HMCTS Weekly Operational Update - Week commencing Monday 23 August 2021


HMCTS weekly operational update

HMCTS weekly operational update for week commencing Monday 23 August 2021

Next week's update will be issued on Friday 27 August 2021.

  • Updated: The Payment by Account service planned maintenance between midnight Saturday 28 August 2021 and 11:59pm on Monday 30 August 2021 is not going ahead. The service will be available as usual.
  • Read our latest guidance for all court and tribunal users during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Updated: The number and location of our temporary Nightingale courts will be changing over the next weeks as we reach the end of venue-hire contracts. Salford Lowry Nightingale Court will be closing at the end of August 2021. We are extending 32 Crown Nightingale courtrooms to the end of March 2022. A full list of Nightingale courts and additional courtrooms currently open is available via GOV.UK.
  • Reminder: We actively encourage our staff and all court users to continue with twice-weekly asymptomatic rapid testing regardless of their vaccination status. We also encourage individuals to take a free, rapid lateral flow COVID-19 test before coming to a court or tribunal. These are free and readily available in your local area, or to order online. Anyone who tests positive should self-isolate and follow the latest NHS advice.

Crime

  • By the end of September 2021, Common Platform is scheduled to roll out to multiple additional courts in the Midlands, North East, South West and South East. We continue to prepare all sites for readiness in advance of going live, including the relevant police forces. We evaluate progress at all live sites and adjust the approach to rollout if necessary.
  • Common Platform is now live in 101 courts (32 Crown Courts and 69 magistrates' courts). 44% of all criminal courts are now managing cases on Common Platform.
  • Reminder: We prioritise setting up Common Platform accounts according to where legal professionals are based. Solicitors and barristers who work at courts due to go live with Common Platform soon will have their account set up expedited. If you work at a court which isn't due to go live for a while, your account will still be set up, it might just take a little longer. If you work at a court that is already live and you don't have an account, let us know and your account will be set up urgently.
  • Reminder: Defence professionals can download the Initial Details of the Prosecution Case (IDPC) directly from Common Platform, instead of requesting this from the Crown Prosecution Service. You can also upload case documents directly to Common Platform, including the Preparation for Effective Trial (PET) and Better Case Management (BCM) forms.
  • Reminder: Defence solicitors and barristers can use the Common Platform professional check-in feature in both the Crown Court and the magistrates' court. This records your name against the court record for Legal Aid Agency payment purposes, and informs the judge, legal adviser or court clerk that you are in attendance. Watch our video guide to find out more.

Civil

  • A new feature is being rolled out to the online civil money claims (OCMC) system, which allows judges to draw direction orders digitally. Judge draws directions order (JDDO) allows judges to draw digital directions orders via OCMC for cases that are valued between £300.01 and £10,000. The feature has been rolled out across the North East, the South East, London previously and to the South West on Wednesday 11 August 2021. JDDO will be introduced to the remaining regions by the end of September 2021.

Family

  • Updated: On 19 August 2021 a number of improvements were made to the online probate service. Trust Corporations can now apply using MyHMCTS for a grant of probate. Other changes include the ability for probate practitioners to sign a legal statement on behalf of their client and upload them onto their application. Read our blog on recent improvements to the probate service.
  • Further to our consultation response on the closure of Medway County and Family Court, we are now pleased to announce that the court will also sit a new second temporary venue, the Hilton Hotel Maidstone from Monday 16 August 2021. This in addition to the Holiday Inn Rochester, which became operational in June 2021. These temporary court provisions will provide support for up to 16 months, while works are carried out at Medway County and Family Court's long-term home at the Medway Council building at Gun Wharf.

Tribunals

  • We're extending our new online immigration and asylum appeal service. If you don't have legal representation and wish to lodge a protection or revocation of protection appeal from within the UK, you can now do this online. If you experience any issues with the online system, you can contact our helpdesk on 0300 123 1711.

Royal Courts of Justice

  • The fees office at the Royal Courts of Justice is relocating. The office will now be based at the West Green Building. The appointment based system is available to book by calling 0203 936 8957.

Judicial guidance and announcements


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