Issuing a money claim? Remember to now send it to Salford...
Escuche arriba, hermosas personas! It is I, Len Dastard, full time litigation executive and part time pretend lucha libre! You know that by now, of course. You don’t? I suggest you get out of my sight before I perform upon you El Hurricanrana Muerte...
For those of you who have been unfortunate enough to need to issue a money claim, you probably know that the system is far from perfect.
During the summer months many county courts have a major backlog. Some of these delays can mean it could take anything up to 2 weeks for your claim to be dealt with and put into the system.
The HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) have now set up and opened a centralised facility for handling civil claims and this will be known as the Salford Business Centre (SBC). The centre has been in operation for a little while but it took responsibility for all civil claims from 19th March 2012.
The HMCTS believe that this new streamlined service will cut turnaround time from five days to one and save up to £3m a year. Centre manager Jason Latham has said that the volume of incoming paperwork will rise by 25-30% but they will still be able to issue claims within one day of receipt.
Prior to the SBC becoming fully functional, the new centre attracted many complaints with people claiming that the new system wasnt as efficient as it should be. One solicitor in particular claims that the SBC lost her original claim form and then even managed to lose the replacement which was sent to them by recorded delivery. Doesnt really fill you with much confidence, does it. The centre even managed to lose a letter of complaint sent to them by a solicitor from Lincolnshire. Fantastic.
It will be interesting to see how this develops and whether the SBC/HMCTS is able to learn from its mistakes and truly provide a straightforward and efficient litigation process.
So remember - if you want to issue a claim, send it to the SBC and take a copy!
Have you already had to issue a claim to the SBC? Get in touch with us - [email protected]