Depending on your situation, you (the plaintiff) may be able to sue the person causing harm (the defendant) in civil court to recover money (called damages) for injuries or property. Civil court deals with relationships and conflicts between people (and businesses or other organizations). In order to recover any damages, it is necessary to show the court that you have suffered some loss as a result of the abuse.
The following are examples of where you could ask the court to award you money:
- If someone has physically abused you, you could try to sue them for assault, trespass, negligence or battery. The loss can be physical (such as a broken arm) or mental suffering. The amount you might get would depend on how severe the injury is.
- If you have lost money because of abuse, you could sue the person responsible for this financial loss. This could be wages for work you missed or the cost of a missed holiday because of the abuse.
- If someone stole property or money from you, you could try to sue them for the value of the property.
If the total amount you are claiming is $100,000 or less, you can file your claim in the Alberta Court of Justice. The process is fairly informal, and it is possible to pursue the case without a lawyer. (Even if a claim is over $100,000, it is always possible to only claim $100,000 so that the claim can be made in Court of Justice.)
If the total amount you are claiming is over $100,000, you must file your claim in the Court of King’s Bench. Although you can represent yourself, the process is more complicated and you may want to retain a lawyer to help you.
For legal help, see the More Info page for information on how to find a lawyer.