NEW PRACTICE DIRECTION 36P - PILOT SCHEME: PLACEMENT PROCEEDINGS: PROCEDURE FOR SPECIFIED STEPS TO BE TAKEN VIA THE ONLINE SYSTEM
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 and sets up a Pilot Scheme to allow-
(a)for applications in placement proceedings, and all required accompanying documents, to be filed with the court via uploading them to the online system; and
(b)for applications, judgments and orders in such proceedings to be served by the court via the online system.
1.2 This Practice Direction comes into force on 9th March 2020.
1.3 The Pilot Scheme applies where all of the following conditions are met:
(a)the application is in placement proceedings (as defined in rule 2.3(1) FPR);
(b)access to the online system for filing via uploading such applications and all required accompanying documents is permitted;
(c)the application is started in the family court; and
(d)the application and all required accompanying documents are filed in the period commencing 9th March 2020 and at the end of the day on 31 October 2023.
1.4 In this Practice Direction, “the online system” means His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service’s online system to allow for applications for placement proceedings to be filed with the court by being uploaded, and for applications, judgments and orders in those proceedings to be served via that system.
Purpose of the Pilot Scheme
2.1The purpose of this Pilot Scheme is to assess the use of new practices and procedures to allow for certain stages in applications specified in paragraph 1.3(a) of this Practice Direction to be completed using the online system.
Modification of the FPR and Practice Directions during the operation of the Pilot Scheme
3.1 During the operation of the Pilot Scheme, the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and the Practice Directions supporting the rules will apply to cases falling within the Pilot Scheme as modified by paragraphs 4.1 to 6.3.
Modification of rule 2.3(1) of the FPR
4.1 In cases to which this Pilot Scheme applies, in rule 2.3(1) of the FPR, the definition of “filing” is modified by inserting after “office”-
“or, where the Pilot Scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36P applies by creating and submitting or by uploading the document on the online system referred to in that Practice Direction”.
Modification of Part 5 FPR
4AA.1 In rule 5.1-
(a) in paragraph (1) after “Subject to” insert “paragraph (7) and to”; and
(b) after paragraph (6) insert-
“(7) Where the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36P applies, the requirement in rule 26.2(2)(b) FPR to file notice of a change must be met by completing the relevant section on the online service, not by using the form referred to in a practice direction.”
4A.1 After rule 5.1 insert-
“Timing of receipt of applications
5.1A An application that is submitted via the online system referred to in Practice Direction 36P is lodged with the court on the date and at the time that HMCTS software records the application as received, provided that the application is subsequently issued by the court.”
Modification of Part 29 FPR
5.1 After rule 29.13(1) insert-
“(1A) Where the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36P applies, service under paragraph (1) or otherwise may be effected by the court sending to a party an email, to the address given for service in accordance with Practice Direction 6A, containing a weblink from which the judgment or order may be accessed and downloaded.".
Modification of Practice Direction 6A
6.1 After paragraph 4.1 insert-
“4.1A Paragraphs 4.2 to 4.6 also apply where-
(a)the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36P applies; and
(b)service by the court-
(i) of an application is to be effected in accordance with paragraph 4.7; or
(ii) of a judgment or order is to be effected in accordance with rule 29.13(1A) FPR.
4.1B Where paragraph 4.1A applies, references in paragraphs 4.2 to 4.5 to service of a document by email include service of an application, judgment or order by the court sending by email a weblink from which the application, judgment or order may be accessed and downloaded.”.
6.2 In 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 online system referred to in Practice Direction 36M or 36P that that party is willing to accept service by email and stating the email address for such service.”.
6.3After paragraph 4.6 insert-
“4.7Where the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36P applies, service of an application to which that pilot scheme applies may be effected by the court sending to a party an email, to the address given for service in accordance with paragraph 4.2, containing a weblink from which the application may be accessed and downloaded.".