Minutes of Court User Group Meeting (17/10/18)
(1) Apologies. (2) Minutes and Action points. (3) Court Manager’s Report: (a) Issue volumes; (b) Disposals; (c) Timeliness; (d) Backlogs; (e) COP 9s; (f) Multiple Points of Entry. (4) Filing of Bundles on time. (5) Delays in dealing with applications and urgent applications. (6) Update on court dress in public hearings. (7) Removal of bundles after Hearing. (8) E-Bundles. (9) Update on Accredited Legal Representatives (ALR). (10) Bonding of Lay deputies. (11) Capacity regarding financial scams. (12) Use of professional visitors. (13) Any other business. (14) Date of next meeting: Tuesday 23/4/19 at 2pm at First Avenue House.
39 Essex Chambers have kindly agreed for the following summary to be reproduced below. The remainder of the newsletter can be read here: 39 Essex Chambers, 'Mental Capacity Report' (Issue 90, November 2018).
Court User’s Group October meeting
The Court of protection users group met on 17 October 2018. The minutes can be found here. Of note:
- There has been an 8% increase in applications and a 10% decrease in disposals compared to the last 12 months.
- For urgent applications, a COP 9 can be submitted which will be dealt with by the Urgent Business Judge (UBJ) who will deal with it if it is truly urgent.
- Bundles must be removed from the Court after hearings, otherwise they are treated as abandoned and reported to the Information Commissioner.
- In order to comply with GDPR a new system for the appointment of ALRs has been in place since 28 August, whereby HMCTS go to the Law Society to approach an individual ALR for consent to disclose their details. [We note that there seem to be, at a minimum, teething problems with ALRs: we would be particularly interested in any positive practice experiences that can be shared by those solicitors who have been appointed ALRs so that, if possible, these teething problems can be sorted out].
- If an ALR is requested or appropriate, the case is referred to the Urgent Business Judge (UBJ) and if it is agreed, an ALR is identified and approached. The ALR then has 24 hours to respond. Concern was raised that since the end of August only 7 ALRs have been appointed.
- Section 16 and 21A applications should be issued in regional hubs. All property and affairs cases should be issued in First Avenue House.