Lots of our members have been very concerned with issues about Court portals. I have spoken with the President and have written to HHJ Roberts, National Lead for Divorce and HHJ Hess, lead for Financial Remedies about the recent issues. They in turn have met with senior HMCTS officials on Monday of this week.
We have been informed that a fix has been applied meaning that it is no longer possible for the other party to view and potentially amend draft documents on the portal. This will deal with all live cases on the portal moving forward. It will take a little longer to implement a fix for cases that have already been affected by these difficulties, however that fix will be effective by the end of next week. Applicants in affected cases will be notified by HMCTS.
HMCTS are looking at how best to replicate the ‘lock and key’ provision that exists in paper cases and whether this can be made possible on the digital system.
Resolution have also asked HMCTS to look at implementing a Notice of Change enabling users to move from the citizen platform (for LIPs) to the represented platform (and vice versa) and also to enable cases to remain digital where there has been a change of firms. (At present only one firm can be entered for each matter and a Notice of Change/Notice of Acting cannot be added manually and a new firm’s details entered). For a matter where there is a change of fee earner within an organisation, it is possible to share the case with the new fee earner and remove access from the previous fee earner. Details of how to share cases on allocation and during proceedings are set out in the online guides.
HMCTS appreciate Resolution members informing them of problems with the portal. By identifying the problems collectively and reporting on the number of members/users affected, Resolution is helping HMCTS to spot issues early. However, the team dealing with portal queries is small and it is taking them some time to respond to queries. Similarly, the tech support team dealing with ‘glitches’ and fixes is also small. If you can, please contact Resolution with issues, so we can channel an email to the appropriate people at HMCTS rather than phoning or email the generic lines/addresses.
We are all working in the system together to get the best for our clients and their families. If we can help the Court Service by identifying problems early, this may help clients and also reduce Court administrative delays.
Resolution regularly meet with the President, Senior Judiciary and HMCTS staff. If there are any issues you wish us to raise on your behalf please contact Juliet on firstname.lastname@example.org or Grant Cameron on email@example.com. For local issues, please direct your query to your regional Resolution group, who should be able to raise issues on your behalf at local practitioner meetings/Court User groups.