Overview

If parties do not reach an agreement through facilitated negotiations, the Tribunal may hold a hearing to resolve the dispute. Hearings may occur entirely through written correspondence, or happen orally in-person, by video, or telephone.

A panel of one to 3 Tribunal members typically conduct oral hearings. In the event that the panel involves 3 members, one panel member will chair the hearing.

During an oral hearing, each side has the opportunity to present evidence supporting their position and to rebut the other party’s evidence. This process somewhat resembles court proceedings, but Tribunal hearings are not as formal and do not have to follow all of the processes of a court.

For information on how to get ready for a rate of compensation review hearing, see How to prepare for a Hearing for a review of Annual Compensation.

If you are interested in observing an in-person, telephone or video hearing, contact Tribunal administration for more information on upcoming hearings.

Representation

In accordance with the Surface Rights Rules, a lawyer or personal representative other than a lawyer may represent you.

If you choose someone to represent you, any notice given to the representative is considered notice to you.

If the representative retained is not a lawyer or licensed land agent, you must complete an Appointment of Personal Representative form and file it with Tribunal administration unless you appointed them on your original application form. If the representative is a lawyer or licensed land agent, they must notify us in writing that they represent you.

If your representative ceases to act on your behalf, you must send written notice to Tribunal administration immediately.

Evidence

The Tribunal panel bases its decision on the evidence put before it on the day of the hearing.

Disclose all documentary evidence to the Tribunal and the other party prior to the hearing on a schedule set up at a Dispute Resolution Conference or set by the Tribunal.

Submit any documentary evidence you think will assist the Tribunal panel in determining compensation. Evidence may include documents such as:

  • pictures
  • agreements
  • correspondence

You may also wish to engage an appraiser or other expert to create a report to submit as evidence.

As indicated above, you must submit evidence to the Tribunal and the other party prior to the hearing. See the ‘Evidence and Disclosure’ section of the Surface Rights Rules for more information.

Hearing process

Hearings happen pursuant to the Surface Rights Act. A hearing regarding right of entry order compensation may be scheduled any time after the right of entry order issues.

Typically, a hearing is scheduled following a pre-hearing Dispute Resolution Conference based on the preferences of the parties and Tribunal availability.

Tribunal hearings are generally more formal than a Dispute Resolution Conference, but less formal than a court hearing.

The Tribunal hearing panel is not required to abide by the same rules of court and rules of evidence that courts are required to follow, but they will take into account the rules established in the Surface Rights Rules.

If you choose not to attend, the hearing can proceed and a decision can be made in your absence. For more information, see the Hearings section of the Surface Rights Rules.

Hearings generally follow the format shown in the following section.

Before the hearing

The Tribunal chooses the format (in-person, video or telephone), time, date, and location (if applicable) for the hearing. Factors taken into consideration may include:

  • the input of the parties at a Dispute Resolution Conference
  • the location of the land at issue
  • the proximity of the location to the landowner’s residence
  • the availability of facilities to host the hearing
  • the availability of the parties respective solicitors, should they choose to retain legal counsel
  • the availability of our resources

The Tribunal issues a Notice of Hearing outlining details of the hearing. See the 'Notice of Hearing' section of the Surface Rights Rules for more information.

If a hearing needs to be adjourned or rescheduled, it is done pursuant to the Surface Rights Rules.

Step 1. Introduction by the Board

  • At the beginning of the hearing, the Tribunal panel chair will introduce the Tribunal panel members.
  • The chair asks the parties and their representatives to introduce themselves. It is useful to provide us with business cards, if available.
  • The chair outlines the hearing procedure and the parties’ responsibilities.
  • The chair explains the hearing panel's role and the purpose of the hearing.
  • The chair declares the hearing panel’s right to ask questions at any point during the hearing.
  • If the matter relates to a right of entry order, the panel asks whether the entry fee and 80% of the last offer were paid.

Step 2. Opening statements

The hearing chair asks the parties to briefly outline their positions.

Step 3. Applicant’s presentation

In the case of an application for a new taking under a right of entry order, the operator is the applicant. In other matters such as a review of annual compensation payments or for an award for damages the party submitting the application is the applicant.

  • The applicant is the first to present evidence and testimony.
  • For examples of the evidence you might bring to a rate of compensation review hearing, see Compensation Review Sample Evidence Sheet.
  • The applicant has the opportunity to outline their position in detail and call any witnesses (including themselves).

Questioning of the applicant’s witnesses

  • The applicant calls the first witness and has the first opportunity to ask questions of the witness. A Tribunal member asks the witness to swear an oath or make an affirmation before questioning begins.
  • Next, the opposing party poses questions to the witness (otherwise known as cross-examination).
  • The applicant may then ask questions in rebuttal. This means they have the chance to ask the witness questions that relate to information that arose out of the opposing party’s questions.
  • Next, the panel may ask the witness questions. After questioning is finished, the witness is excused.
  • The process repeats for each of the applicant’s witnesses.

Step 4. Opposing party’s presentation

The opposing party has the opportunity to outline their position in detail and call any witnesses they have (including themselves) to give testimony.

Questioning of the opposing party’s witnesses

  • The opposing party calls their first witness and has the first opportunity to ask the witness questions. A Tribunal member asks the witness to swear an oath or make an affirmation before questioning begins.
  • Next, the applicant has the opportunity to question the witness (cross-examination).
  • The opposing party has an opportunity for rebuttal. This means they have the chance to ask the witness any questions that relate to information that arose out of the applicant’s questions
  • Finally, the Tribunal panel may ask the witness questions. After questioning is finished, the witness is excused.
  • This process repeats for each of the opposing party’s witnesses.

Step 5. Applicant’s rebuttal evidence

The applicant may present any evidence (including calling additional witnesses) in order to rebut anything new that arose from the opposing party’s presentation.

Step 6. Summation and final arguments by the applicant

The applicant has the opportunity to sum up their position and to give an oral argument.

Step 7. Summation and final arguments by the opposing party

The opposing party has the opportunity to sum up their position and to give an oral argument.

Step 8. Applicant’s rebuttal arguments

The applicant has the opportunity to present any rebuttal argument relating to anything new that arose from the opposing party’s argument. This is not an opportunity to restate arguments already put forth by the applicant.

The Tribunal has the discretion to ask for written arguments instead of or in addition to oral. If this occurs, the Tribunal panel will set deadlines for submission of the arguments. The Tribunal panel may refer to these arguments as submissions.

Step 9. Application for costs

The Tribunal panel asks the parties if they wish to claim costs related to the proceedings. The panel may set deadlines for submissions on costs to be sent to the panel (and copied to the other party).

Step 10. Close of the hearing

The panel formally closes the hearing. The written decision of the panel will issue some time later and be sent to all parties (or their representatives).

Occasionally, the panel may request additional submissions after the close of the hearing.

Contact

Connect with the Land and Property Rights Tribunal:

Hours: 8:15 am – 4:30 pm (closed 12 pm to 1 pm)
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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