Answers to frequently asked questions for court users

Updated 8 July 2014

1 Telephones
1.1 What time are the telephones manned in each of the sections at Leeds Court?

8.30am to 5pm.

1.2 Where can I find the numbers of the different sections?

The Court website lists all the different telephone numbers for each section. View list of phone numbers here. A list is also available on this part of the Leeds Law Society website.

1.3 What if I am unsure which is the correct number to use for my particular query?

Please telephone the main switchboard number in the first instance and they should be able to assist you. However, if the query is about listing for a Chancery matter you should speak with the Chancery section first who will speak to the relevant listing section to get the date for you.

2 Emails
2.1 Which addresses should I use?

There are currently 19 different email accounts in use at the Court in Leeds (some of these are listed here). If you are unsure which address to use please ask a member of the Court staff. The Court Service are reviewing the addresses with a view to reducing the number and hope to complete this exercise by the end of July 2014. The new list of addresses will be published on this website as well as being available on the Court website.

2.2 How are these checked and when?

Email accounts are checked periodically thought out the day by experienced staff who will forward the email onto the relevant email account should it have been sent to the wrong one.

2.3 Is there a size limit for attachments if so what is it?

The maximum that can be accepted is 3MB worth of data or about 30 pages (including any email trail). Under the HMCTS reforms the organisation is investing in its IT systems over the next few years and this may increase capacity, but see below about use of email for filing.

Only urgent documents should be sent via the email accounts please refer to CPR Practice Direction 5A 5.3, which clearly states what is an urgent document.

2.4 What is it acceptable to expect the court to print off in terms of number of pages etc?

Five pages is the ideal number and the Court can charge for anything sent that is in excess of this. That being said currently the Court do not enforce the charges but may do so going forward. These charges are referred to in the fees order.

3 Faxes
3.1 What is it appropriate to send to the Court by fax?

Urgent papers only. Where a party files a document by fax please do not follow this up with a hard copy in addition.

If you are issuing something in an emergency please ensure you include details for a credit card payment, so that the Court staff can contact you. Alternatively make it clear that the payment has been dispatched that day by first class post or will be paid at the court office counter the following business day. See CPR Practice Direction 5A 5.3 (referred to below).

3.2 What is the maximum number of pages that can be accepted by the Court?

As a guide about five pages should be considered the maximum.

3.3 To whom is the information sent?

The system used in Leeds is called “Gold Fax”. View fax numbers here. The documents are then produced as emails and go to the relevant section. The emails are checked periodically during the day, up to 4pm and actioned as appropriate. Anything filed by fax before 4pm is deemed filed that day.

Practitioners should also bear in mind CPR Practice Direction 5A 5.3:
(2) Where a party files a document by fax, he must not send a hard copy in addition.
(8) Fax should not be used to send letters or documents of a routine or non-urgent nature.
(9) Fax should not be used, except in an unavoidable emergency, to deliver:

(a) a document which attracts a fee
(b) omitted
(c) a document relating to a hearing less than two hours ahead
(d) trial bundles or skeleton arguments

(10) Where (9)(a) applies, the fax should give an explanation for the emergency and include an undertaking that the fee or money has been dispatched that day by post or will be paid at the court office counter the following business day.

4 Counters
4.1 When are the counters manned in the different sections?

Under the Court Service’s national scheme the counter is open from 10am until 2pm with the exception of High Court and Admin/UTIAC Court counters which are open 10am to 4pm.

See below the categories of work that can be accepted between 2pm and 4pm at the Chancery counter.

4.2 What does the Court Service class as urgent or non urgent (for the former additional access is available?

Urgent work – defined as – requiring judicial intervention within 24 hours, i.e. needs to be issued within 24 hours for example in cases where:

the case will reach its limitation within 24 hours
the parties will suffer significant detriment if it is not registered as being received at a particular time or date – significant detriment included where parties require a receipt in order to satisfy a judicial order, the party will suffer financial loss.
This does not include filing of bundles/documents or issuing proceedings close to a deadline where the document can be dealt with by the normal document drop off arrangements. Further examples of urgent work:

Applications to suspend warrants/possessions or executions
All applications for insolvency
Applications for non-molestation orders
Collecting papers/orders for service following urgent hearing
Applications relating to the abduction of children
Applications relating to the removal of children
Emergency Protection Orders or Interim Care Orders
Non-urgent work – is something that does not need a counter service – bundles that are too large for the drop off box can be accepted if there is no other alternative. Examples of urgent/non urgent work:

Swearing statutory declarations
Swearing affidavits
Work which does not need a counter service

Paying a fee
Case specific enquiries
General enquires
Lodgement of documents
Issuing process such as divorce proceedings, private law, enforcement proceedings
Collecting forms/orders
5 Drop off box
5.1 Where it is and how is paperwork dealt with that is delivered by this method?

The drop off box is situated within the Court building by the main reception on the ground floor.

This box is opened at 8.30am every weekday morning and any documents within it are date stamped with the previous working day’s date.

The drop off box can be used for anything that does not need a counter service, for example trial bundles, processes with fees and filling documents.

6 Bundles for hearings – last minute updates
6.1 If bundles for hearings need to be updated at the last minute is it acceptable to ask the court staff to do this?

No the Court Service does not have the resources to update /amend bundles for parties as this will take staff away from completing other work.

If you do need to update bundles that are already with a judge please contact the relevant section and make arrangements to attend to update the bundles yourselves.