Kellie Williams-Jauvel a Partner in our Dispute Resolution team discusses the modernisation of the court that was made earlier this month. She discusses why this pilot is a innovative change and will help a vast amount of claimants.
On 6 April 2018, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) made public a new online service, which can now be used to start a claim against anyone in England and Wales. It is aimed at providing a quicker, more user-friendly way to start an action in the County Court for amounts up to £10,000.
The pilot scheme, which has now entered a “public beta” phase, is designed to allow people to issue County Court claims more easily, settle disputes online and access mediation services. It also has different and more advanced features than Money Claim Online service. The service, which had previously been available by invitation only, went live in “public beta” on 6 April 2018.
HMCTS reports that more than 1,400 people have used an earlier pilot of the system that was launched in August 2017. It states that over 80% of early users (which includes individuals and small businesses) found that service very good and easy to use, and that early evidence suggests that the online system has improved access to justice and engagement from defendants has improved.
The Online Court Pilot is for unrepresented claimants. The service will continue to be piloted while other aspects of an end-to-end online system are developed.