PRACTICE DIRECTION 36M – PILOT SCHEME: PROCEDURE FOR USING AN ONLINE SYSTEM TO GENERATE, FILE AND CONTINUE APPLICATIONS IN CERTAIN PUBLIC LAW PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN

This Practice Direction supplements FPR Part 36, rule 36.2 (Transitional Arrangements and Pilot Schemes).

TitleNumber
Scope and interpretationPara. 1
Purpose of the Pilot SchemePara. 2
Modification of the FPR and Practice Directions during operation of the Pilot SchemePara. 3
MODIFICATIONS THAT APPLY GENERALLY TO APPLICATIONS IN THE PILOT SCHEME 
Modification of Part 5 FPRPara. 4
Modification of Part 17 FPRPara. 5
Disapplication of Practice Direction 5BPara. 6
Modification of Practice Direction 17APara. 7

Scope and interpretation

Scope and interpretation

1.1 This Practice Direction is made under rule 36.2 and sets up a Pilot Scheme to allow for certain applications and stages in the proceedings specified in paragraph 1.3(a) of this Practice Direction to be completed using an online system.

1.2 This Practice Direction comes into force on 31 January 2019.

1.3 The Pilot Scheme applies where all of the following conditions are met:

(a) the application is for a care or supervision order or other order under Part 4 of the 1989 Act, or for an emergency protection order under s44 of the 1989 Act;

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

(c) the process provided for in the online system can be completed;

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

(e) the application is filed in the period commencing 31 January 2019 and ending 31 August 2020.

1.4 In this Practice Direction, “the online system” means Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service’s online system to allow for certain stages in applications specified in paragraph 1.3(a) of this Practice Direction to be dealt with online.

Purpose of the Pilot Scheme

2.1 The 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. It is intended that future Practice Directions or Practice Direction amendments will establish other Pilot Schemes or supplement this Scheme to allow for other specified stages in those proceedings 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 7.2.

Modification of Part 5 FPR

4.1 For rule 5.1, substitute-

“5.1 Where the Pilot Scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36M 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) 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 17 FPR

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

5.2 After rule 17.2(6) insert-

“(6A) Where a statement of truth is included in an application completed using the online system referred to in Practice Direction 36M applies, 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 recorded against the statement of truth.”

Modification of Part 29 FPR

5A.1 After rule 29.13(1) insert-

“(1A) Where the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36M applies, service under paragraph (1) or otherwise may be effected by the court sending each 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."

Disapplication of Practice Direction 5B

6.1. 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 36M.

Modification of Practice Direction 6A

6A.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 36M applies; and

(b) service of a judgment or order by the court is to be effected in accordance with rule 29.13(1A), as inserted by Practice Direction 36M.

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 a judgment or order by the court sending by email a weblink from which the judgment or order may be accessed and downloaded.

6B.1 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 that that party is willing to accept service by email and stating the email address for such service.”

Modification of Practice Direction 17A

7.1 Omit paragraphs 1.5 and 2.3.

7.2 In the heading to paragraph 3.1 and in paragraphs 3.1, 3.4, 3.7, 3.8 and 3.10 references to “sign”, “signs”, “signed” and “signing” are to be read as references to checking a box next to the statement of truth included in applications to which the pilot scheme referred to in Practice Direction 36M applies.

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