PRACTICE DIRECTION 36E - PILOT SCHEME: PROCEDURE FOR ONLINE FILING OF APPLICATIONS IN CERTAIN PROCEEDINGS FOR A MATRIMONIAL ORDER

PRACTICE DIRECTION 36E - PILOT SCHEME: PROCEDURE FOR ONLINE FILING OF APPLICATIONS IN CERTAIN PROCEEDINGS FOR A MATRIMONIAL ORDER

This Practice Direction supplements rule 36.2 FPR (Transitional arrangements and pilot schemes).

Scope and interpretation

1.1 This Practice Direction is made under rule 36.2 FPR and sets up a Pilot Scheme to allow for certain applications to be filed via a HMCTS online application system.

1.2 This Practice Direction comes into force on 16 January 2018.

1.3 Subject to paragraph 1.4, this Practice Direction supersedes Practice Direction 36D, which is revoked from the date this Practice Direction comes into force.

1.4 Practice Direction 36D will remain in force in relation to any applications commenced under the Pilot Scheme referred to in that Practice Direction, and this Practice Direction (and any that supersede it) will not apply in relation to such applications.

1.5 This Pilot Scheme applies to applications where all of the following conditions are met:

(a) the application is for a matrimonial order which is a decree of divorce made under section 1 of the 1973 Act;

(b) access to the online system for making such applications is permitted;

(c) all stages of the process provided for in the online system can be fully completed;

(d) the application is started in the family court; and

(e) the application is filed in the period commencing on 16 January 2018 and ending on 31 July 2018.

1.6 In this Practice Direction, “the online system” means Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service’s online system to allow for specified stages in matrimonial proceedings to be dealt with online.

Purpose of this Pilot Scheme

2.1 The purpose of this Pilot Scheme is to assess new practices and procedures to allow for certain applications for certain matrimonial orders to be filed via an online system. It is intended that future Practice Directions will establish other Pilot Schemes which will allow for specified later stages in matrimonial proceedings to take place via the online system.
Modification or disapplication of the FPR and Practice Directions during the operation of the Pilot Scheme

3.1 During the operation of the Pilot Scheme, the FPR and the Practice Directions supporting the FPR will apply to cases falling within the Pilot Scheme as modified, or disapplied, by paragraphs 4.1 to 10.5.

Modification of Part 5 FPR

4.1 For rule 5.1, substitute-
“5.1  Where the Pilot Scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36E applies, the applicant must-
(a) complete all sections of the application process; and
(b) provide all the information, including any additional documents, that the online application system referred to in that Practice Direction requires, or that the court requires, in a manner specified by the online application system, or required by the court. ”.

4.2 Omit rule 5.2.

Modification of Part 7 FPR

5.1 For rule 7.6(1) FPR substitute-
“7.6.-(1) Where the applicant is legally represented, the legal representative must complete and provide with the application, in a manner specified in the online system referred to in Practice Direction 36E, a statement certifying whether the legal representative has discussed with the applicant the possibility of a reconciliation and given the applicant the names and addresses of persons qualified to help effect a reconciliation.”.

Modification of Part 17 FPR

6.1 In rule 17.2(6), for “The statement of truth” substitute “Subject to paragraph (6A), the statement of truth”.

6.2 After rule 17.2(6) insert-
“(6A) Where a statement of truth is included in an application for a matrimonial order to which the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36E applies-
(a) the applicant must file with the court an application which includes the name of the person who the online system requires to sign a statement of truth printed underneath the statement of truth; and
(b) the court may require the applicant to produce a copy of the application containing the signature of the person referred to in sub-paragraph (a) at a later date.”.

Modification of Practice Direction 6A

7.1In paragraph 4.2(b)-
(a) in paragraph (iii) for “; or” substitute “;”;
(b) in paragraph (iv) for the full-stop substitute “; or”; and
(c) after paragraph (iv) insert-
“(v) confirmation given, by the party to be served, within the application made via the online system referred to in PD36E that that party is willing to accept service by email and stating the email address for such service.”
Disapplication of Practice Direction 5B

8.1 Practice Direction 5B does not apply in relation to an application which can be made online under the Pilot Scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36E.
Modification of Practice Direction 7A

9.1 For paragraph 1.1 substitute-
“1.1Where the Pilot Scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36E applies, an application for a matrimonial order must be made as required by the online system referred to in that Practice Direction and in accordance with rule 5.1.”.

9.2 For paragraph 1.2 substitute-
“1.2The application must be completed according to the detailed guidance contained in the online system. It is especially important that the particulars provide evidence to show why the applicant is entitled to a decree of divorce. The particulars should, however, be as concise as possible consistent with providing the necessary evidence.”.

9.3 After paragraph 1.3 insert-

“Applications for matrimonial orders received via the online system: timing
1A.1 When an application is received via the online system referred to in Practice Direction 36E and is recorded by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service software has having been received at or after 4.31pm and before or at 11.59pm, the date of filing will not be before the next day that the court location to which the application has been sent via the online system is open for business.
1A.2  When an application is received via the online system referred to in Practice Direction 36E, an acknowledgement of receipt will automatically be sent to the applicant. This acknowledgement of receipt does not constitute a notice that the application has been issued.”.

9.4 In paragraph 3.1-

(a) for the heading of, and first sentence of, paragraph 3.1, substitute-
“Proof of marriage

3.1The online system referred to in Practice Direction 36E sets out the documents which must accompany an application for a matrimonial order and the way in which those documents may be provided (for example, the online system may allow for documents to be posted, or to be uploaded and submitted online with the application).”;
(b) in the second sentence of paragraph 3.1 omit “or civil partnership”;
(c)  in sub-paragraph (a)(i)-
(i) for “marriage or civil partnership to” substitute “marriage to”; and
(ii) omit “or civil partnership registration”; and
(d) in sub-paragraph (a) (ii), omit “or civil partnership registration”.

9.5 In paragraph 4.1-

(a) for “An applicant for a matrimonial or civil partnership order” substitute “Where the Pilot Scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36E applies, an applicant”; and
(b) omit “form”.

Modification of Practice Direction 17A

10.1 Omit paragraphs 1.5 and 2.3.

10.2 In the heading to paragraph 3.1 and in paragraphs 3.1, 3.7, 3.8 and 3.10 references to “sign”, “signs”, “signed” and “signing” are to be read as references to the name of the person being, or having been, printed under the statement of truth included in an application for a matrimonial order to which the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36E applies.

10.3 For paragraph 4.1 substitute-

“4.1 Where an application (being an application for a matrimonial order to which the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36E applies) contains a statement of truth with the printed name of a person who is unable to read or sign the document, the application must be accompanied by a certificate made by an authorised person.”.

10.4 In paragraph 4.3-

(a) for sub-paragraph (a) substitute “that the content of the online application has been read to the person before completion of the statement of truth required by the online system;”; and
(b) for sub-paragraph (e) substitute “that that person confirmed in the presence of the authorised person that it was their belief that the contents of the application were true.”

10.5 For the Annex substitute-

“Certificate to be used where a person is unable to read or sign an application for a matrimonial order to which the pilot scheme in Practice Direction 36E applies.

I certify that I [name and address of authorised person] have read the contents of the application and the statement of truth to the person whose name is printed under the statement of truth in the application, who appeared to understand (a) the application and approved its contents as accurate and (b) the statement of truth and the consequences of making a false statement, and orally confirmed that this was the case in my presence.”.

Contact

Get email alerts
Find a form
Find a court form