This page provides a weekly summary of the HM Courts and Tribunals Service operational position during the coronavirus pandemic. We will aim to update this every Friday at 5pm.
We are issuing weekly updates on our operational position and we’ll email our subscribers each Sunday evening with a reminder. On Monday mornings we’ll 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.
We’ll keep this under review.
HMCTS operational summary for week commencing Monday 21 September 2020
Next week’s update will be issued on Friday 25 September 2020.
- Updated: Following the announcements on the local restrictions in England and those local restrictions in Wales, courts and tribunals will continue to function in these regions as normal. As an essential public service, work continues as before and there are currently no plans to change scheduled hearings. This is the same as the approach taken when similar local restrictions were implemented earlier in the summer, for example in the city of Leicester. We are following public health advice and are experienced in managing COVID-secure ways of working with a range of mitigating measures in place.
- Updated: We’re now asking that court and tribunal users wear a face covering in all public and communal parts of our buildings in England and Wales. Those people using our buildings in Scotland may also wear face coverings, but they remain optional. We’ve published guidance on wearing a face covering when coming to court.
- Updated: We will be opening three further Nightingale Courts at Salford, York and Middlesbrough week commencing 28 September 2020. Full details and a formal announcement will be published in due course.
- Updated: The first in our latest webinar series will take place on Wednesday 23 September. These webinars will provide an interactive update on the steps we’re taking towards recovery across our jurisdictions. The first webinar focuses on our recovery within the criminal courts. Sign up is open now.
- The Kinly Cloud Video Platform (CVP) is available in Crown and magistrates’ courts across England and Wales to support video enabled hearings. During August 2020, we extended the availability of our new video platform to civil and family courts, to enable more remote cases to be heard safely and securely. For more info on joining telephone and video hearings please see our guide. We’ve also published information for legal practitioners who are involved in video enabled criminal hearings. If you require technical support for a telephone or video hearing 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. .
- Welsh Language services available during the coronavirus outbreak. .
- Updated: From week commencing Monday 21 September 2020, jury trials will have resumed in 74 Crown Courts.
- Updated: Crown Courts due to restart jury trials in October 2020 (dates to be confirmed) – Doncaster Justice Centre South (Doncaster Crown Court), satellite of Sheffield, Burnley Combined Court Centre, Preston Crown Court and Family Court (Sessions House) Annex, King’s Lynn Crown Court, Lewes Combined Court and Isle of Wight Combined Court (Newport).
- Updated: The Crown Court at Snaresbrook, Kingston-Upon-Hull and Stafford began to pilot COVID-19 Operating Hours on Monday 14 September. Portsmouth and Reading will begin piloting COVID-19 Operating Hours from Monday 21 September. This will help increase our capacity to hear cases and reduce the backlog that has built up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Updated: During the week commencing Monday 21st September we plan to install plexiglass screens in 53 courtrooms and 35 retiring rooms across the Crown Court estate, in order to safely resume jury trials. We have installed plexiglass screens in 68 courtrooms and 21 retiring rooms so far.
- Updated: We have installed Portakabin® portable buildings at Bradford Combined Court, Kingston-Upon-Hull Combined Court and Leeds Combined Court. The buildings provide additional rooms for jurors to deliberate, which in turn means more jury trials can take place. The Bradford and Hull portable buildings are now being used. The Leeds portable building will be used from on Monday 21 September 2020.
- Crown Courts continue to deal with a range of work remotely, including 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 are now dealing with most business type hearings. Since August magistrates’ courts have been completing more cases than have been received and the number of sittings are almost at pre-covid levels. We are working hard to return this to 100%, in a COVID-safe way.
- The judiciary has published a note of listing in magistrates’ courts during coronavirus outbreak.
- All questions about paying an outstanding criminal court fine should be sent to our National Compliance and Enforcement Service at NCESWE@justice.gov.uk or call 0300 123 9252.
- Since 24 August 2020 all consented applications must now be submitted using MyHMCTS. Visit the HMCTS online services for legal professionals page to register and find more information.
- Family courts business priorities. .
- Family court C100 (child arrangements) guidance. .
- Guidance on replacement of affidavits with statements of truth in non-contentious probate processes.
- Coronavirus contingency arrangements for Family Law Act injunctions. .
- Civil court listing priorities. .
- Updated: The Judiciary have published various updates, user help guides and frequently asked questions documents on their website.
Royal Courts of Justice
- Rule changes regarding Writs of Possession have been approved by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee and are effective as of Monday 24 August .
- The Royal Courts of Justice operational update: .
- The High Court is covering work according to the High Court Contingency Plan.
- More detailed guidance for the Administrative Court Office.
- More detailed guidance for the Queen’s Bench. .
- The Court of Appeal Civil Division is covering work according to the RCJ Court of Appeal Civil urgent business priorities. .
- The Court of Appeal Criminal Division is covering work according to the RCJ Court of Appeal Criminal Emergency Plan. .
- The Royal Courts of Justice Fees Office is currently open to the public between 10am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday .
- The Senior Costs Judge has published a note on hearings and detailed assessments in the Senior Courts Costs Office .
- Week commencing Monday 14 September 2020
- Week commencing Monday 7 September 2020
- Week commencing Monday 31 August 2020
- Week commencing Monday 24 August 2020
- Week commencing Monday 17 August 2020
- Week commencing Monday 10 August 2020
- Week commencing Monday 3 August 2020
- Week commencing Monday 27 July 2020
- Week commencing Monday 20 July 2020
- Week commencing Monday 13 July 2020
- Week commencing Monday 6 July 2020
- Week commencing Monday 29 June 2020
- Week commencing Monday 22 June 2020
- Week commencing Monday 15 June 2020
- Week commencing Monday 8 June 2020
- Week commencing Monday 1 June 2020
- Week commencing Monday 25 May 2020
- Week commencing Monday 18 May 2020
- Week commencing Monday 11 May 2020
- Week commencing Monday 4 May 2020
- Friday 24 April 2020