NIGHTINGALE COURT IN LEEDS: STARTING 28th AUGUST 2020: BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS AND CIVIL CASES: GUIDANCE FOR USERS

A “Nightingale Court” has started in Leeds from the 28th August 2020.   It is being run at Cloth Hall Court, Quebec Street, Leeds. Below I have the formal notice from HMCTS and the guidance that has been issued to users of the court. (Many thanks to Sue Harris from Walker Morris for sending me this information).

 

NOTICE FROM HMCTS

“I am very pleased to inform you that Cloth Hall Court, owned by the University of Leeds, at Quebec Street, Leeds, LS1 2HA will formally open as a Nightingale Court site on 28th August 2020.

 

It is intended that Business and Property Courts work and other civil work will be carried out at Cloth Hall Court.

 

The extra capacity Cloth Hall Court provides will benefit court users across all jurisdictions, as space is freed up at the Leeds Combined Court Centre, allowing the speedier delivery of justice.

 

Cloth Hall Court is located close to Leeds Train Station.

 

The wi-fi enabled court room can accommodate 16 participants, socially distanced at 2 metres, in addition to the judge, court clerk and any transcriber the parties have engaged.

 

There are also two well-appointed conference rooms; one of which can accommodate 10 socially-distanced participants and the other of which can accommodate 7 socially-distanced participants.

 

In addition, there is an on-site coffee shop which will be accessible to court users for light refreshments.

 

It is anticipated that hearings will be listed at Cloth Hall Court on a temporary basis and that the need for its continued use will be regularly reviewed.

 

If you require any further information about the Business and Property Courts and civil work which will be undertaken at Cloth Hall Court, you can contact deborahlouise.smith@justice.gov.uk, sandie.umarji@justice,gov.uk or alternatively BPC.Leeds@justice.gov.uk.

 

For further details of the ten ‘Nightingale Court’ sites please visit GOV.UK.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Julie Collins

Cluster manager for North and West Yorkshire”

 

 

 GUIDANCE ON ATTENDING HEARINGS

 

 

Cloth Hall Court Attended Hearings

Business and Property Courts in Leeds

Sitting at Cloth Hall Court

2nd Floor

Quebec Street

Leeds

LS1 2HA

 

 

 

  1. When you arrive at court please report to the Cloth Hall Court reception desk, where you will be required to sign in. If there is anyone else ahead of you, please ensure that you remain 2 metres away from them. You must not come to Court if you have had a positive test for CV19 or have any symptoms of CV19.

 

2.You will be directed to the courtroom and waiting area (including the conference facilities) on the 2nd Floor.

 

3. Face masks are mandatory in all public areas of the building unless you are exempt for medical / health reasons.

 

4. When you arrive at the 2nd floor, security staff will call you forward one at a time. Please tell the security staff your name. Security staff will have the list of those attending in advance of the hearing. If your name is not on the list you will have to wait until it is clear that you can be accommodated in the courtroom or the waiting area within the limit of the numbers which allow the facility to remain CV19-secure. Hand sanitiser is provided at key points and you are encouraged to use upon entry and throughout the building.

 

5.Please ensure that you carry as little as possible with you as you bag will have to be emptied in full on to a tray and it will be searched thoroughly. Drinks (cold) of up to 500ml will be accepted but you will have to open them and sip them before entry is allowed. However it is possible to purchase light refreshments from the coffee shop situated within Cloth Hall Court where card payments will be accepted.

 

6.Security staff will sanitise their gloves if they need to touch your possessions. Security will notify you that they will come within 2 metres to pass the ‘wand’ around you.

 

7. When you go through security you will then be directed towards the court room using the one-way system.

 

8. Signs have been placed throughout the building to ensure maintenance of 2 metre social distancing.

 

9. Cleaners will be passing regularly through communal areas to clean ‘touch points’.

 

10. There is a one-way system. Please observe this and the other social-distancing measure put in place and sign-posted.

 

11. Measurements have been taken to ensure that all available seating is 2 metres apart. Please do not re-arrange furniture, particularly in the courtroom, and please ensure that all seating remains 2 metres apart.

 

12. You will be given directions about when to go into court and where to sit. Please follow those instructions as soon as they are given so we can avoid delay.

 

13. Toilet facilities are available, with access restricted on a one in one out basis, and will be cleaned regularly.

 

 

14. Conference rooms are available for parties’ use. The maximum number of people allowed in one conference room (Wool Room) is 7. The maximum number of people allowed in the other conference room (Denim Room) is 10. If a conference room is available for a party and their participants in the hearing, the court will have allocated a particular conference room to that party and will have notified that party in advance. Please ensure social distancing is maintained in the conference rooms at all times.

 

15.Anti-bacterial hand cleanser dispensers are available upon entry and throughout the building. Anti-bacterial hand cleanser will also be made available in the courtroom. You will be able to bring in your own hand sanitiser if you prefer. Please remember to wash your hands on a regular basis.

 

 

  1. You may wear gloves and/or masks if you wish. You may be asked to remove your mask in the courtroom when speaking to make sure you can be heard.

 

IN COURT

 

  1. The maximum number of people in allowed in the court room is 16 not including the Judge, the clerk and a single transcriber if the parties have arranged for transcription of the hearing. No more than a single transcriber can be accommodated in the courtroom.

 

 

2. When you are in court the clerk will show you where to sit. Please sit down and remain in your place for the duration of the hearing, unless directed otherwise by the Judge. If you need to leave to go to the toilet or to discuss something with your client or lawyer, please ask the judge to pause the hearing. You will then be given instructions about how to leave and where to go.

 

3. Any person giving evidence will have their religious book protected in plastic, and the words of the oath or the affirmation (where you promise to tell the truth) will be read to the witness either by the clerk or the judge.

 

4. You will be allowed to bring your own small (500ml) water bottle into the courtroom (subject to the normal security measures of sipping). No water will be provided by HMCTS in any courtroom. Food must not be consumed in the court room. You will be shown where you can take your lunch to eat.

 

 

5. If a witness is to give evidence remotely or in court they must have access to a bundle. It is imperative that the provision of bundles and how they will be accessed is discussed at the listing hearing/PTR/IRH.

 

6. It is also imperative that an interpreter or the use of an intermediary is discussed and put in place well in advance. If the interpreter or intermediary is attending please ensure their name is on the list of attendees and that you have counted them as part of the overall numbers attending.

 

AFTER COURT

 

  1. At the end of the hearing you will be asked to remain seated until it is your turn to leave. Please follow the instructions to keep everyone safe.

 

2. You will be asked to leave the building when the case is finished. Lawyers who need to speak with their clients at court after the hearing should ask the judge to direct that they may remain for a short time in the waiting area, for a social distanced conversation providing this will not affect those coming into the Court unless a conference room to a party. The Clerk will check with security that such arrangements are safe.