Quarterly Complaints Bulletin

July - September 2009  

Index

 

Introduction

  1. The purpose of this report is to provide an analysis of complaints  recorded across the Court Service during the quarter July - Sept 2009. For comparison purposes, data from the previous 12 months is also provided.

Summary

  1. A total of 57 complaints were recorded however 3 relating to judicial decisions [the Court Service cannot deal with complaints against judicial decisions] and 2 relating to another organisation fall outside the scope of this report.
  2. Table 1 below illustrates that 52 complaints were received during this quarter. The number of complaints received has increased by 6% when compared with quarter ending June 09 [49] and has increased by 92% when compared with the same quarter last year [27].

Total Complaints Received

  1. Following investigation 22 complaints (42%) were upheld*.

* Further information on upheld complaints is included at paragraph 11

 

Breakdown by venue

  1. A breakdown of the complaints recorded by venue is illustrated in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Breakdown of complaints received by venue

 Location

Jul - Sep  08

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul - Sep  09

Total

Antrim

2

3

0

0

0

5

Armagh

2

0

1

0

3

6

Ballymena

1

0

0

0

0

1

Bangor

0

0

3

0

8

11

Coleraine

0

1

0

0

0

1

Craigavon

1

1

0

0

4

6

Downpatrick

0

1

0

1

2

4

Dungannon

0

1

0

0

0

1

Enniskillen

0

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

1

2

10

6

3

22

Larne

0

0

0

0

0

0

Limavady

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

0

0

Londonderry

1

3

0

0

1

5

Magherafelt

0

2

1

2

0

5

Newry

0

1

0

1

1

3

Newtownards

1

0

1

0

0

2

Omagh

0

0

1

1

0

2

Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ)

1

5

3

4

2

15

Strabane

0

0

1

1

0

2

Court Funds Office

0

0

1

1

0

2

Communications Group

1

1

3

2

0

7

Enforcement of Judgments Office (EJO)

1

7

4

4

6

22

Coroners Service

0

1

0

1

1

3

Central Complaints
(Received in Communications Group)

14

14

16

17

21

82

Customer Service Centre (CSC)

1

0

1

3

0

5

Civil Processing Centre (CPC)

0

0

3

4

0

7

Human Resource Unit

0

0

1

1

0

2

Total

27

43

50

49

52

221

All 8 complaints recorded for Bangor Court related to the opening hours of the building

  1. The venues that recorded the most complaints were:  

 

Breakdown by Category of Complaint

  1. A breakdown of complaints received by category over the last 12 months is illustrated in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Breakdown of complaints by category

 

Jul - Sep 08

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul - Sep  09

Total

Summons Server

1

1

1

1

1

5

Court Service Staff

3

3

3

7

3

19

Delays

6

7

6

5

6

30

Administrative Error

5

5

6

7

6

29

Accommodation

1

5

6

2

10

24

Jury Service

0

0

2

2

2

6

Information Available

1

2

6

2

1

12

Telephone Manner

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

4

13

12

20

15

64

Online Services

4

1

1

0

5

11

Security Staff

1

0

2

2

1

6

Fees

1

1

1

0

0

3

Catering

0

2

0

0

0

2

Website

0

3

4

1

2

10

Minor of Age Funds

0

0

0

0

0

0

Interest Rate of Investment

0

0

0

0

0

0

Investment of fund

0

0

0

0

0

0

ICOS

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

27

43

50

49

52

221

  1. The following 5 categories account for the majority [77%] of complaints recorded.
  1. A breakdown of the 5 main categories of complaints recorded by venue can be found at Annex A.

 

Breakdown of Complaints Received Centrally (in Communications Group)

  1. A breakdown of the complaints received centrally during this quarter, by category and location is illustrated in Table 4 below.

Table 4: Breakdown of complaints received centrally

Category of Complaint

Total No
Of Complaints

Business Area

Armagh Court

Coleraine Court

Customer Service Centre

Lisburn Court

Website

Laganside

Londonderry
Court

Online Services

RCJ

Dungannon Court

Delays

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

Website

2

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

Court Service Staff

2

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

Admin error

1

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Services

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

Jury Service

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Other

9

2

1

 

 

 

3

1

 

1

1

Total

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complaints Upheld

  1. Of the 52 complaints received a total of 22 (42%) were upheld.    

The main categories of complaints upheld related to:

 

Breakdown of complaints upheld by venue and category

  1. A breakdown of the complaints upheld, recorded by venue and category, for this quarter is illustrated in Table 5 below.

Table 5: Breakdown of complaints received and upheld

Category of Complaint

Total No of Complaints
 Upheld

Business Area

Online Services

Lisburn Court

EJO

Armagh Court

Omagh Court

Laganside Courts

Customer Service Centre

Downpatrick Court

Craigavon Court

RCJ

Website

Delays

3

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

Administrative Error

5

 

1

 

2

 

1

 

 

1

 

 

Court Service Staff

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

1

 

 

Accommodation

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

Summons Server

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Website

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Information Available

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Online Services

3

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

3

 

 

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

Total

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Up Action

  1. The follow up action taken in respect of the complaints upheld has been categorised into three areas below:
  1. As a result of the complaints received and upheld, we have:

 

Follow up Questionnaires

  1. The Northern Ireland Court Service routinely encloses a copy of a follow-up questionnaire with each response to a complaint.  The purpose of the follow-up questionnaire is to find out how satisfied our customers are with the way in which their complaint was handled.
  2. During this quarter three follow up questionnaires were returned.

 

Breakdown of how complaints are received

  1. Registering a complaint by letter continues to be the most popular method used by customers, during this quarter 31% [16] were made by letter. A breakdown of how complaints were received is illustrated in Table 6 below.

Table 6: Method of making a complaint

 

Jul – Sep 08

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul - Sep 09

Total

Letter

16

24

22

24

16

102

In Person

1

3

2

3

12

21

Telephone

2

2

6

7

8

25

Email

6

9

12

12

12

51

Complaints Form

1

0

4

2

1

8

Fax

0

0

0

0

0

0

Comment Card

1

5

4

1

3

14

Total

27

43

50

49

52

221

 

Response Time

  1. During this quarter 98% (51) of complaints received were answered within the 15 day turnaround time, with 3 complaints falling outside this timescale.

 

Annex A

A breakdown of the 5 main categories of complaints recorded by venue is illustrated in Tables A - D below.

Table A: Administrative Error

 

Jul – Sep
 08

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Antrim

0

2

0

0

0

Armagh

0

0

0

0

3

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

Coleraine

0

0

0

0

0

Coroners

0

1

0

0

0

Craigavon

0

0

0

0

1

Dungannon

0

1

0

0

0

Human Resource Unit

0

0

0

1

0

Laganside Courts

1

1

2

1

1

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

1

Londonderry

1

0

0

0

0

Magherafelt

0

0

0

0

0

Newry

0

0

0

0

0

Newtownards

0

0

0

0

0

Omagh

0

0

0

0

0

RCJ

1

0

1

2

0

EJO

1

0

0

0

0

Coroners Service

0

0

0

0

0

Court Funds Office

0

0

1

1

0

Central Complaints

0

0

0

2

0

Communications Group

0

0

0

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

1

0

2

0

0

Total

5

5

6

7

6

 

Table B – Accommodation

 

Jul – Sep
 08

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr – Jun 09

Jul – Sep 09

Antrim

0

0

0

0

0

Armagh

0

0

0

0

0

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

Bangor

0

0

2

0

8†

Coleraine

0

1

0

0

0

Coroners

0

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

0

0

0

0

2

Dungannon

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

1

0

1

1

0

Londonderry

0

1

0

0

0

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

0

Magherafelt

0

2

0

0

0

Newry

0

0

0

0

0

Newtownards

0

0

0

0

0

Omagh

0

0

0

0

0

Strabane

0

0

1

0

0

RCJ

0

1

1

1

0

EJO

0

0

0

0

0

Coroners Service

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

0

0

1

0

0

Communications Group

0

0

0

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Total

1

5

6

2

10

† All 8 complaints recorded for Bangor Court related to the opening hours of the building

 

Table C: Delays

 

Jul – Sep 08

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Antrim

1

1

0

0

0

Armagh

2

0

0

0

0

Ballymena

1

0

0

0

0

Coleraine

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

1

0

0

0

1

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

0

Londonderry

0

0

0

0

0

Magherafelt

0

0

0

0

0

Newry

0

0

0

0

0

RCJ

0

1

0

1

1

EJO

1

3

2

1

3

CFO

0

0

0

0

0

Information Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

0

2

2

2

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

0

1

0

0

Coroners Service

0

0

0

1

1

Communications Group

0

0

1

0

0

Total

6

7

6

5

6

 

Table D: Other

 

Jul – Sep 08

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Armagh

0

0

0

0

2

Dungannon

0

0

0

0

1

Laganside Courts

1

0

4

2

4

Newtownards Courthouse

0

0

0

0

0

Newry Courthouse

0

0

0

1

0

Royal Courts of Justice

1

3

1

0

1

Central Complaints

0

6

3

7

0

Craigavon

1

0

0

0

0

Enforcement of Judgments Office

1

1

1

3

3

Coleraine Courthouse

0

2

0

0

1

Human Resource Unit

0

0

1

0

0

Londonderry Courthouse

0

0

0

0

3

Communications Group

0

0

1

1

0

Ballymena Courthouse

0

0

0

0

0

Larne Courthouse

0

0

0

0

0

Customer Service Centre

0

0

0

2

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

0

0

4

0

Total

4

12

12

20

15

 

Table E: Online Services

 

Jul – Sep 08

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Online Services

4

1

1

0

5