LODGING TRIAL BUNDLES ON TIME: THE COURT WILL NOT GIVE A RECEIPT

I received an e-mail today from Kerry Kirkbride of Active Legal Ltd in Birmingham. It follows an earlier post in relation to the need to lodge the trial bundle at time. I have permission from Kerry to re-print it in full. 

“I read your blog and noted your comments on Trial bundles and the case struck out in December 2013 because the Trial Bundle was late.

 Today I sent a Trainee Solicitor to hand deliver bundles to Birmingham County Court for a trial due to be heard on the 29th January and in compliance with the direction that Bundles arrive at court 7 days before the trial. My Trainee was directed by me to deliver the Bundles to the Civil Court Counter and to ask for a receipt of delivery. To assist the court a receipt was pre typed which left the attendant to simply stamp receipt.

 A receipt was requested because of the writers previous experience that bundles and papers that had been delivered to court subsequently could not be found.

 The court refused to stamp or sign a receipt. When my Trainee indicated his principle had requested a receipt then he was told to either leave without a receipt or leave with the bundles as they would not take them.

 Can anyone explain to me why the court are reluctant to confirm receipt of papers which  if lost, and in the event of any controversy as to whether they ever arrived at the court, may potentially lead to a negligence claim? Are the courts excempt from having to evidence the same standards of efficiency that Lord Jackson has visited on the rest of us.

 I thought you may wish to know this as it now seems the only way for bundles to be acknowledged as to have arrived is by postal recorded delivery.”

Complaints have been made to the Court and the MOJ.

 

 

5 comments

  1. Katherine Williams · · Reply

    Hi Glad you posted this story. Unacceptable by the court, but at the same time I accept the staff work under ever increasing pressure, strain and demands. Obviously the standard practice is to refuse requests about docs delivered unless they have be lodged for at least 10 days. Most frustrating for all involved. Kind regards K

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Does this resonate with anyone?

    1. Electronic bundle preparation facilities are now available for all to use, from one man solicitors to the largest of law firms.

    2. Most courts systems in this country still insist on the lodging of paper copies of trial bundles.

    3. Therefore the court system is imposing a printing cost on litigants which is not needed.

    Does this analysis require the courts to modernise?

  3. I had a similar experience in Liverpool with a default claim form that I was issuing in the High court and then by error it was sent to Salford!

  4. David Abbott · · Reply

    At least Kerry Kirkbride’s trainee was able to get some sort of counter service (and could have at least have obtained the staff member’s name, completing a truth statement about delivery once back at the office).

    My local county court is Luton, and here the counter is only open between 10 and 2. Only urgent applications, particularly where fees must be paid, are permitted to see a human beings as all documents are refused at the direction of the Court Manager and a mere drop box provided.

    Even worse is trying to telephone them, as the county courts in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire have combined their access numbers into one of these infernal 0844 numbers. They call it a ‘customer care line’ which is anything but. A 15 minute wait is often the norm, so if delayed with traffic or train disruption it is now almost impossible to let the court know (happened to me on a slow moving train, losing the signal twice after hanging on for over 10 minutes each time and having to start again). Got there an hour late in the end only to discover that the case was adjourned first thing that morning due to previous day’s overrun!!! No call or e-mail was received from the court warning of this possibility the previous day, nor that morning which if done would have enable be to turn back and not spend over 5 hours on a wasted journey.

    Sadly, I see no prospect of any improvement.

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