Overview

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:

Appellant
The person who makes the appeal
Respondent
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:

Self-representation

If you’ve decided to represent yourself in court, read and become familiar with the:

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.

Time limits

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.

Filing fee

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:

  • Edmonton, for jurisdictions north of Red Deer
  • Calgary, for jurisdictions in or south of Red Deer

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.