The Northern Ireland Court Service

Quarterly Review of the Complaints Process for the Northern Ireland Court Service January 2005 – March 2005

Complaints Statistics

Introduction

The Purpose of this report is to provide information on the complaints received throughout the Court Service for the period January – March 2005.

Throughout the Court Service there was a total of 86 complaints received during the period January – March 2005.

Breakdown of Number of complaints received

Breakdown of how complaints were received

Courthouses

In the three-month period from January – March 2005 there were a total of 55 complaints received at 17 courthouses throughout the Court Service.  The remaining 4 courthouses recorded no complaints within this time period. Of the 55 complaints, 9 related to complaints about an organisation other than the Court Service.  Annex A

All complaints were answered within the 15-day timescale.

The most frequently used method of making a complaint was to make it in person (27%) followed by putting it in writing (25%), over the telephone was the third most frequent way of making a complaint (20%).

Breakdown of how complaints were received

The court office that received the most complaints during the period was Antrim court office, which received 8 complaints in total, followed by Laganside Courts with a total of 7 complaints then Coleraine court office with 6 complaints made between January and March 2005.

 

Breakdown of complaints by category

The area that received the most complaints was regarding accommodation, 15 complaints in total were received, 3 of these relating to Ballymena court office. The remaining 12 complaints were received as follows:

2 in each of Antrim, Banbridge and Bangor court offices and
1 in each of Coleraine, Downpatrick, Dungannon, Newtownards, Larne and Lisburn court offices.
(Annex B).

7 Complaints received were regarding Delays.  The complaints ranged from the length of time taken list cases Crown Court cases, to, a jury panel member being kept too long without sufficient reason.

The issue of Administrative Error resulted in a total of 13 complaints being received; 3 in Antrim, and 2 in both Coleraine and Craigavon courts.  The following court offices received one complaint each; Bangor, Enniskillen, Laganside Courts, Londonderry, Omagh, Ballymena.

 

Central Complaints

During the period January - March there were 20 complaints received centrally in the Information Centre.  There were 6 of these complaints, which were not dealt with within the 15-day timescale. 

13 of the complaints were received via the email system, 4 customers made their complaint by letter, 2 made their complaint by phone and 1 customer completed their complaints form.

6 of the complaints received referred to the website, 2 related to summons servers, 2 complaints concerned Court Service staff, a further 2 related to delays.

The remaining areas all received one complaint:

 

Court Funds Office

6 complaints were received in the Court Funds Office during the period January – March 2005.  1 of these complaints related to another organisation.  All complaints were answered within the 15-day timescale.

3 of the complaints received related to office procedures, 1 related to a judicial decision and 1 related to poor performance of the investment fund.  3 of the complaints were made by letter, 2 were made via the telephone and one in person.

 

Enforcement of Judgments Office

The Enforcement of Judgments Office received 5 complaints during the period January – March 2005.  All complaints were issued within the 15-day timescale.

3 of the complaints were made by letter, 1 by fax and 1 by telephone.  4 of the complaints were relating to delays and 1 was regarding an administrative error.

 

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