Online Adjournments in Calgary

I just received a notice to the profession about an interesting innovation at the Calgary Courthouse of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta. Online adjournments are now available for routine consent applications and applications not yet served:

Calgary Chambers Adjournments

Please be advised that a new online procedure is available in Calgary for consent adjournments and adjournments required where service has not been effected, for all morning Justice and/or Masters Chambers applications. The new procedure is effective January 1, 2008.

Online adjournments are not available for special applications.

The online adjournments are accessed through the Alberta Courts website at

1. Locate the Queen’s Bench drop down menu.
2. Left click on publications and forms.
3. On the left side of the screen, left click on adjournment confirmation.
4. Choose the appropriate location.
5. Complete the online adjournment confirmation form and submit.

According to the notice the adjournments can be achieved in this manner as late as 9:30 the morning of the scheduled hearing, and this procedure is not replacing fax and telephone adjournments at this time. It should be interesting to see how the profession takes to this procedure, and how smoothly it operates. Is anyone aware of similar procedures in other courthouses, and their success?


  1. Why does anyone begin an announcement with the instruction, “Please be advised that …”? Is there any conceivable situation where it would be necessary?

  2. There are pretty clear historical roots to “please be advised”, along the lines of “know all men by these presents” – a letters patent phrase (the plural ‘these presents’ coming directly from the Latin, where a text was considered letters, i.e. collection of individual letters and thus plural [roughly stated]). “Please be advised” is a polite modern equivalent, without the legal impact of the letters patent.

    So much for why anyone does this – it’s an old habit. OTOH I cannot conceive of its being necessary any more, or really desirable either. It is an old habit that can safely be allowed or encouraged to die. Whether it does die may depend on whether some kind of ‘courtesy’ introduction is thought needed to soften the rather blunt statement of fact or rule that follows it.

    An alternative would be “the Court Office (or Chief Justice, or whoever) is pleased to announce that …”. Since the letterhead already tells the reader the source of the announcement, some other introduction has been sought, and found in ancient formula (somewhat adapted).

  3. This procedure has been available in Edmonton, AB for several years. It has been widely accepted by the Edmonton bar, and there’s no reason to believe it will not also be accepted in Calgary.

    I am surprised that it wasn’t offered in Calgary before now.


  4. Online adjournments. Well surely an outcome of the principle of subsidiarity. It is really nice for people (both lawyers and clients) to avoid wasting time by coming to court just to seek adjournment even when there is consent of the parties.
    I hope this is quickly adopted by other jurisdictions as well.