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Civil Online Update – The future of civil business in the sheriff courts

In March 2018 Gayle Stewart reported that the Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service (SCTS) were introducing phase 1 of their Civil Online case management system. This was on the back of extensive testing in which we as a debt recovery department had the privilege of taking part in.

As a reminder, Civil Online is a secure online service provided by the SCTS which enables party litigants or those acting as agents to track the procedural progress of a Simple Procedure case. Almost 1 year on, we continue to regularly access the system in order to ascertain the status of our Simple Procedure cases.

As planned by the SCTS, a number of upgrades to the service have been released in advance of their ultimate phase 2 goal in allowing online submission of Simple Procedure documents.

As of 14 December 2018 users can download, save and print court documents uploaded to the system by SCTS staff. At this stage only documents produced by the court can be downloaded. For example Timetables, Orders of the Sheriff and Decision Forms to name a few. Not only will this update alleviate the administration burden on SCTS staff, but as Simple Procedure Decision forms are electronically authenticated this means an enforceable decree can be simply downloaded and printed off speeding up the enforcement process significantly.

Moreover this update will allow users to receive automated messages from the court in any Simple Procedure case lodged and registered from the 14th of December 2018. So long as the “online” option is selected when lodging a claim form, online notifications will replace the previous postal service of court process. This will of course alleviate the current heavy usage of paper process in Simple Procedure cases.

The most recent enhancements to the Civil Online service mean we are one step closer to a fully online submission process for Simple Procedure cases which we have been told is on track for delivery in Quarter 1 of 2019-20.

The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.

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