Hm Courts Tribunals Service
From Friday 24 April 2020 we are issuing weekly updates on our operational position and well email our subscribers each Sunday evening with a reminder. On Monday mornings well also publish a link to the weekly update on Twitter.
You can see our previously issued daily operational updates.
Follow us on @HMCTSgovuk to also check for daily or urgent updates.
Well keep this under review.
HMCTS operational summary for week commencing Monday 25 May 2020
Next weeks update will be issued on Friday 29 May 2020.
- We have many online court and tribunal services available to professional users and members of the public. These remove the need to contact us by phone, email or post.
- We have comprehensively assessed risk to staff and users and are ensuring the safety of anyone who comes in to our buildings by applying published court and tribunal coronavirus safety controls. These have been endorsed by Public Health England and Public Health Wales.
- Were consolidating the work of courts and tribunals into fewer buildings. Some building are open to the public, some buildings are staffed but are not open to the public, and some buildings are temporarily closed. The list was updated 22 May 2020.
- Where courts and tribunals are closed, well contact parties directly to confirm new hearing arrangements. Well contact those parties whose hearings were scheduled to happen first, and work our way through the list as quickly as possible. Please be patient while we do this, and avoid making contact if you can.
- The Kinly Cloud Video Platform (CVP) is being rolled out to Crown and magistrates courts, across England and Wales. See the timetable for rollout to Crown courts. It is also being introduced to Civil and Family courts. Please see our updated telephone and video hearings during coronavirus outbreak and a guide on how to join a telephone and video hearing.
- Weve published guidance on how to join a CVP hearing and instructions for downloading Skype for Business in order to join a court hearing.
- Were continuing to avoid physical hearings and arranging remote hearings wherever possible. Anyone who requires technical support for a telephone or video hearing can call 0330 8089405.
- Our Courts and Tribunals Service Centres will be available from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 4pm on Fridays until further notice. .
- Our South East region will only be taking calls between 10am to 2pm in all jurisdictions (with the exceptions on the next line).
- Chelmsford, Norwich, Ipswich and Basildon Crown Courts are temporarily unable to answer calls. The recorded message will advise you what to do.
- Weve introduced temporary new hours in our Scotland contact centre. .
- Welsh Language services available during the coronavirus outbreak. .
- The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett of Maldon has announced that new jury trials will start in a few courts week commencing 18 May 2020. This followed discussions with the Lord Chancellor, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP.
- Some new jury trials have commenced under special arrangements to maintain the safety of all participants, including jurors. Four Crown courts started to hold jury trials last week and we expect jury trials at Reading Crown Court, Warwick Crown Court and Winchester Crown Court to start this week.
- Message from the Chair of the Jury Trials Working Group on resumption of jury trials: 22 May 2020.
- Crown Courts are dealing with a range of work, much of which is being done remotely. This includes sentencing hearings and all urgent applications including applications for bail and applications to extend custody time limits. Pre-trial preparation hearings and further case management hearings are also taking place.
- Magistrates courts continue to cover urgent work, such as cases where the defendant is being held in police or prison custody. The courts are also dealing with Domestic Violence Protection Orders and giving priority to offences which are committed in circumstances linked to the present Covid-19 pandemic. .
- Domestic abuse cases are being prioritised for summary trial and are being listed for hearing following rigorous case management by judges and legal advisers. The Judiciary has published a note of listing in magistrates courts during coronavirus outbreak.
- Various other work including police traffic prosecution prosecutions, is being with dealt with remotely using the Single Justice Procedure.
- We are making plans to start dealing with other cases where the defendant is on bail, during June.
- All questions about paying an outstanding criminal court fine should be sent to our National Compliance and Enforcement Service at NCESBCT@justice.gov.uk or call 0300 123 9252.
- Family courts business priorities. .
- Family court C100 (child arrangements) guidance.