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In Alberta, the monetary maximum for suing in the Court of Justice (Civil), commonly known as Small Claims Court, is $100,000. This limit excludes costs and interest. If the debt surpasses this threshold, you have the option to abandon the amount that exceeds $100,000 to keep the case within the jurisdiction of Small Claims Court.
Abandoning Excess Amount: If you are owed $115,000, you might consider abandoning the extra $15,000. This strategy allows you to proceed in Small Claims Court, which often results in lower legal costs and quicker resolution compared to filing a suit in the Court of King's Bench. The legal fees incurred in the Court of King's Bench are likely to offset the $15,000 you might abandon.
Multiple Job Sites: If you have multiple outstanding invoices from different job sites and the total amount owed exceeds $100,000, consider separating the debts by job site. You can then file separate actions for each site, as long as each claim remains under the $100,000 limit. By doing so, you avoid the need to abandon any amount.
Court of King’s Bench vs Small Claims Court
It's essential to note that Agents cannot represent you in the Court of King's Bench. Therefore, you'll need to hire a lawyer, leading to increased time and financial costs. These factors make the Small Claims Court a more appealing option for many, even when the debt exceeds the $100,000 limit.