Legal Aid Alberta is committed to serving our clients through the ongoing period of uncertainty. During this challenging time, our Contact Centre is experiencing high call volumes and longer wait times.
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.
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.
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 and there are no financial eligibility requirements.
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 including remote court appearances and after-hours service.
Provincial Court EPO Duty Counsel are working in Court to support Albertans facing family violence issues. We continue to provide legal advice, document preparation and representation at the Provincial Court Applications.
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. The lawyer will then appear at the hearing, 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, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Wetaskiwin with Legal Aid Alberta Duty Counsel appearing on behalf of the claimant.
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.
Legal Aid Alberta is pleased to be delivering a new, temporary service to provide after-hours support for victims of family violence at hearings before a Justice of the Peace. We developed this process in response to increased demands for Emergency Protection Orders.
A Legal Aid Alberta staff lawyer will be available to provide legal advice and representation to Claimants between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Wednesday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays.
They will assess the situation and determine if the matter meets the requirements of the Protection Against Family Violence Act. If it is an appropriate matter for an EPO Application, the staff lawyer will verify the client’s identity and prepare the application for the Justice of the Peace and appear remotely at the hearing.
Having this extra assistance to victims of domestic violence will make the process of obtaining an Emergency Protection Order much less stressful.
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.
For more information: Important Information for APPLICANTS
The purpose of the Queen’s Bench Review is to determine if the EPO should be confirmed. If a Respondent does not oppose the EPO, 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.
For more information: Important Information for RESPONDENTS
Edmonton and area
Calgary and area
All other locations
Ask for a Duty Counsel lawyer to be appointed for your review hearing and they will appear on your behalf.
Watch the recording and browse FAQs from our online information session about how an emergency protection order can keep someone safe from an abuser.