When the Alberta Rules of Court were replaced in November 2010, they did not contain rules for appeals to the Court of Appeal of Alberta. As such, with the enactment of the new Court of Appeal rules, all of the 2010 Rules of Court will now apply to appeals in the Court of Appeal, rather than the 1968 Rules of Court that were applied during this limbo period. The Alberta Court of Appeal’s new rules came into full force and effect on September 1, 2014 and there are some significant changes to take note of.
Specifically, lawyers must look to Rules 14.8 and 15.16 to take note of the changed applicable appeal periods. It is important to review these new rule changes as matters that are potentially subject to a civil appeal may be at risk of missing the limitation period in which to file and serve a notice of appeal. Also important to note is that the new rules do NOT displace appeal periods prescribed by statute or other rules (including the Divorce Act for family law matters).
According to the new rules, appeal periods in which to commence an appeal or apply for leave to appeal, now run from the date of decision, NOT the date the formal order or judgment reflecting the decision is entered and served. Thus, the default appeal period is now one month after the date of the decision, rather than 20 days from the date of service of the judgment, order or decision under appeal. “Date of decision” is defined as the date that the judgment, order or other decision being appealed is made or, if reasons are subsequently given, the date the reasons are issued. This is specified in Rule 14.8 while Rule 15.16 provides the limited transitional provisions.