2 April 2020

Operation of Civil Courts during Pandemic

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As most of you are aware, many solicitors firms are closed to the public now and the majority of them are now working from home.

But what about the Civil Courts? Are they still open as usual? Are cases still being heard?

As of 30 March 2020, the Courts are putting in place an emergency plan separating the Court and Tribunal cases into three different categories.

These categories are as below:

  1. Courts that will remain open for all purposes (open courts) – these include hearings where the judge and at least some of the parties are present.
  2. Courts which will remain staffed (staffed courts) – where judges may attend to deal with administrative matters and some remote hearings.
  3. Courts which will not be staffed (suspended courts).

Which cases are deemed to be important and which ones carry priority?

The following matters are considered to be a priority by the Courts.

Priority 1: Work which must be done

This category includes Committals, Freezing Orders, Injunctions, noise or interference with property, anti-social behaviour/harassment injunctions, applications to stay enforcement of existing possession orders, custodial matters, homelessness applications, applications where there are a substantial hearing listed in the next 3 months, all multi-track hearings where all parties agree that the matter is urgent and appeals in all these cases.

Priority 2: Work which could be done

This category includes infant and protected party approvals, trials involving the survival of a business or the solvency of an individual, enforcement of trading contracts, applications for summary judgements for specified sums, applications to set aside default judgements, applications for security of costs, small claims/fast track trials where all parties agree that it is urgent, preliminary assessment of costs and appeals in all of these cases.

More details about these categories are provided on https://www.gov.uk/government/new/priority-courts-to-make-sure-justice-is-served


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

About the Author

Zehra Tamkan
Zehra works for a number of corporate immigration and family law clients. She advises on immigration matters including but not limited to applications under Tiers 1-5 of the Points Based System, EEA applications, domestic workers, students, family cases, including unmarried partner and marriage visas, settlement and applications for British citizenship.

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