PRACTICE DIRECTION 2A – COURT OFFICES

Contents of this Practice Direction

Title Number
Central Office of the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice Para. 1.
Business in the Offices of the Senior Courts Para. 2.1
County courts Para. 3.1
Annex  

Central Office of the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice

1.  The Central Office will be divided into such departments, and the business performed in the Central Office shall be distributed among the departments in such manner, as is set out in the Queen’s Bench Division Guide.

Business in the Offices of the Senior Courts

2.1

(1) The offices of the Senior Courts will be open on every day of the year except –

(a) Saturdays and Sundays;

(b) Good Friday;

(c) Christmas Day;

(d) a further day over the Christmas period determined in accordance with the table annexed to this Practice Direction;

(e) Bank Holidays in England and Wales under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971; and

(f) such other days as the Lord Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, the President of the Family Division, and the Chancellor of the High Court (‘the Heads of Division’) may direct.

(2) The hours during which the offices of the Senior Courts at the Royal Courts of Justice and at the Principal Registry of the Family Division at First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP will be open to the public are as follows –

(a) from 10 am to 4.30 pm;

(b) such other hours as the Lord Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Heads of Division, may from time to time direct.

(3) Every District Registry shall be open on the days and during the hours that the Lord Chancellor from time to time directs and, in the absence of any such directions, shall be open on the same days and during the same hours as the county court offices of which it forms part are open.

2.2  Omitted.

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The County Court

3.1

(a) County Court offices shall be situated at such places as the Lord Chancellor directs for the transaction of the business of the court;

(b) ‘County Court office’ includes—

(i) an office or offices serving a County Court hearing centre;

(ii) the County Court Money Claims Centre; and

(iii) the Production Centre.

3.2  Every county court office, or County Court hearing centre, will be open on every day of the year except –

(a) Saturdays and Sundays;

(b) Good Friday;

(c) Christmas Day;

(d) a further day over the Christmas period determined in accordance with the table annexed to this Practice Direction;

(e) Bank Holidays in England and Wales under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971; and

(f) such other days as the Lord Chancellor may direct.

3.3  The hours during which any county court office is open to the public will be those published from time to time by, and available to the public on, the website of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service1, or such other hours as the Lord Chancellor may from time to time direct.

(Money Claim Online is an internet based service and may be used outside of normal court business hours.)

3.4  HMCTS identifies the County Court hearing centre or office which serves the address of a claimant, a defendant, a debtor, or their place of business, or a property, by reference to the party's or the property's postcode. The hearing centre which serves the address of a party or a property can be found by using the Court Finder tool available on Gov.uk at https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/, or by contacting the County Court hearing centre which supplied the claim form or the application form.

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Annex

Court Office Closures at Christmas and New Year

Christmas Day Bank Holiday Further day New Year Bank Holiday
Sunday 25 December Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December Wednesday 28 December Monday 2 January
Monday 25 December Tuesday 26 December Wednesday 27 December Monday 1 January
Tuesday 25 December Wednesday 26 December Monday 24 December Tuesday 1 January
Wednesday 25 December Thursday 26 December Friday 27 December Wednesday 1 January
Thursday 25 December Friday 26 December Wednesday 24 December Thursday 1 January
Friday 25 December Monday 28 December Thursday 24 December Friday 1 January
Saturday 25 December Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 December Friday 24 December Monday 3 January

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Footnotes

1. The court office opening hours are published for each court in the ‘Court Finder’ section of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service website. Back to text

Ministry of Justice

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