Contact our office

For all media enquiries

Message from DFJ for Hertfordshire, HHJ David Vavrecka

Please see below a message from DFJ for Hertfordshire, HHJ David Vavrecka - Family Public Law Digital Project now starting in Hertfordshire.

I wanted to write to inform you all of the digital service for new public law cases which is now being rolled out in Hertfordshire as part of the ‘Reform’ project.

Starting today, the Family Court in Hertfordshire is ‘going live’ with this new digital service which is being rolled out nationwide by HMCTS for all new public law children’s cases. 

The attached information provided by HMCTS will give you more information about the service, whether you are working in the local authority or a solicitor or barrister in private practice.  This is essential reading if you practice involves public law children’s cases.

For cases issued through this service, the solicitors involved in these new cases will be informed by the local authority so they are aware that they will need to use the digital platform.  By the end of November 2021 all new cases must be issued via this digital service. Hence it is important that all legal professionals involved in public law children’s cases become familiar with the new digital process now.

This digital platform is for new care proceedings, and will enable the local authority to complete and submit a C110a application for care and supervision orders along with the supporting documents required by the family court to issue and progress the case online. Case bundles can be uploaded and Standard Directions, Case Management and Final Orders can all be created within the service and approved by the judge.

All Legal Professionals (barristers and solicitors) involved in any public law cases will need to register for the service, and the following  documents explain how this is done. Please click here to read My HMCTS, online case management for professionals, here to read the Family Public Law Legal Representatives Training Pack, here for the LA FAQ'S and here for the Barrister Guidance.

Once registered, legal professionals will be able to upload all their position statement and evidence to this portal, and will also be able access all the orders, evidence and bundles filed by parties via the portal.

All parties in cases issued through the digital service will receive email notifications via the portal to inform them of developments and case management requirements.

This new service will be ‘end to end i.e. to be used from the beginning of a care case through to final hearing.

The Court & Tribunal Service Centre (CTSC) in Stoke will be wholly responsible for this new digital service and the administrative tasks involved in the case management of the digital public law case. 

Any queries about cases issued via the digital service will need to be directed to the Court & Tribunal Service Centre (CTSC) in Stoke. I have added their contact details below

Contact the CTSC

These contact details are for Local Authorities, Legal Professionals and Litigants in Person.

CTSC Tel:  0330 808 4424   

CTSC Email:  contactfpl@justice.gov.uk

Lines are currently open 9am – 5pm.  (Once normal circumstances return this will be extended to 8am-6pm).

The court office at Watford will not be dealing with cases issued through this service.  All enquiries relating to any new case issued through this digital portal must be made to the CTSC in Stoke and not the office in Watford.

The Watford Court office will remain responsible for all current ongoing public law cases, and the issuing of applications and orders and correspondence will all continue to be handled by the court office in Watford.

You will easily be able to distinguish new cases issued using the digital portal as the new cases will have a case number with a ‘5’ inserted immediately after the court code and year.  For example, the first new case issued with this digital platform will be WD21C50001.  The digital platform also uses its own core case date ID, which is a much longer numeric sequence. Cases on the portal can be searched under either the case number of the CCD ID

The timing of the introduction of this new service by HMCTS comes at a time when all legal professionals are still working extremely hard to meet the needs of clients and the directions from the court.  The last nineteen months been difficult for all.  My aim is to ensure this new scheme devised by HMCTS is rolled out carefully, and to ensure that legal professionals using the family courts in Hertfordshire are kept updated about the use of this new service.

I want to ensure this information has the largest audience. The court office database, although extensive, may not include all the legal professionals who use the family courts in Hertfordshire.  Please circulate this email widely to your colleagues.

Kind Regards

His Honour Judge David Vavrecka

Designated Family Judge for Hertfordshire

Nominated Judge of the Court of Protection