PRACTICE DIRECTION 5D: PROCEDURE FOR BULK SCANNING OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS
This Practice Direction supplements rule 5.8 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010
Scope and interpretation
1.1 This Practice Direction makes provision for the bulk scanning by a specified third-party company of certain documents which are required to be filed with or otherwise sent to the court.
1.2 This Practice Direction comes into force on 3 April 2022.
1.3 This Practice Direction applies where all of the following conditions are met-
(a) a document is to be filed with or otherwise sent to the family court;
(b) His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service indicates (whether via information given online, in correspondence or otherwise) that the document must be filed with or sent to the court by sending it to a specified third-party company; and
(c) the document is filed or sent on or after 3 April 2022.
1.4 In this Practice Direction-
“document” means anything in which information of any description is recorded and includes (but is not limited to) an application, a notice, a statement or a letter; and
“specified third-party company” means-
(a) Exela Technologies Limited.
Modification or disapplication of the FPR and Practice Directions, and application of this Practice Direction
2.1 Where this Practice Direction applies, the FPR and the Practice Directions supporting the FPR apply-
(a) subject to the provisions of this Practice Direction; and
(b) as modified by paragraphs 5.1 to 7.1.
Sending documents to a specified-third party company
3.1 Where this Practice Direction applies, subject to paragraph 3.7, any document to be filed with, or otherwise sent to, the court must be sent by post to the address for a specified third-party company to which His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service has indicated that the document should be sent.
(The indication from His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service of the address to which a document should be sent may be via information provided online, in correspondence, or otherwise.)
3.2 An application sent to a specified third-party company in accordance with paragraph 3.1 is treated as lodged with the court on the date of receipt recorded by the specified third-party company, provided that the application is subsequently issued by the court.
3.3 A document other than an application sent to a specified third-party company in accordance with paragraph 3.1 is treated as filed with or otherwise received by the court on the date of receipt recorded by the specified third-party company.
3.4 If a person fails to send a document to a specified third-party company in accordance with paragraph 3.1 and instead sends a document to the court (other than by way of email in accordance with rule 5.5 FPR and Practice Direction 5B), the court may send the document to the specified third-party company.
3.5 The court may also send a document to the specified third-party company where the court considers it appropriate to do so.
3.6 Where paragraph 3.4 or 3.5 applies and the court sends a document to the specified third-party company, paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3 do not apply.
3.7 Nothing in this Practice Direction precludes a document being sent to the court by email, where that is permitted under rule 5.5 FPR and Practice Direction 5B.
3.8 When a document is sent to a specified third-party company in accordance with paragraph 3.1, only one copy of the document should be sent, even if provision in the FPR or another PD requires more than one copy to be sent.
Documents scanned by a specified third-party company
4.1 A scan of a document from a specified third-party company shall be treated by the court as a true copy of the original document.
Modification of rule 2.3(1) of the FPR
5.1 Where this Practice Direction applies, in rule 2.3(1) of the FPR, the definition of “filing” is modified by inserting after “office”-
“(or, where Practice Direction 5D applies, to the address to which HMCTS indicates that a document should be sent)”.
Modification of rule 9.26 of the FPR
6.1 Where this Practice Direction applies, for rule 9.26(1)(a) of the FPR substitute-
“(a) the applicant must file a copy of a draft of the order in the terms sought, endorsed with a statement signed by the respondent to the application signifying agreement; and”.
Modification of Practice Direction 27A – Family Proceedings: Court Bundles (Universal Practice to be applied in the High Court and Family Court)
7.1 Where this Practice Direction applies, Practice Direction 27A is modified as follows-
(a) in paragraph 7.1, for “The bundle” substitute “Subject to paragraph 7.2A, the bundle”;
(b) in paragraph 7.2(b), for “Unless” substitute “Subject to paragraph 7.2A, unless”;
(c) after paragraph 7.2, insert-
“7.2A Where Practice Direction 5D applies, if His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service has indicated to a litigant in person that the bundle should be sent to an address for a specified third-party company, the bundle shall be lodged with the court by sending it to that address.”; and
(d) after paragraph 7.3 insert-
“7.3A Any bundle lodged in accordance with paragraph 7.2 shall show the date and place of the hearing on the bundle.”