HMCTS operational summary for week commencing Monday 20 September 2021

HMCTS weekly operational update

HMCTS operational summary for week commencing Monday 20 September 2021

Next week's update will be issued on Friday 24 September 2021.

  • 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. We are opening a new Nightingale court in London this week, with a formal announcement appearing on Tuesday 21 September 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.
  • On Friday 10 September 2021 we opened our first super courtroom in Manchester. Manchester Crown Court has been revamped to create a space that is three times the size of a usual courtroom – allowing trials with up to 12 defendants, which usually involve gang-related crime, such as county lines drug trafficking, murders, and money laundering.
  • Read our latest guidance for all court and tribunal users during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Reminder: All professional courts and tribunals users should continue to wear face coverings whilst attending our buildings.
  • 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.


  • Updated: On Friday 24 September 2021 we'll be holding a webinar for defence professionals to update on the rollout of Common Platform and offer the opportunity to ask questions. Defence professionals are able to register now.
  • Updated: Legal representatives with access rights to the Digital Case System (DCS) should continue to upload documents on to DCS. In all other situations documents should be served on the relevant Crown Court which can be located through Find a Court or Tribunal.
  • Updated: If a case has begun on Common Platform then documents should be served by uploading through Common Platform. In all other instances, documents that are required to be served on HMCTS should be served on the relevant Magistrates' Court which can be located through Find a Court or Tribunal. The position for service to Crown and magistrates' courts will be revised and updated following the national roll out of Common Platform.
  • We continue to prepare targeted sites for the national roll out of Common Platform. This includes working with relevant police forces, evaluating progress at all existing live sites, feeding in lessons learned, continuing to refine the support plan and adjusting the approach to roll out as necessary.
  • Common Platform is currently 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 are approaching mandation of E-Filing in the Queen's Bench Division that went live on Monday 19 July 2021. We'll be running several webinars in October in order to support users to prepare for mandation. More details are available via GOV.UK.


  • Updated: From Monday 20 September 2021 local authorities and legal firms under the jurisdiction of Bristol, Newcastle, Taunton, Kent, Cardiff and Kingston-Upon-Hull family courts must submit C110a applications for care and supervision orders online using MyHMCTS. Supporting documents for applications required by the Family Court should also be uploaded to MyHMCTS. Guidance on applying for a family law order is available via GOV.UK.
  • Reminder: Legal representatives must submit divorce applications online using MyHMCTS. The only exceptions are applications for civil partnership dissolution, judicial separation and nullity, which should be filed at the Bury St. Edmunds Regional Divorce Centre. A transitional period will operate to Monday 4 October 2021 when we will continue to process paper applications. Paper applications received from Tuesday 5 October 2021 will be returned to the applicant. Our guide to using our online divorce services is available via GOV.UK.
  • Family Circuit Judge hearings are moving from Coverdale House in Leeds and will now take place at Leeds Magistrates' Court.


  • Employment Tribunal and Social Security and Child Support Tribunal hearings that were taking place at Wilberforce Court in Hull are now taking place at Hull Combined Court.
  • As part of work to enhance our online service, solicitors and other legal professionals can now pay immigration and asylum tribunal fees quickly and easily using our Payment by Account (PBA) service via MyHMCTS. PBA provides a fast, free and secure method of payment. Information about how PBA works and how to register is available via GOV.UK. We welcome feedback via our online exit survey or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Judicial guidance and announcements

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