Other procedure rules for magistrates' courts and the Crown Court

Procedure rules for magistrates’ court and the Crown Court which are not Civil Procedure Rules, Criminal Procedure Rules or Family Procedure Rules

There are some other procedure rules for magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court which are not made by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee or the Family Procedure Rule Committee. They apply to cases that are treated as civil cases even though they are not dealt with in the High Court or County Court. They are made under section 144 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 for magistrates’ courts and under section 84 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 for the Crown Court.

Some of those other rules used to apply to criminal and family cases, too. They no longer do so. Although those rules have not been revoked or amended explicitly, they ceased to apply to criminal and family cases when section 144 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 and section 84 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 were themselves amended and partly superseded by the statutory provisions under which the Criminal Procedure Rules and the Family Procedure Rules now are made.

The main other procedure rules are the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 and the Crown Court Rules 1982. Texts of those two sets of rules including only the rules that still apply to civil cases are below:

Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 (PDF)

Crown Court Rules 1982 (PDF)

All the procedure rules made under section 144 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 and section 84 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 are published at legislation.gov.uk. The statutory instruments containing those rules are listed on the Rules page.

What's New?

October 2019

The Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment) Rules 2019

These Rules amend the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981. They come into effect on 1st January 2020.  They:

  • Remove the requirement for signatures on summonses and warrants;
  • Prescribe the form of warrants of arrest;
  • Prescribe the form of summonses, including a requirement for the court office to be stated on them;
  • Amend the rules on service of summonses to permit modern methods of communication such as email or cloud access, and allow the court to specify additional forms of service;
  • Introduce a new rule on service of orders, other than liability orders;
  • Specify the time at which service of summonses and orders is deemed to take place

Guide to the magistrates court amendment rules 2019 (PDF)

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