Written hearings for surface rights disputes

A hearing may be conducted by written submissions.

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A surface rights application or matter at the Land and Property Rights Tribunal may be heard through a written hearing.

If the Tribunal asks for submissions, each party must provide written reasons for their position in the matter and provide any related documentary evidence.

A schedule of dates for submissions may be agreed on by the parties at a Dispute Resolution Conference or set by the Tribunal.

There is no standardized form for submissions.

Prepare letter

Each party should write a letter or email explaining their position – in their own words, or the words of their representative.

Along with the letter, ensure the following happens as well:

  • Include documents relevant to your position.
  • Send a copy of your letter or email and anything else you submitted to the other party in the dispute.

Depending on how complicated the issue is, the Tribunal may make a decision based on the submissions alone, or it may proceed to another process, such as a pre-hearing Dispute Resolution Conference or oral hearing.

Legal costs

When the matter at hand is complicated, the parties may decide to seek independent legal advice, before making a submission.

A party may request the Tribunal to order the other party to cover their legal costs. See the Surface Rights Act and the ‘Costs’ section of the Surface Rights Rules.

What to include

Although circumstances change on what to include in submissions, they often contain some of the following:

  • If the application has any errors, such as an outdated list of respondents or outdated land description, say so in the submissions.
  • If the history of the land is complicated, give a background of who had an interest in what and when.
  • If you believe that the person making the application did not meet all of the legal requirements for making that application, explain why.
  • If the application relates to an ongoing issue, give some background. How many times did you try to contact the other party to resolve the issue? What did they say?
  • For submissions relating to annual compensation, explain what the land is used for and why the compensation rate should be raised or lowered.
  • For submissions about applications for right of entry orders, explain what special circumstances exist on the land not covered by our standard conditions or the conditions given by the Alberta Utilities Commission or Alberta Energy Regulator. Remember when we ask for submissions for right of entry applications, this is not the time to make submissions about compensation – that comes later at the compensation stage.
  • For applications for damages, explain what damages occurred and why the operator is or is not at fault for the damages.
  • If you believe that the matter is complicated enough to require an oral hearing, explain why.

You may include legal precedents, such as past decisions by the Tribunal (or its predecessor the Surface Rights Board) or the courts, to support your argument.


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]

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

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