isn’t progressing in accordance with the Rules of Court
- has procedural issues that need to be addressed in a timely manner
These ‘lists’ are short court appearances where an appeal’s progress is discussed before a case management officer. The appellant and respondent must both attend.
Step 7. Attend the appeal hearing
Once the court gives its decision – and unless otherwise ordered – the successful party is responsible for preparing the judgment that sets out that decision.