You may need to search or access court records at some point, such as to get a copy of a court order, figure out the last step that was taken in a lawsuit, or get the court number for a case you were involved in.
This guide is for searching court records in Alberta only. Each province has its own process and fees. You should contact the courthouse in the province where the documents are filed for more information.
Form of Request
Your request must be in a specific form. The form is different for Civil matters (including family, bankruptcy and estate records) and for Criminal/Traffic matters. There are copies of these forms at every courthouse that you can fill out. Or you can access electronic copies here:
Civil Search Request: https://cfr.forms.gov.ab.ca/Form/CTS3859.pdf
Criminal/Traffic Search Request: https://albertacourts.ca/docs/default-source/pc/search-request-(criminal—traffic).pdf?sfvrsn=7e9d280_10
The court can search by name or file number, so it is important to fill in as much information as you have. You must also indicate what it is that you are looking for (see the “Request Type” section at the bottom of the form).
Where to Go
To access records filed with any court in Alberta (the Provincial Court of Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, or the Alberta Court of Appeal), you can go to any courthouse in Alberta with your search request.
If you are going to the courthouse in Edmonton or Calgary, you will need to go to the right clerk to have your request processed (such as criminal matters, family matters, Provincial Court civil claims matters, Court of Queen’s Bench civil matters). There will be signs indicating where you should go or you can ask at the information desk at the courthouse for directions. If you are at a smaller courthouse, there may be only one clerk for the whole courthouse.
Depending on what your search request is and which courthouse you go to, the clerk may or may not be able to complete your search right away. The actual court file is kept at the courthouse where the matter was heard. For example, if a matter was heard at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer, then the file will be at that court only. The courthouse in Edmonton will not have access to this file. Instead, the clerk in Edmonton will assist with the search by sending it to the courthouse in Red Deer. The results will be mailed to you.
As well, the courthouse sometimes stores older files in a different location. If you are looking for a copy of a document in an old court file, it may take the court a few weeks to get the file from storage and have it available at the courthouse for you.
There are different fees for different actions:
|Search fee||$10.00 per search*|
|Fee to pull a file||$10.00 per file|
|Photocopies of documents||$1.00 per page|
|Certified copies of documents||$10.00 per certified copy**|
*A search of records at the Court of Queen’s Bench and another at Provincial Court are two separate searches and each will cost $10.00.
**A certified copy of a document has a stamp on it saying it is a certified (true) copy of the original. It is signed by a court official. To be a certified copy, the document must have this original stamp and signature.
If you have more questions about searching court records, contact Resolution and Court Administration Services:
Last Reviewed: June 2019