PRACTICE DIRECTION 36D - PILOT SCHEME: PROCEDURE FOR USING AN ONLINE SYSTEM TO GENERATE 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 filled in via an online process.
1.2 The 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 25 January 2017 and ending 27 October 2017.
1.3 In this Practice Direction, “the online system” means Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service’s online system to allow for specified stages in for matrimonial proceedings to be dealt with online.
Purpose of the 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 generated via the online system. For the purposes of this Pilot Scheme, once the application has been generated the applicant will need to save or print off the generated application. It will then need to be filed at court, in accordance with the procedure currently provided for in the FPR and Practice Directions. It is intended that future Practice Directions will establish other Pilot Schemes which will allow for later stages in matrimonial proceedings to take place via the online system, for example for making the application online.
Modification 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 by paragraphs 4.1 to 5.4.
Modification of Part 5 FPR
4.1 For rule 5.1, substitute-
“5.1 Where the Pilot Scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36D applies, the applicant must-
(a) complete all sections of the application process set out in the online system referred to in that Practice Direction;
(b) print or save the resulting application form which is generated by the online system;
(c) when filing that application, include all of the information, including any additional documents, that the online system requires to be included.”.
4.2 Omit rule 5.2.
Modification of Part 17 FPR
4A.1 In rule 17.2(6), for “The statement of truth” substitute “Subject to paragraph (6A), the statement of truth”.
4A.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 36D 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 PD7A
5.1 For paragraph 1.1, substitute-
“1.1 Where the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36D applies, an application for a matrimonial order must be made in the form generated by the online system referred to in that Practice Direction. The online system sets out the documents which must accompany the application.”.
5.2 For paragraph 1.2 substitute-
“1.2 The 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.”.
5.3 In paragraph 3.1-
(a) for the heading and the first sentence of paragraph 3.1 substitute-
“Proof of marriage
3.1 The online system referred to in Practice Direction 36D sets out the documents which must accompany the application for a matrimonial order.”;
(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”.
5.4 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 36D applies, an applicant”; and
(b) omit “form”.
Modification of Practice Direction 17A
6.1 Omit paragraphs 1.5 and 2.3.
6.2 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 36D applies.
6.3 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 36D 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.”.
6.4 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.”
6.5 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 36D 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.”.