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Magistrates Court Caseman (Computerised Court Record)

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27 November 2016

Dear Lord Chancellor Elizabeth Truss and Ministry of Justice,

The activities of the High Court in each England and Wales regions are recorded on the same Caseman (court computer records) database which also records the activities of the whole of the County Court.

The actual caseman file (court computer records file) of the High Court and County Court is divided in three different sections (1, 2 and 3). In each section there are different type of recorded information or activities about the specific court’s case.

The Caseman electronic databases is the system on which case-related information is currently stored for the Magistrates courts in each criminal proceedings in England and Wales.

1 – Please provide the all up to date recorded information about the caseman (computerised court record) system used for the Magistrates Court’s case-related database. Your response should make clear whether or not the Magistrates Court case-related database system is the same as the High Court and County Courts’ case-related database system.

2 - Please provide any recorded information which clarifies if Magistrates courts use a Caseman system which produces a caseman file (computerised court records) in an identical format as the one produced in High Court and County Court.

3 - Otherwise, provide any recorded information which make clear if the Magistrates Court caseman’s format is different from that of the County Court and High Court and in what way it is different. It would be helpful to produce clear samples of standard caseman formats if there are differences between the format of Magistrates Court and that of the civil courts (High Court and County Courts).

Yours faithfully,

Sadie Simmonds

Civil & Family Business Support,

Dear Sadie,

Thank you for your email below, we are treating your request for information as a general enquiry and respond as below.

1. The Magistrates Court case management system is called Libra and is not the same as the system used by the High Court and County Court.

2. Libra system has an electronic record of certain cases not all the cases processed through the Magistrates Court. The Libra format is not identical to the formats used by the Caseman system in the High Court and County Court.

3. We are unable to release formatted templates of our Libra or Caseman systems. In terms of the differences they are two different systems and have been designed with the relevant jurisdictional work that each court processes.

Regards

Family Improvement Team

HM Courts & Tribunals Service | Court and Tribunals Development Directorate |2.15 | 2nd Floor | 102 Petty France | London | SW1H 9AJ | DX 152380 Westminster 8

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Dear Ministry of Justice,

Thank you for your valuable response with some information.

However, I would appreciate some explanations concerning your answers to satisfy the purpose of this request which cannot be achieved without further clarifications.

In your response you mentioned that the Libra system has an electronic record of certain cases but not all the cases processed through the Magistrates Court.

I am unsure of what you are meaning as you have not specified how the cases are selected and what are the cases recorded by the Magistrates Court.

You mentioned that the Libra format is not identical to the formats used by the Caseman system in the High Court and County Court but you have not clarified how the Libra format differs from the Caseman system.

For example how many sections there are in computerised court record produced by the Libra system for the Magistrates Court and what are the cases recorded through the Magistrates Court specifying what are the criteria required to select these cases for the record in the Libra system and what cases are not kept in the records.

I would be grateful if you could clarify this within your response.

Yours sincerely,

S. Simmonds

Civil & Family Business Support,

Thank you for your email to the Civil & Family Business Support Mailbox.
This mailbox is checked regularly during business hours 10:00am to 4:00pm
Monday to Friday.

 

We will reply to your e-mail enquiry within 2 days (unless you have marked
it urgent - in these cases we will try to get back to you quicker)
answering your query substantively or informing you of the action we are
taking. We may have to take further advice from our policy colleagues or
lawyers for a definitive answer but we will let you know in our initial
response.

 

Please note that sometimes the answer to your question can be found in
guidance that is already available. For further information, please visit
the relevant pages under the header 'My Work'  on the HMCTS intranet site:
[1]http://libra.lcd.gsi.gov.uk/hmcts/index.....

This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of
the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying
is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy
all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail.

Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message
could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in
mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message
by e-mail.

This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be
monitored, recorded and retained by the Ministry of Justice. E-mail
monitoring / blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be
read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not
broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

References

Visible links
1. http://libra.lcd.gsi.gov.uk/hmcts/index....

Civil & Family Business Support,

Dear Sadie Simmonds,

Thank you for your email below. The Libra system is primarily used for the management of criminal cases and crime related enforcement cases, together with recording of some civil magistrates work e.g. liability orders, license appeals etc.

Libra and Caseman (used in County Court and some High Courts) are two entirely different systems, the format is only similar in terms of the recording of information e.g. names, hearings, event history. Caseman for example has different functions that Libra may not have e.g. pdf orders.

In terms of requesting information as categorised for the Libra system you will need to contact the crime team on the email below.

[email address]

Regards

Family Improvement Team

HM Courts & Tribunals Service | Court and Tribunals Development Directorate |2.15 | 2nd Floor | 102 Petty France | London | SW1H 9AJ | DX 152380 Westminster 8

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Dear Ministry of Justice,

Thank you for some information provided for this request.

The overall objective for this request is to obtain all up to date recorded information about the computerised court record system used for the Magistrates Court’s case-related database and to understand in what way this computerised court record system is different from the caseman file used in the civil courts such as the County Court and the High Court.

You have provided some information mentioning that the record system used for the Magistrates Court is a different one from that used in the civil courts and it is called Libra.

In your brief response it has been pointed out that Libra has an electronic record of certain cases but not all the cases processed through the Magistrates Court together with recording of some civil magistrates work e.g. liability orders, license appeals etc.

It is well known that civil court ought to record every case which is issued.

Therefore, to fulfil the primary purpose of this request as to how the Libra record system differs from the Caseman system the Ministry of Justice should make clear in the response what are the cases recorded by the Magistrates Court and how the cases are selected.

To help your task it would be helpful to indicate what general criteria are adopted to select the cases which are recorded on Libra and which cases are not kept on the record. Here some additional clarifications to help your task. For example,

- Does the Libra system record all liability orders issued y the Magistrates Court?

- Does the Libra system keep records of all summonses issued by the Magistrates Court?

- Does the Libra system keep records of all the applications for summonses filed to the Magistrates Court?

- What type of cases are routinely not kept on the records of the Libra system of the Magistrates Court?

In your response please make any clarification as necessary helping me achieving the desired objective of this request.
Please consider this request for information as a freedom of information request and not as a general enquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Sadie Simmonds

Civil & Family Business Support,

Thank you for your email to the Civil & Family Business Support Mailbox.
This mailbox is checked regularly during business hours 10:00am to 4:00pm
Monday to Friday.

 

We will reply to your e-mail enquiry within 2 days (unless you have marked
it urgent - in these cases we will try to get back to you quicker)
answering your query substantively or informing you of the action we are
taking. We may have to take further advice from our policy colleagues or
lawyers for a definitive answer but we will let you know in our initial
response.

 

Please note that sometimes the answer to your question can be found in
guidance that is already available. For further information, please visit
the relevant pages under the header 'My Work'  on the HMCTS intranet site:
[1]http://libra.lcd.gsi.gov.uk/hmcts/index.....

This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of
the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying
is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy
all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail.

Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message
could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in
mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message
by e-mail.

This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be
monitored, recorded and retained by the Ministry of Justice. E-mail
monitoring / blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be
read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not
broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

References

Visible links
1. http://libra.lcd.gsi.gov.uk/hmcts/index....

Crime Directorate Ministerial Correspondence,

Dear Sadie Simmonds,

 

Thank you for your email below.

ALL cases are held on Libra, applications are not, and Liability Orders
and Licence appeals ARE currently on Libra. Applications will be held on
the new App Register, once rolled out, and some work moved off Libra onto
it, e.g. Liability Orders and Licence appeals, but not until later next
year.

The answer is:

We are unable to answer the question of how the systems differ as they
were built at different times to manage different processes, are managed
by different teams, cover different jurisdictions and we have never needed
to conduct a comparison of the functionality, and to do so would incur
considerable effort and cost. I can confirm that Libra was built to enable
full case management of all cases heard in the Magistrates' courts. On
your specific questions:

All Liability Orders are recorded on Libra

All summons issued by the magistrates' court are recorded on Libra - Some
summonses are issued directly by the prosecutor

Libra is a case Management system only so the case for all Summonses will
be recorded on Libra, together with the outcome and the Summons, if one
was issued from Libra, but the application itself will be held on the
manual case file.

All cases (both criminal and civil) heard in the Magistrates' courts are
recorded on Libra, including Liability Orders and Licence appeals.
Applications to the court outside of criminal proceedings, for example
right of entry warrants, first instance warrants, search warrants etc. are
not held on Libra, and are currently recorded manually, although a new
system is currently in pilot to manage this work.

I hope this clarifies this for you.

 

Regards

 

Crime Team

Courts & Tribunals Development Directorate

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HMCTS Customer Service (Correspondence),

Dear Ms Simmonds

Thank you for your e-mail of 27 November addressed to Elizabeth Truss as Lord Chancellor. It is not possible for Ms Truss to reply to everyone who writes to her in person, and your e-mail has been passed to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) as the agency responsible for the courts and tribunals in England and Wales and I have been asked to reply on her behalf. I am very sorry for the delay in sending this reply on Ms Truss' behalf.

I understand you have received responses to your original e-mail and further requests for clarification from the Family Improvement and Crime Teams in HMCTS' Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate, and I hope that these have helped to answer your questions about the systems used by the Magistrates Courts. If you still have any further questions or need clarification then you may wish to again address those teams and they will try to assist you if possible.

Yours sincerely,

Neville Collins
Customer Investigations Manager | HM Courts & Tribunals Service Customer Service Directorate
Email: ComplaintsCorres&[email address]

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