The Northern Ireland Court Service

Quarterly Review of the Complaints Process for the Northern Ireland Court Service April 2005 – June 2005

Complaints Statistics April - June 2005


The Purpose of this report is to provide information on the complaints received throughout the Court Service for the period April - June 2005.

Throughout the Court Service there was a total of 81 complaints received during the period April – June 2005.

Breakdown of Number of Complaints Received

Breakdown of how complaints were received


In the three-month period from April – June 2005 there were a total of 57 complaints received at 16 courthouses throughout the Court Service.  The remaining 5 courthouses recorded no complaints within this time period. Of the 57 complaints, 21 related to complaints about an organisation other than the Court Service.  (see Annex A)

91% of complaints were answered within the 15-day timescale.

The most frequently used method of making a complaint was by putting it in writing (41%) followed by making a complaint in person  (33%), over the telephone was the third most frequent way of making a complaint (16%).

Breakdown of how complaints were received

The court offices that received the most complaints during the period were Coleraine, Ballymena and Laganside Courts, which received 9 complaints each, followed by Newtownards court office with a total of 5 complaints then Omagh and Strabane court offices, each with 4 complaints made between April - June 2005.


Breakdown of complaints by category

The area that received the most complaints was regarding accommodation, 9 complaints in total were received in this category.  These were broken down as follows:

2 relating to both Antrim and Coleraine court offices and one relating to Ballymena, Larne, Londonderry, Strabane & Newtownards court offices. (see Annex B).

The issue of Administrative Error resulted in a total of 7 complaints being received: 2 in Downpatrick and Coleraine.  The following court offices received one complaint each: Ballymena, Craigavon and Omagh.

6 Complaints received were regarding delays.  The complaints ranged from the length of time to receive a refund after a failed ICOS search, to, a jury panel member being kept too late without sufficient reason. There were also a total of 6 complaints received relating to catering facilities, the majority of which originated from Laganside (3) and the remaining 3 are broken down as follows: 1 from Antrim, 1 from Ballymena and 1 from Londonderry.


Central Complaints

During the period April - June there were 12 complaints received centrally in the Information Centre: 83% of these were answered with the target time of 15 working days. 

6 of the complaints were received via the email system, 5 customers made their complaint by letter and 1 made their complaint by phone.

3 of the complaints received referred to delays.  These ranged from the listings of Civil Bill hearings to receiving a death certificate.

2 of the complaints received related to Court Service Staff, 2 related to Information Available, 2 regarding Administrate Errors. 

The remaining 3 complaints were as follows: 1 about Maybin Staff, 1 in respect of another organisation and finally, 1 regarding the flying of the Union flag at half mast on the day of the Pope’s funeral.


Court Funds Office

4 complaints were received in the Court Funds Office during the period April – June 2005 all of which concerned the Poor Performance of Funds.  All complaints were answered within the 15-day timescale.  3 of the complaints were made via the telephone and one was made in writing,


Enforcement of Judgments Office

The Enforcement of Judgments Office received 8 complaints during the period    April – June 2005.   87.5% of complaints were answered within the 15-day timescale.  All of the complaints were received in writing.  50% of the complaints related to delays with the reminder being split equally between information available and administrative errors.


Annex A

Number of complaints Received by Courthouse:

The following courthouses provided “Nil” returns:


Complaints received at courthouses about organisations other than the Court Service:

Maybin Staff:

Judicial Decision:


Another Organisation:


Annex B

Category of Complaint