Are Magistrates' Courts courts of record?

Adamna made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Gwasanaeth Llysoedd a Thribiwnlysoedd EM

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Yn disgwyl am adolygiad mewnol gan Gwasanaeth Llysoedd a Thribiwnlysoedd EM o'u triniaeth o'r cais hwn.

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

I have read the MOJ response to this request https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c... which was as follows: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

I can quote:
The following are classed as Courts not of record:
• All First-tier Tribunals
• Tribunals in Scotland

The following are classed as a Court of record:

• County Court for Civil and Family proceedings
• Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court proceedings
• Court of Appeal proceedings
• The Upper Tribunal

Please could you confirm or deny that Magistrates' Courts are, at all times, a court of record.

If they are not always classed as such, please define when they are and when they are not.

Yours faithfully,

Adamna

Gadawodd Dominik J. Cysewski anodiad ()

A judgment of N. Rimmer District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) relates to a case in the Highbury Magistrates’ Court:

http://www.coventgarden.org.uk/wp-conten...

I guess this indicates that a Magistrates’ Court is (or can be) a court of record.

Gadawodd Adamna anodiad ()

Yes, I have a copy of another Rimmer judgment, hence asking the question.

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

I would have expected an acknowledgement of this request by now.

Yours faithfully,

Adamna

Singh, Nishi,

1 Atodiad

 

 

Please see response in relation to your query that you raised.  Many
thanks

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Crime Directorate FOIs,

 

 

 

Please see response in relation to your query that you raised.  Many
thanks

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Crime Directorate FOIs,

Thank you for your reply. However, you have included a link to The Criminal Procedure Rules as part of the repsonse, in explanation. You must be aware that not all cases in Magistrates' Courts are criminal. What is the position when they are not?
I am not sure that the Crime Directorate was the correct department to answer this request. Could you please direct it back to HMCTS for proper consideration?

Yours sincerely,

Adamna

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

Thank you for arranging a reply. However, I am not sure that the Crime Directorate was the correct department to answer this request.
You must be aware that not all cases in Magistrates' Courts are criminal. What is the position when they are not?

Yours faithfully,

Adamna

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

I have not recived an appropriate response to my request. Are my communications pointing this out being ignored?
Would now be the time to request an internal review, or can I expect a considered reply?

Yours sincerely,

Yours faithfully,

Adamna

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

I would request an Internal review of the response received to my question as it did not clarify the information requested, which must be available. I have searched diligently for it elsewhere and not found an answer, else I would not be bothering you.

I have not received a reply to any of my prompts for this to be dealt with more informally.

A full history of my request is available here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...

Yours faithfully,

Adamna

Singh, Nishi,

1 Atodiad

Dear Adamna,

 

Please find a response to the points you’ve raised. 

 

 

 

Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate

HM Courts & Tribunals Service

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Singh, Nishi,

1 Atodiad

 

 

 

Dear Adamna,

 

Please find a response to the points you’ve raised. 

 

 

 

Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate

HM Courts & Tribunals Service

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Singh, Nishi,

Thank you very much for your clarification. However, I am still left uncertain about the distinction. Who decides when a case is suitable for recording, and on what criteria? I have been told, very bluntly, that 'it is not a court of record' when requesting that a record to be made as I felt it important that it be available to others, and myself.

Any assistance in understanding where the lines are drawn, and by whom, would be much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Adamna

Gadawodd Adamna anodiad ()

I think I may be being told, in a roundabout way, that they never bother recording cases where parties are representing themselves i.e. have not afforded legal representation. As this is becoming more frequent, perhaps the criteria should be amended, and not be the sole prerogative of club members.

Singh, Nishi,

1 Atodiad

Dear Adamna,

 

Please see attached response.

 

Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate

HM Courts & Tribunals Service

 

 

 

Dear Singh, Nishi,

 

Thank you very much for your clarification. However, I am still left
uncertain about the distinction. Who decides when a case is suitable for
recording, and on what criteria? I have been told, very bluntly, that 'it
is not a court of record' when requesting that a record to be made as I
felt it important that it be available to others, and myself.

 

Any assistance in understanding where the lines are drawn, and by whom,
would be much appreciated.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Adamna

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Singh, Nishi,

Thank you for your reply.
"I can confirm that Rule 66 of the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 sets out the law. However, this may also be dependent on the type of case, complexity and judicial decision whether a record of proceedings will be made. "

Rule 66 would seem to confirm that a recording should be made in all instances. I quote:
"Register of convictions, etc.
66.-
(1) The clerk of every magistrates' court shall keep a register in which there shall be entered -
(a) a minute or memorandum of every adjudication of the court
(b) a minute or memorandum of every other proceeding or thing required by these rules or any other enactment to be so entered.
(2) The register shall be in the prescribed form, and entries in the register shall include, where relevant, such particulars as are provided for in the said form."

There is more, but that does seem to sum up the essence of Rule 66.

It would rather confirm that in all cases a record should be kept, I cannot see that it states that recording should not be made on any particular occasion, or that there is any discretion. If there are exceptions (as you have previously stated) I would need to know more precisely how these are decided upon, and more importantly, which law sanctions the exception.

Having been told, as explained previously, that 'this is not a court of record', I cannot rest easy until I have a proper lawful reasoning for this overarching statement.

Your explanation is far too vague to be acceptable.

Now that you have brought it to my attention, I would also now like to know what the stated 'prescribed form' is.

Yours sincerely,

Adamna

Singh, Nishi,

Dear Adamni,

Further to your email, I've forwarded your request to HMCTS Customer Service to log and record your request. In future, can you send your request to this email address so that it can be logged. A response will be sent within 20 working days.

HMCTS Customer Service (Correspondence) ComplaintsCorres&[email address]

Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate
HM Courts & Tribunals Service

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Singh, Nishi,

Thank you for your response. I trust I will receive a considered reply soon.
I hope you understand the way the WhatDoTheyKnow website works, it does not operate on standard email. Also, email addresses are routinely removed:
"To prevent spam, we automatically remove most emails and some mobile numbers from responses to requests." so I will not be able to see the one you refer to.
I hope you also understand the importance of correspondence remaining in the public domain.

Yours sincerely,

Adamna

Singh, Nishi,

1 Atodiad

Dear Adamna,

Please see attached response.

Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate
HM Courts & Tribunals Service

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Singh, Nishi,

Your 7 October response stated that Magistrates’ Courts are courts of record, and directed me to the Criminal Procedure Rules, which do not cover all hearings in a Magistrates’ Court. I pointed this out.

Your 20 October response acknowledged a mistake and stated:
“It will help if I first explain, that the response I provided was partially correct, please accept my apologies. Magistrates’ courts are ‘not courts of records’, although there is a duty to make notes in certain proceedings, as outlined in the Criminal Procedure Rules, Forms & Records, Part 5.4.
In most ‘not of record’ proceedings, parties may appear personally and will not be represented by lawyers. Some of these cases include, where people have not paid their council tax, TV licences or are involved in minor motoring offences. In these cases, oral proceedings are not always recorded and the judge/magistrate will make their decision based on notes. However, there are cases that may be complex, lengthy and involving a number of parties, therefore, a record of proceedings will be made.“

I requested clarification.

Your 3 November response reiterated an uncertainty:
“I can confirm that Rule 66 of the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 sets out the law. However, this may also be dependent on the type of case, complexity and judicial decision whether a record of proceedings will be made.”

Which still offered no more clarity. However the 1981 rules quoted seemed to lead to a different conclusion than the uncertain one offered, and I asked for confirmation that *not recording* is a lawful position.

Your 23 November response referred back to the Criminal Procedure Rules which we had already established do not always apply.

I do not consider the question adequately answered.

I have no new issues to raise. I wish to know:
1. When one can expect a Magistrates’ Court to be a court of record
2. When one cannot (specifically)
3. Why the decision not to record would be made (specifically)
4. Whether it is possible to request that a record is made on a specific occasion
5. Whether legal representation is a factor in a decision to make a record or not
6. The legislation that permits a record not to be made.

Perhaps it will also help if there is a definition of a ‘court of record’, if it is different from ‘records being kept’?

One again, you have offered an email address to use which is automatically interfered with by the website in use so as to be unusable.

Yours sincerely,

Adamna

Singh, Nishi,

Dear Mr Adamna,

Thank you for your further email dated 27th November 2016 in relation to the 'court of record'.

I understand you remain uncertain but there is nothing further I can add to my correspondence dated 07, 20 October, 03, 23 November and this reply. I must make sure that tax payers’ money is used effectively. For this reason and in line with HMCTS’ procedures, we will not be replying again unless you raise new issues. This will also apply to any letters sent to named officials which are passed to this department for response. Any letters or emails which raise new issues will of course be answered in the normal way.

On 25 September and 7 October, you emailed [HMCTS request email] and I've provided you with the correct email address:
HMCTS Customer Service (Correspondence) ComplaintsCorres&[email address] so that you can direct your email to this address if you wish to raise any new issues.

I am sorry I cannot be of further assistance.

Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate
HM Courts & Tribunals Service

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Singh, Nishi,

I have been clear in the difficulties I have with your responses. I remain uncertain due to you giving inadequate responses.

I have explained previously that the WhatDoTheyKnow website will be routinely removed. To keep reiterating an email address is pointless.

Please forward this matter to whomever can provide the information requested properly.

Yours sincerely,

Adamna

Dear Singh, Nishi,

Please would you respond to my email of 21 December, or advise if the matter should be referred to the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Adamna