Are The Courts Open Throughout COVID-19?
Posted on 1st April 2020
As over half of the Courts in England and Wales close due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, a list has been published of those cases deemed Priority, with two sub-categories being provided of Priority 1 and Priority 2.
The Court Service has decided that Priority 1 Hearings are those which “Must be done” and Priority 2 are those which “could be done”. A list can be found here.
MG Legal, your solicitors Longridge, will continue to monitor developments closely to ensure our clients are kept up to date as far as is possible.
What does this mean for my case?
In truth, with the Court buildings closing in numbers, plus with staffing including the Judiciary expected to diminished due to those having to self-isolate, unless your case is of the utmost urgency you will not be going to Court on the day you expect and even if it did go ahead, it might not be at the venue you expect. To confirm, personal injury cases, and those relating to property are not classed as Priority 1.
What is priority work?
Any work in the Civil Court that could result in or arising from imprisonment (rare but not as rare as people might think), Injunctions, urgent Housing matters such as those involving Homelessness, Applications relating to Trials listed before 01st August 2020, Multi-Track Trials which both parties believe are urgent and Appeals.
Is my case likely to be in this category?
It is unlikely, the cases above are those where urgent attention is required by the Court and where any delay is likely to result in severe hardship or prejudice to one or both parties if it is not dealt with. Whilst MG Legal, your solicitors Longridge, will do what we can to further your case, this is an unprecedented situation and the Courts do, as you would expect, have the final say.
How are hearings taking place?
Our solicitors are equipped for the changes, and many hearings are taking place by video link, this is to minimise the potential for any infections to spread in crowded waiting rooms and to ensure that Judges are able to work as long as possible and ideally, without ever contracting Coronavirus.
Where it is necessary for people to attend in person, we understand that the Court are taking all possible measures to minimise the chance of any infection spreading and so you should be prepared to follow any instructions and any guidelines fully.
What if I need to issue proceedings urgently?
The Courts are still working, although it is likely they will be working more slowly than before due to lower staffing levels and absence due to illness. There does appear to be more clarity and a growing subscription to an agreement between the Association of British Insurers and Claimant Solicitors to freeze the three-year Limitation deadline for the time being. Firms simply need to sign up to the agreement by emailing email@example.com and from thereon, the issues surrounding Limitation will not be raised by any signatory to the agreement. See our personal injury solicitors blog on Limitation here….
MG Legal, your solicitors Longridge will, of course, watch for any reviews carefully as we do not want any of our clients to have worries about their cases and we can assure you, we will not permit this crisis to affect your claim in the long-run.
Any questions, get in touch
MG Legal team of family lawyers, personal injury solicitors, and Will drafting experts, continue to operate and we are working from various locations to ensure that your case, whatever it may be, is not adversely affected. We appreciate that there will be delays, this is inevitable when the Justice system and the various Government agencies are running at reduced capacity. This will not, come what may, affect the positive outcome that we are committed to providing to all of our clients. Any new clients, requiring any of our services, be it personal injury, family law, or Will Drafting, can complete one of our online forms, found here…..
If you have any questions, or if you wish to speak to one of our dedicated team about a new matter, please get in touch by phone, email or web-contact form and we will do our best to answer your queries or have your case moving straight away.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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