14.4: Right to appeal
14.5: Appeals only with permission
14.8: Filing a notice of appeal

Case Summary

The Applicant applied to extend time to file a Notice of Appeal in relation to a family law matter pursuant to Rules 14.4(5) and 14.8. The proposed Appeal arose from a Decision by a Chambers Judge that proceeded by way of desk Application. 

The Court noted that processes have evolved to the point where certain family Applications can proceed by desk Application pursuant to Notice to the Profession & Public - Family Applications with Written Argument-2020-06 and Notice to the Profession & Public - Family Law Simple Desk Applications-2020-04, both dated May 8, 2020. As a result of this, parties do not appear in Court for these Applications and do not have an actual pre-schedule date for the rendering of a Decision. Consequently, Decisions can potentially emerge without all counsel becoming immediately aware of the release of the Decision.

The Court noted that pursuant to the Decision in Balisky v Balisky, 2019 ABCA 404, the Court has discretion to extend the time to appeal. In the current circumstances, the extension of time was close to the time limit provided for in the Rules. Watson J.A. also took judicial notice of “a rather monstrous pandemic situation that has engulfed the planet for quite some months now.” Ultimately, Watson J.A. granted the Application for an extension of time to appeal.

His Lordship also considered whether this case concerned an amount less than $25,000 and required permission to appeal pursuant to Rule 14.5(g). The Applicant was principally seeking spousal support of $500/month indefinitely. Based on the submissions from the parties, it was at least arguable that the amount involved was more than $25,000 so the Applicant’s ability to appeal was not affected by Rule 14.5(g).

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