Family Law Hub

Central Family Court: Court Orders Policy non-Financial Remedies Unit Cases

The text of guidance requiring orders in non-financial cases to be drafted on the day of the hearing in the Central Family Court. In force from 12 November 2018

  • Court Orders Policy: non-Financial Remedies Unit Cases.

    The Central Family Court, November 2018

    1. This Policy comes into force on 12 November 2018. 

    2. Together with the already published 2018 Listing Policy document, this Policy forms the cornerstone of the arrangements for the conduct of business at the Central Family Court. It does not apply to Financial Remedies Unit cases, where existing arrangements continue to apply.  Current FRU order policy is added below for information.

    3. Judges, magistrates, legal advisers and staff at CFC remain highly appreciative of the work done by legal professionals in the drafting of orders and are sensitive to the time which this takes up.   

    4. The background to this Policy is an environment of significantly increasing caseloads and reduced staff resources, with consequent delays in drawing up of orders by the court. This policy aims to address these delays.  

    5. Cases in which at least one party is professionally represented. From 12 November 2018, it is imperative that all court orders are approved by judges, drawn up and handed to the parties on the day of the hearing. This marks a change in current practice. 

    6. Only with the express permission of a judge may an order by delayed to the next working day. Such permissions will be the exception and not the rule.   

    7. In recognition of this change, the length of orders will be kept to a minimum, with the 'narrative' formats and templates not being used in appropriate cases.  

    8. The expectation is that legal representatives will attend court with a lap-top computer for the purpose of drafting orders.  

    9. Once agreed by all parties, the draft must be emailed to the clerk of the court hearing the case whilst the parties remain at court. The clerk will provide parties with their email address.  

    10. Following approval by the judge, the clerk will draw up the order, print it off and hand it to the parties or their representatives on the same day as the hearing and/or serve the order upon the parties by email where addresses have been supplied.

    11. The clerk will also serve the order electronically on any non-party local authority and cafcass in appropriate cases.

    12. In exceptional cases, when an order cannot be approved on the day of the hearing, parties must send the draft the next working day to the following email address cfc.courtorders@justice.gov.uk as well as to the clerk of the court.  The order should be marked "delayed court order:  urgent".  

    13. Following approval, in all cases the judge will send the approved order to a file of approved orders. An order cannot be returned to a judge by staff after that point except as in 14 below.   

    14. Any party seeking a later 'slip rule' or other amendment to an order must make the request by email to cfc.courtorders@justice.gov.uk. From that point the request will become the subject of a referral to the judge or legal adviser in question.     

    15. The judge may list a case for mention if an order is not received on time.   

    16. Cases involving only Litigants in Person. The judge or legal adviser will draft the order themselves on the day of the hearing. The order will be drawn up and handed to the parties by the clerk of the court at the conclusion of the hearing. The clerk will also send the order electronically to any non-party local authority or Cafcass in appropriate cases.

    CURRENT FRU POLICY

    1 CASES WHERE THERE IS LEGAL REPRESENTATION

    (i) General Rule

    (a) Cases which finish by 1pm order to be lodged with the court by 4.30pm

    (b) Cases which finish by 4.30 pm order to be lodged by 10am the next working day

    (c) If orders are not lodged the matter is listed for mention 4 working days thereafter

    (ii) The judge may fix a later time but the matter should be listed for mention only(5mins) to be vacated upon the lodging of the draft order

    2. BOTH SIDES UNREPRESENTED

    Judge will draft order (or headline terms of order) and hand to the parties at hearing.

    3. Email service

    Wherever possible directions should be given for service by email including of the order itself. Parties should provide to the court their email address.

    HHJ Robin Tolson QC
    Designated Family Judge
    Central Family Court


Published: 23/11/2018

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