If you have to sue someone

View this flowchart for an overview of the civil claim process.

Are you eligible to sue?

You have to be 18 to sue someone. If you are under 18, you have to find someone to accept responsibility for the lawsuit including costs. This person is called the "next friend."

Who to Sue

Sometimes people sue the wrong person and, as a result, they lose their case. As a general rule, you are allowed to sue with one Civil Claim form as many people, companies or firms as are involved in the problem.

  1. Individual—When suing an individual or group of individuals, use full first and last names of each person you are suing. Do not use initials, because initials do not sufficiently identify the person being sued.
  2. Business—If you are suing a business, remember that there are two types of businesses: incorporated and unincorporated. The differences between the two are very important.

An incorporated business usually has Limited or Ltd. after its name. (The term company does not necessarily refer to an incorporated business). An incorporated business can be sued only in the name of the business. Put the full name of the business on the Civil Claim.

To find out the exact name of an incorporated business and who can be served with documents on behalf of the incorporated business, a companies search should be requested from an authorized agent for Alberta Registries.

Firms (partnerships of two or more persons) and sole proprietorships are called unincorporated businesses. An unincorporated business must be sued in the name of the owner. Put the owner's full name and the name of the business on the Civil Claim. To find out the owner(s) of an unincorporated business and the address of the owner(s), do a trade name search by contacting an authorized agent for Alberta Registries.