CASES TAKEN OUT OF THE LIST AT THE LAST MINUTE BECAUSE OF “LACK OF JUDICIAL TIME”: WHAT ARE THE CAUSES? YOU BE THE JUDGE

Not for the first time I return to the matter of hearings being taken out of the list at the very last moment. This is a longstanding problem that is getting worse. There were reports last week of two sets of parties having turned up for a hearing having not been told that their cases had been postponed at 4.00 pm the day before.  At a time when courts are being closed the excuse always given is “lack of judicial time”. That is simply bureaucratic doublespeak from the court administration for “we messed up and there’s nothing you can do about it”.  The litigants, and their lawyers, always bear the brunt of  it. Extra costs, extra delay, extra frustration.   There appears to be little that any individual litigant can do about it.   They simply bear the costs and consequences of last minute cancellations whilst there are no consequences at all for  those responsible for this crassly inefficient system.

 

TWITTER TODAY

 

🤬AGAIN! My case for tom (fully prepped- took day out yday to prep it) has been pulled due to . Was listed in November ffs. 8 months to find a judge. What is going on?! I despair🙈 & You have a serious prob

Next time I’m Worcester/Hereford I want to just say ‘sorry I’m not ready. I didn’t prep as I assumed it would get adjourned so decided not to waste hours needlessly prepping’. I won’t. Cos that’s not fair on clients. But I want to

My case for tomorrow also just pulled in the same region tomorrow for the same reason. Completely unacceptable. My day out of court today to prep is now wasted.

That’s awful. What a joke. I had 2 vacated at 4pm a few weeks ago in 2 days. Weekend of prep gone.

I had 3 cases pulled last year for lack of judges in civil in Birmingham. Sadly clients had to pay for brief fee each time. I don’t think barristers should bear the loss caused by the court but equally should reimburse litigants who are unfairly put to extra expense.

Jeez I’ve that many in last month! Several I’ve been paid zero for, 1 x full amount which DA case and I’ve added to my standard terms and 2 x 50%. I cannot afford to take the hit anymore. And why should I

The financial relief case that I hope to conclude this week had both the FDR and Final Hearing vacated the night before. Not aware of any offer to reimburse wasted costs; initial request was rejected.

This is becoming more and more common (happened to me twice on the same case earlier this year). Either means counsel doesn’t get paid or client pays twice (or some compromise painful to both). Very rare to get compensation from HMCTS.

Think this about my 6th (?) in 2 months!

I think has been collecting stats on it, but anecdotal evidence is that most civil and family practitioners have seen it go from ‘rare nuisance’ to ‘frequent problem’ over the last year or so.

God it’s at least every couple of weeks for me. I’m at end of my tether. It’s cost me bloody loads.

I stopped counting the number of hearings I had vacated since January in the Midlands. The worst was when I drove all the way to Staffordshire to be told that the Judge has called in sick. At least mine are only small claims & can wait. This is unacceptable in family though!

This is absurd. It’s not fair to your client, you or your instructing solicitor. Or the other side.