HMCTS Weekly Operational Update - Week commencing Monday 4 October 2021

HMCTS weekly operational update

HMCTS operational summary for week commencing Monday 4 October 2021

Next week's update will be issued on Friday 8 October 2021.


  • Updated: Last week York Hilton Nightingale court closed, which provided one additional courtroom for family work. We are extending 32 Crown Nightingale courtrooms to the end of March 2022. See the full list of Nightingale courts and additional courtrooms currently open.
  • Read our latest guidance for all court and tribunal users during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Reminder: You should continue to follow the relevant self-isolation rules which changed in August 2021 for England, Wales and Scotland.
  • Reminder: All professional courts and tribunals users should continue to wear face coverings whilst attending our buildings.
  • Updated: We've added more detail to our COVID-19 guidance on GOV.UK when coming to our buildings. This does not change our current advice, but reminds you not to come to a court or tribunal if you've been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and you're not fully vaccinated. 
  • Reminder: We actively encourage our staff and all court and tribunal 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: The national roll out of Common Platform remains on track to reach all criminal courts in England and Wales during the coming months. We're preparing courts to join the programme on a site by site basis. 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.
  • Updated: Any adjustments to the roll out schedule are always communicated directly to those affected. All sites currently operating with Common Platform will continue to do so irrespective of any such adjustments.
  • Reminder: The latest news on progress and developments on national rollout of Common Platform was discussed at a recent webinar for defence professionals.
  • 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.


  • Updated: 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 now been rolled out across all regions in England and Wales, after going live in the North West on Wednesday 29 September 2021.
  • 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.


  • Since 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. See our guidance on applying for a family law order.
  • 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. See our guide to using our online divorce services.

Judicial guidance and announcements

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