Magistrates Court Update | Woollcombe Yonge
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Woollcombe Yonge
Jan Santillo

Jan Santillo

Magistrates Court Update

As we continue in the third national lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, the courts remain “open for business”.

For the safety of all court users during this time, Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), is encouraging a reduced footfall in the court buildings during the pandemic.

For defendants on bail whose cases are listed at a magistrates court, they can attend the hearing in the usual way at the court building, or alternatively attend remotely by a link to the court. If you intend on attending remotely by a link, you must have the facilities, i.e a laptop or computer, and internet connection, to facilitate this option. You must also be within a quiet area for the hearing to be conducted.

It is very important to understand that although hearings can take place remotely, the formalities of the hearing remain the same and as though you appear in the courtroom. In order to appear remotely by the link, defendants must make a formal application to the court no later than 48 hours before the court appearance, for the court to consider if it is in the interests of justice to grant the application.

For those who are charged with an offence(s) and bailed to court, or receive a postal requisition to attend court, a letter will be included in the documentation you receive to direct you how to attend remotely. Should Woollcombe Yonge be instructed, we will make that application to the court on your behalf.

In relation to those defendants remanded in custody from the police station, Devon and Cornwall Police has agreed to facilitate a virtual link to court for those first hearings, to reduce the unnecessary movement of people between locations. This will mean that defendants will appear from the police station on a link to the court and the hearing will be conducted in this way. As legal representative, we will speak with you at the police station prior to the hearing to take instructions in preparation for the hearing and to explain the formalities. We will also be able to speak with the prosecutor, probation and legal advisor in advance of the hearing to ensure that the case is fully prepared to progress your case.

Should you be charged, or receive a postal requisition to attend court, it is in your best interests to have legal representation. Contact our crime department at Woollcombe Yonge on 01752 827941 in advance of your hearing to discuss representation and how we can help you.

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