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Normal family court business unlikely before spring 2021

  • rubytuesday
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11 Jun 20 #512807 by rubytuesday
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The president of the family division has drawn a roadmap for what the family courts will look like over the next few months, warning that the normal working environment is unlikely to return until spring next year.

Sir Andrew McFarlane today published a framework for at least the next six months entitled ‘The Road Ahead’.

He said: ‘In the early weeks of the Covid-19 crisis, most contested fact-finding or final welfare hearings were adjourned (unless they could proceed, for example, with minimal oral evidence). It was no doubt hoped by many that normal working would resume relatively soon and the delay in resolving the contested issues would not be great. It now seems sensible to assume that social distancing restrictions will remain in place for many months and that it is unlikely that anything approaching a return to the normal court working environment will be achieved before the end of 2020 or even the spring of 2021.’

McFarlane

McFarlane: Family division president sets out framework for at least next six months

McFarlane said the fully family court estate should be open to the public by early July, but social distancing will reduce capacity and ‘a good deal of the day to day work’ will have to be done remotely.

Pointing out that the family court was struggling with the pre-Covid workload, McFarlane said there would have to be a ‘very radical reduction’ in the amount of time courts could afford to each hearing. Parties appearing before the court should expect the issues to be limited only to those which it is necessary to determine to dispose of the case. Oral evidence and submissions must be cut down.

Courts should inform parties which remote platform is to be used at least three days before the hearing. Zoom cannot currently be supported by the judiciary or HMCTS. The cloud video platform is being introduced to family court centres starting this week. Judges can use Microsoft Teams. Consideration should be given to arranging lay parties to engage in a hearing from a solicitor’s office or barrister’s chambers.

McFarlane said the task ahead for the family court was daunting but praised the 'can do' approach which he was confident will continue.

You can read the Framework document here - www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020...Road-Ahead_FINAL.pdf

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18 Jun 20 #512893 by .Charles
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For an idea of the current state of the Court system here's an update from Birmingham from 9th June:-

FRC BIRMINGHAM WORKSTATE

Last updated 9/06/2020 at 13:00

• We are currently issuing Form As received on 10/03/2020

• We are currently processing Form A judicial directions received on 14/02/2020

• We are currently processing D11 applications/Consent Applications received on 11/03/2020

• We are currently processing correspondence including emails received on 10/03/2020

• We are currently processing orders made by a District Judge on 9/03/2020

• We are currently processing Consent Orders approved and refused by the District Judge on 24/02/2020

  • rubytuesday
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18 Jun 20 #512894 by rubytuesday
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Latest Update from Bury St Edmunds:

PROCESSING DATES/TIMES FOR DIVORCE WORK

· Admin are currently processing petitions received on 20/04/2020

· Admin are currently processing help with fees applications received on 12/06/2020

· Admin are currently processing acknowledgements of service received on 03/04/2020

· Admin are currently processing applications for Decree Nisi received on 10/06/2020

· Admin are currently processing correspondence including emails received on 23/01/2020

· Legal adviser consideration of Decree Nisi applications from date of receipt are taking 24 weeks

· District Judge approved/refused orders from date of receipt, made by a District Judge are taking 22 weeks

· Admin are currently processing Form A's received on 26/05/2020

· DJ consideration of Consent Orders from date of receipt are taking 20 weeks

· DJ consideration of previously refused orders, from date of receipt are taking 6 weeks

· Admin are currently processing Decree Absolutes received on 17/06/2020

Admin are currently Processing URGENT Orders considered by a District Judge 19/03/2020

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