The Northern Ireland Court Service

Quarterly Review of the Complaints Process for the Northern Ireland Court Service April 2007 – June 2007

Complaints Statistics

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the complaints received throughout the Court Service for the period April - June 2007.

During the period April - June 2007, there were a total of 44 complaints received throughout the Court Service.  Of the 44 received, 1 related to an organisation other than the Court Service reducing the total number to 43. For the purpose of this report our statistical analysis will only include those complaints which relate directly to the Court Service.

There are 6 main groups from which we receive quarterly complaints returns for statistical analysis (Annex A). The 43 recorded complaints were received across 5 of these groups. The Coroners Service received no complaints during this period.  A breakdown of the number of complaints received by location can be seen below. 

 

Breakdown by location of the number of complaints received in the Court Service between April-June 2007

In the 3 month period from April - June 2007, 93 % of the complaints were answered within the 15 day turnaround time.

Number of complaints answered within the 15 day target time

Complaints can be made by various methods, a breakdown of which can be seen in the chart below.

Breakdown of how complaints were received in the Court Service between April-June 2007

Complaints received relate to a variety of issues.  A breakdown of the categories of complaints received can be seen below.

Category of complaints received in the Court Service during the period April-June 2007

Courthouses

There are 20 courthouses throughout Northern Ireland (Banbridge Courthouse is currently not open to the public).  In the 3 month period from April - June 2007, there was a total of 26 complaints received at 12 courthouses throughout the Court Service.  The remaining 8 courthouses provided a “Nil Return” within this period.  (A list of these courthouses can be found at Annex B).

Number of complaints received in each courthouse between April-June 2007

92% of the complaints received at courthouses were answered within the 15 day timescale.

The most frequently used methods of making a complaint was by letter (44%) and by completing a complaints form (16%).    This was followed by making a complaint via a comment card (12%) registering a complaint by email (12%) and by telephone (8%) and finally making a complaint in person (8%).  A breakdown of the methods used to make a complaint can be seen below.

Breakdown of how complaints were received in courthouses between Apr-Jun 2007

Breakdown of complaints received in courthouses by category

The total number of complaints received at courthouses was 26.  Laganside Courts and RCJ both received 4 complaints each which was the highest number of complaints received at any courthouse. (A full breakdown can be found at Annex B).

The category which received the highest number of complaints in courthouses was regarding Court Service Staff – 4 complaints in total were received. (Newry x 2, Omagh x 1, RCJ x 1).  A breakdown of the categories of complaints received at courthouses can be seen on the next page.

Breakdown of complaints received at courthouses brokendown by category

Corporate Complaints

During the period April - June 2007, there were a total of 9 complaints received centrally in the Information Centre.  100% of these were answered or responded to within the target time of 15 working days.

5 of the complaints were received via email, 2 received by letter and 2 were made by phone.

A breakdown of the categories of complaints received in the Information Centre can be seen below.

Breakdown of complaints received centrally vroken down by category

Enforcement of Judgments Office

The EJO received 5 complaints during this period.  80% of the complaints were answered within the 15 day turnaround time.  4 complaints were made via letter and the other was made via email.

4 of the complaints were regarding information available and the remaining complaint related to an administrative error.

Information Service

 The Information Service received 1 complaint during this period and it was answered within the 15 day turnaround time.  The complaint was made via letter and concerned an administrative error.

Court Funds Office

 During the period April – June 2007 Court Funds Office received 2 complaints, both were answered within the 15 day turnaround time.

1 complaint was made via the telephone and the other was made by letter.  1 complaint was regarding “Minor of Age funds received” and the other complaint was concerning the “interest rate of investment”.

Quarterly comparison

The following section shows a comparison of complaints received this quarter (April – June 2007) with the previous quarters (July – September 2006, October – December 2006 & January – March 2007).

Comparison of total number of complaints received by quarter

Comparison of complaints that were answered within the target time of 15 days

Comparison of complaints received in the EJO per quarter

Comparison of complaints received by quarter

 

Comparison of category of complaints received per quarter

 

Jul- Sept 2006

Oct-Dec 2006

Jan-Mar 2006

Apr – June 2006

Court Service Staff

6

4

4

5

Admin Error

5

12

14

6

Accommodation

5

11

12

3

Catering

0

1

1

3

Summons Servers

1

1

2

2

Delays

2

4

6

4

Information Available

6

0

0

6

Judicial Decision

1

2

9

5

Jury Service

3

0

3

2

MOA funds received

0

0

0

1

Interest Rate of Investment

0

0

0

1

Other

1

4

6

5

Maybin Staff

2

1

1

0

Online Services

3

0

1

0

Fees

0

1

0

0

Website

0

3

0

0

 

35

44

59

43

 

Annex A

The 6 main groups from which we receive complaints returns for statistical analysis are listed below.

Enforcement of Judgments Office
Court Funds Office
Corporate Complaints
Information Centre
Coroners Service
20 Courthouses:

Banbridge Courthouse is currently closed to the public

 

Annex B

The following courthouses provided a “Nil Return”

Ballymena
Bangor
Coleraine
Downpatrick
Larne
Lisburn
Limavady
Strabane

Number of complaints received by courthouse
Laganside Courts: 4
RCJ: 4
Antrim: 3
Newry: 3
Omagh: 3
Armagh: 2
Magherafelt: 2
Craigavon: 1
Dungannon: 1
Enniskillen: 1
Londonderry: 1
Newtownards: 1