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Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Alberta

Enforcing US and International Judgments in Alberta

Have a US or other international judgement in hand against an Alberta party and don’t want assets to evaporate?

We are Alberta lawyers who respond to international enforcement issues rapidly and effectively.

In our experience, three things are most important when you have a judgment ready for enforcement.

  1. A swift response is paramount. In practical terms, someone owes you or your client money and the sooner you can collect the better. Debtors may seek to rapidly protect assets. Foreign judgments must be registered in Alberta within a limited period of time: within 2 years if from a jurisdiction not covered under Alberta’s Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act and within 6 years if determined by the court to be covered under that Act. Case law demonstrates the question of the applicability of this Act, and the limitations period, is complicated. Contact us for advice. 
  2. Having a legal team to locate assets including proper searches and examinations in aid of enforcement.
  3. Having an experienced cross-border team able to efficiently navigate the Alberta courts and with experience in successfully enforcing judgments.

We are able to handle all aspects of cross-border litigation in Western Canada. We place priority on taking prompt and efficient action to maximize recovery. We are adept at locating assets. We are experienced with the enforcement mechanisms available in Western Canada including equitable relief.

Foreign Action Services

  • Enforcement of American and other international judgments
  • Cross-border litigation services for related actions
  • Seeking Letters Rogatory in relation to interlocutory orders in US and other international actions

Can a United States or Other International Court Judgment be Enforced in Canada?

A US or other international judgment can generally be enforced in Canada, so long as the US or international court property exercised its jurisdiction. An application to register the judgment in Alberta  pursuant to the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act must be made within 6 years of the judgment being granted. This period may be as little as two years, however, if from a jurisdiction not covered by the Act or if the court determines that the Act is not applicable. After the judgment is registered in Alberta, enforcement steps can be taken against Canadian assets. This can include seizing Canadian assets.

How do I Request the Assistance of the Alberta Courts in Enforcing a US or Other International Judgment?

Our attorneys can assist you with making an application to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench to register your American or international judgment in Alberta.

This application must be brought within 6 years of the judgment being granted if it is brought pursuant to the Act, or within two years if not. In many cases, this application may be brought without notice to the judgment debtor.

We are happy to speak with you about the specific conditions of your US or other international judgment, as the process for seeking the assistance of the Alberta courts will vary depending on your specific circumstances.

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