During this challenging time and as the courts are re-opening, our Contact Centre is currently experiencing excessive call volumes and callers may experience longer wait times than usual.
If you have had difficulty reaching us, please call back and stay on the line. We are working diligently to answer your calls and thank you for your patience at this time.
Legal Aid Alberta is committed to serving our clients through the ongoing period of uncertainty. Public health requirements as well as changes made by Alberta Courts have resulted in some changes to our procedures.
We continue to provide legal services, including Duty Counsel, at courthouses across the province. Some of those services may be provided by phone or CCTV as determined by the respective courthouses.
You should not attend court unless it is an urgent matter and your personal appearance is required.
Please visit the Alberta Courts website for up-to-date information on court proceedings, including which matters are being heard and in which courthouse locations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many Albertans stress and anxiety. For families experiencing domestic violence, it can be much more severe as the isolation can compound an already dangerous situation.
We help victims of family violence through our Emergency Protection Order Program. The program provides these individuals with information and a lawyer who can help them to obtain and confirm protection orders. This service is free of charge are there are no financial eligibility requirements.
Both the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta have closed to the public except for urgent matters, including Emergency Protection Order applications and reviews.
To ensure that the most vulnerable in Alberta continue to receive the support they need to protect their health and well-being during this health crisis, we have developed new and innovative ways to support victims of family violence through remote court appearances and after-hours service.
Provincial Court EPO Duty Counsel are working remotely to support Albertans facing family violence issues. We continue to provide legal advice, document preparation and representation at the Provincial Court Applications over the phone.
Victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Provincial Court EPO Duty Counsel in Edmonton at 780-422-4730 and in Calgary at 403-355-4868 to get legal advice on their situation.
Our lawyer will assess the situation and determine if the matter meets the requirements of the Protection Against Family Violence Act. If it does, the lawyer will verify the client’s identity and prepare the EPO application, send it to the client to review and approve, and then email it to the court. The lawyer will then appear at the hearing by phone and question the client and provide submissions to the court. Duty Counsel is also aiding clients with Safety Planning or connecting them with our justice navigators – all in an effort to keep them safe.
Emergency Protection Order applications and reviews have been taking place in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer on a daily basis in person with Legal Aid Alberta Duty Counsel appearing on behalf of the claimant.
Due to a lower volume, applications and reviews in Lethbridge have been taking place remotely. As a result of collaboration between Legal Aid Alberta and Alberta Courts, all Queen’s Bench EPO Review hearings are taking place remotely across the province.
The purpose of the Queen’s Bench Review is to determine if the EPO should be confirmed. If the claimant does not retain counsel or attend the court date by phone, the EPO could be vacated. Legal Aid Alberta provides victims of domestic violence a free lawyer to assist during the Queen’s Bench Review process.
The purpose of the Queen’s Bench Review is to determine if the EPO should be confirmed. If a Respondents does not oppose the EPO and attend the court date by phone, the EPO could be continued for a period of one year.
If the Respondent wants a free lawyer to assist through the review hearing process, they can call us at 1-866-845-3425. A lawyer will then participate in the hearing on their behalf.
Edmonton and area
Calgary and area
All other locations
In all other locations, ask for a Duty Counsel lawyer to be appointed, and they will appear on the Claimant’s behalf.