Cardiff Civil Justice Centre
CARDIFF CIVIL JUSTICE CENTRE
CORRECT USE OF COURT FAX MACHINES – A REMINDER!
The latest ‘Civil Court User Committee Meeting’ was held in the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre on 7th December 2011. Following the previous year’s meeting, District Judge Hendicott was keen to remind Court users as to the correct use of Court fax machines.
Although the Court has experienced a reduction in the number of ‘inappropriate’ faxes received since the last meeting, it still receives a high volume of these. It was reported that – over a two week period in October 2011 for example – fifteen hours of Court staff time was ‘wasted’ in dealing with faxes where an electronic or hard copy document was also sent to the Court. This equates to ten weeks of Court staff time being ‘wasted’ over a year.
District Judge Hendicott emphasises that every fax, letter and e-mail received by the Court has to be placed on the appropriate Court file. The Court staff therefore incurs additional and unnecessary work in having to deal with the same correspondence on several occasions, when practitioners send duplicate copies to the Court.
Some practitioners are apparently also in the habit of phoning the Court, to ask if a fax has been received, which ‘wastes’ even more Court staff resources. Court users are therefore requested to refrain from phoning the Court in these circumstances, unless of the utmost urgency.
Court users should check the fax numbers they are using. Faxes sent to incorrect numbers may remain on the wrong fax machine for some time and lead to unnecessary delays.
PART 5 OF THE CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES
District Judge Hendicott has requested that Court users are again reminded of the content of Part 5 of the Civil Procedure Rules, which relates to the use of Court fax machines.
In particular, Court users are referred to the following:
• Where a party files a document by fax, he must not send a hard copy in addition.
• A party filing a document by fax should be aware that the document is not filed at Court until it is delivered by the Court’s fax machine, regardless of whatever time it is shown to have been transmitted from the party’s machine.
• It remains the responsibility of the party to ensure that the document is delivered to the Court in time.
• If a fax relates to a hearing, the date and time of the hearing should be prominently displayed.
• Faxes should not be used to send letters or documents of a routine or non-urgent nature.
• Faxes should not be used, except in an unavoidable emergency, to deliver:
- A document which attracts a fee
- A document relating to a hearing less than 2 hours ahead
- Trial Bundles or Skeleton Arguments.
The Cardiff Civil Justice Centre reiterates that it will not process any document which attracts a fee sent by fax. These faxes will be destroyed, unless there is an explanation given for the emergency and an undertaking that the fee has been dispatched by post or will be paid at the public counter the following day.
Should any Court user wish to discuss the above further or need support in identifying the most appropriate way to contact the Court, please contact Mr Neil Pring, who is the Court Manager at the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre.
Cardiff & District Law Society
Civil Court Users Sub-Committee