CB v BM, 2021 ABQB 151


3.2: How to start an action

Case Summary

After the Applicant father and Respondent mother divorced, the Respondent mother took the children of the marriage to Canada. The Applicant father sought the return of the two children to France.

The Court determined that the Respondent had wrongfully removed the children from France. The Court then considered whether “proceedings” were commenced within one year from the date of the alleged wrongful removal. The Court noted that Article 12 of the Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the “Hague Convention”) states that the Court was required to order the immediate return of the children if “proceedings” were commenced within one year.

The Court determined that proceedings were not commenced within one year. The Applicant had initially filed a Hague Convention claim with the French Central Authority which had referred the matter to the Alberta Central Authority. Although the Alberta Central Authority filed a Notice under the Hague Convention, the Court determined that the Notice itself was not an Application or proceeding. The Court noted that Rule 3.2(1) provides that an Action may only be started by filing a Statement of Claim, an Originating Application, or a Notice of Appeal.

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