Guidance

HMCTS weekly operational summary

A weekly summary of the latest HM Courts and Tribunals Service operational position for users. We will aim to update this every Friday at 4pm.

We email our weekly operational update to our subscribers on Sunday evenings, and share on social media on Monday mornings. Follow us on Twitter to check for daily or urgent updates.

HMCTS operational summary for week commencing Monday 27 September 2021

Next week’s update will be issued on Friday 1 October 2021.

  • Reminder: You should continue to follow the relevant self-isolation rules which changed in August 2021 for England, Wales and Scotland.
  • 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. Last week we opened a new Nightingale court in Monument, London, which provides 2 additional courtrooms for Crown Court work. 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 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.

Crime

  • Updated: On Friday 24 September 2021, we held a webinar for defence professionals to update them on the rollout of Common Platform. A recording of the webinar is now available to view and we’ll publish questions from the webinar soon.
  • Reminder: 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.
  • Reminder: 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’ c ourt 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.

Civil

  • 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 the North East, the South East, London, the Midlands, and the South West regions. It went live in Wales on Wednesday 22 September 2021. JDDO will be introduced to the North West region by the end of 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.

Family

  • Updated: 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..
  • Family Circuit Judge hearings are moving from Coverdale House in Leeds and will now take place at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

Tribunals

  • 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 support.IA@justice.gov.uk.

Judicial guidance and announcements

Previous editions

Published 21 May 2021
Last updated 24 September 2021 + show all updates
  1. Update for week commencing Monday 27 September published.

  2. Added translation

  3. Update for week commencing Monday 20 September 2021 published.

  4. Added translation

  5. Update for week commencing Monday 13 September published.

  6. Update for week commencing Monday 6 September 2021 published.

  7. Added translation

  8. Update for week commencing Monday 30 August 2021 published.

  9. Added translation

  10. Updated for week commencing Monday 23 August 2021.

  11. Welsh translation added.

  12. Update for week commencing Monday 16 August 2021 published.

  13. Added translation

  14. Update for week commencing Monday 9 August 2021 published.

  15. Added translation

  16. Update for week commencing Monday 2 August 2021 published.

  17. Added translation

  18. Update for week commencing Monday 26 July 2021 published.

  19. Added translation

  20. Updated COVID guidance pages added.

  21. Update for week commencing Monday 19 July 2021 published.

  22. Added translation

  23. Update for week commencing Monday 12 July published.

  24. Added translation

  25. Update for week commencing Monday 5 July 2021.

  26. Added translation

  27. Update for week commencing Monday 28 June 2021 published.

  28. Added translation

  29. Update for week commencing Monday 21 June 2021 published.

  30. Added translation

  31. Update for week commencing Monday 14 June 2021 published.

  32. Added translation

  33. Update for week commencing Monday 7 June 2021 published.

  34. Update for week commencing Monday 31 May 2021 published.

  35. Added translation

  36. Added line on operational status of courts in areas where COVID19 variant is spreading.

  37. First published.