Overview

If parties are unable to reach an agreement through mediation, the Tribunal may hold a hearing to resolve the dispute. Oral hearings are conducted by a panel of Tribunal members assigned by the chair of the Tribunal and are open to the public.

During the oral hearing, each side is given the opportunity to present evidence supporting their position and to rebut the other side’s evidence. This process somewhat resembles court proceedings, but Tribunal hearings are not as formal.

Process

Before the hearing

To help everyone understand their roles in the hearing process, the panel chair will outline the format for the hearing and the responsibilities of the parties.

The Tribunal chooses the time, date and location for the hearing. Factors considered may include the:

  • location of the land at issue
  • available facilities to host the hearing
  • availability of the parties’ respective solicitors, should the parties choose to retain legal counsel

A Notice of Hearing is mailed to all individuals considered a party to the proceeding. Expert reports, evidence and other documents must be provided to the other party and to the Tribunal at least 14 days prior to the hearing in accordance with Rule 9 of the Expropriation Act Rules of Procedure and Practice.

For information regarding a Summons to a Witness see the Expropriation Act and the Expropriation Act Rules of Procedure and Practice.

Step 1. Introduction

  1. At the beginning of the hearing, the panel chair introduces the Tribunal members. The chair asks the parties and their representatives to introduce themselves.
  2. The chair outlines the hearing format and the responsibilities of the parties.
  3. The chair explains the role of the Tribunal, the purpose of the hearing and declares the panel’s right to ask questions at any point during the proceedings.

Step 2. Opening statements

The claimant and the respondent makes opening statements, briefly outlining their case and the main issues.

Step 3. Claimant’s presentation

The claimant outlines their position in more detail and calls any witnesses they may have (including the claimant themselves) to give testimony.

Step 4. Questioning of the claimant’s witnesses

  1. The claimant calls their first witness and is the first to ask them questions. The witness swears an oath before questioning begins.
  2. The respondent questions the witness (known as cross-examination).
  3. The claimant offers a rebuttal. This means they ask the witness any questions related to the respondent’s questions.
  4. The panel asks the witness any questions they may have. The witness is then excused.
  5. This process is repeated for each of the claimant’s witnesses.

Step 5. Respondent’s presentation

The respondent outlines their position in more detail and calls any witnesses they may have (including the respondent themselves) to give testimony.

Step 6. Questioning of the respondent’s witnesses

  1. The respondent calls their first witness and is the first to ask them questions. The witness swears an oath before questioning begins.
  2. The claimant questions the witness (known as cross-examination).
  3. The respondent offers a rebuttal. This means they ask the witness any questions related to the claimant’s questions.
  4. The panel asks the witness any questions they may have. The witness is then excused.
  5. This process is repeated for each of the respondent’s witnesses.

Step 7. Summation and final arguments by the claimant

The claimant sums up their position and gives an oral argument.

Step 8. Summation and final arguments by the respondent

The respondent sums up their position and gives an oral argument.

Step 9. Rebuttal arguments by the claimant

  1. The claimant presents any rebuttal argument relating to anything new that arose from the respondent’s argument.
  2. This is not an opportunity to simply restate arguments that have already been put forth by the claimant.

Step 10. Application for costs

The parties may request leave from the Tribunal at the hearing to have costs and interest determined by the Tribunal, pursuant to the Expropriation Act, at a separate costs hearing.

Reimbursement

The expropriating authority must pay the owner’s reasonable legal, appraisal and other costs.

The Tribunal may also reduce or deny costs where it determines “special circumstances” exist.

The owner may obtain legal advice as to whether to accept the proposed payment in full settlement of compensation, and the expropriating authority shall pay the owner’s reasonable legal costs for the advice (see the Expropriation Act).

Step 11. After the hearing

After the hearing, the Tribunal's written order, with reasons, is mailed to all parties.

How compensation is determined

The Tribunal will refer to the Expropriation Act when determining compensation. The principles of compensation are set out in the Act, which includes:

  • market value
    • when assessing market value, highest and best use of the land is considered
    • where separate interests in land or security interests exist, they must be valued separately
  • damages attributable to disturbance
  • special economic advantage to the owner
  • damages for injurious affection

The Act also outlines many factors that the Tribunal may not take into account.

Evidence

Panels make decisions on issues based on the evidence presented by the parties at the hearing to support each party’s claim. Evidence may be provided through oral testimony, an affidavit, or a written report.

Evidence permitted to be introduced at a hearing includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Verbal evidence. Witnesses must take an oath or affirmation that their evidence is true. Witnesses can provide details about the property, expropriation, losses, expenses and costs incurred.
  2. Documents such as cheque stubs or letters provided by a witness may be marked as exhibits at the hearing.
  3. Expert reports such as appraisals, business loss and valuation reports, and planning reports.

Appealing to the Court

Parties may appeal an order or determination of the Tribunal to the Alberta Court of Appeal, except when it is carrying out the functions of an inquiry officer.

An appeal may be made on questions of law or fact, or both. The Court of Appeal may refer any matter back to the Tribunal or make any order that the Tribunal has the power to make.

Contact

Connect with the Land and Property Rights Tribunal:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (closed 12 pm to 1 pm, open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2444
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-427-0986
Email: [email protected]

Address:
Land and Property Rights Tribunal
2nd Floor, Summerside Business Centre
1229 91 Street SW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6X 1E9

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