The Northern Ireland Court Service

Quarterly Complaints Bulletin October - December 2008  

Index

 

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to provide an analysis of complaints recorded across the Court Service during the quarter Oct - Dec 2008.  For comparison purposes, data from the previous 12 months is also provided.

 

Summary

 

Table 1: Total Complaints Received

Total Complaints Received

* Further information on upheld complaints is included at para 11

 

Breakdown by venue

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

Table 2: Breakdown of complaints received by venue

 Location

Oct -Dec 07

Jan - Mar 08

Apr- Jun 08

Jul – Sep  08

Oct - Dec 08

Total

Antrim

4

0

0

2

3

9

Armagh

0

0

3

2

0

5

Ballymena

2

0

2

1

0

5

Bangor

0

0

1

0

0

1

Coleraine

0

1

0

0

1

2

Craigavon

0

1

1

1

1

4

Downpatrick

1

0

0

0

1

2

Dungannon

1

0

0

0

1

2

Enniskillen

0

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

4

3

3

1

2

13

Larne

0

0

1

0

0

1

Limavady

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lisburn

0

2

0

0

0

2

Londonderry

0

2

0

1

3

6

Magherafelt

0

0

0

0

2

2

Newry

3

1

2

0

1

7

Newtownards

2

0

0

1

0

3

Omagh

0

0

0

0

0

0

Royal Courts of Justice
(RCJ)

2

3

3

1

5

14

Strabane

0

0

0

0

0

0

Court Funds Office

0

1

0

0

0

1

Communications Group

0

0

2

1

1

4

Enforcement of Judgments Office (EJO)

5

1

5

1

7

19

Coroners Service

2

0

0

0

1

3

Central Complaints
(Received in Communications Group)

8

4

13

14

14

53

Customer Service Centre (CSC)

0

0

2

1

0

3

Civil Processing Centre (CPC)

4

6

4

0

0

14

Total

38

25

42

27

43

175

The venues that recorded the most complaints were:  

 

Breakdown by Category of Complaint

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

 

Oct -Dec 07

Jan -Mar 08

Apr- Jun 08

Jul – Sep  08

Oct - Dec 08

Total

Summons Server

2

0

2

1

1

6

Court Service Staff

4

2

3

3

3

15

Delays

7

4

7

6

7

31

Administrative Error

4

5

3

5

5

22

Accommodation

4

6

6

1

5

22

Jury Service

0

2

6

0

0

8

Information Available

2

2

3

1

2

10

Telephone Manner

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

3

3

10

4

13*

32

Online Services

0

0

1

4

1

6

Security Staff

3

0

0

1

0

4

Fees

3

0

0

1

1

5

Catering

3

0

0

0

2

5

Website

3

0

0

0

3

6

Minor of Age Funds

0

0

0

0

0

0

Interest Rate of Investment

0

1

0

0

0

1

Investment of fund

1

0

0

0

0

1

ICOS

0

0

1

0

0

1

Total

38

25

42

27

43

175

* 3 of the complaints under the category ‘other’ related to catering staff

The following 6 categories account for the majority [81%] of complaints recorded.

A breakdown of the 6 main categories of complaints recorded by venue can be found at Annex A.

 

Breakdown of Complaints Received Centrally (in Communications Group)

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

Antrim

Online Services

Website

EJO

Laganside
Courts

Limavady

RCJ

Delays

2

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

Website

3

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

Court Service Staff

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Administrative Error

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refund of Fees

1

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Online Services

1

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

Other

6

1

 

 

1

2

1

1

Total

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complaints Upheld

Of the 43 complaints received a total of 27 (63%) were upheld.    

The main categories where complaints were upheld related to:

 

Breakdown of complaints upheld by venue and category

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

Antrim

Craigavon

Coleraine

Coroners

Downpatrick

Dungannon

EJO

Laganside

Londonderry

Magherafelt

Newry

RCJ

Central Complaints (received in Communications Group)

Website

Delays

5

1

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Administrative Error

4

1

 

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court Service Staff

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

Accommodation

5

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

 

1

 

 

Catering

2

 

1

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summons Server

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Website

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Other

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

3

1

 

Total

27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Up Action

The follow up action taken in respect of the complaints upheld has been categorised into three areas below:

As a result of the complaints received and upheld, we have:

 

Follow up Questionnaires

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.

Three complainants returned the follow up questionnaire during this quarter.  A further four complainants provided feedback by letter.

The comments received in the main were not in respect of the complaints process, but related to the outcome of the complaint.

 

Breakdown of how complaints are received

Registering a complaint by letter continues to be the most popular method used by customers, during the quarter 56% [24] were made by letter. A breakdown of how complaints were received is illustrated in Table 6 below.

Table 6: Method of making a complaint

 

Oct-Dec 07

Jan – Mar 08

Apr – Jun 08

Jul – Sep  08

Oct - Dec 08

Total

Letter

22

10

22

16

24

94

In Person

7

0

0

1

3

11

Telephone

3

4

3

2

2

14

Email

3

5

9

6

9

32

Complaints Form

2

1

2

1

0

6

Fax

0

0

0

0

0

0

Comment Card

1

5

6

1

5

18

Total

38

25

42

27

43

175

 

Response Time

During this quarter 86% (37) of complaints received were answered within the 15 day turnaround time, with 6 complaints falling outside this timescale.

 

 

Annex A

A breakdown of the 6 main categories of complaints recorded by venue is illustrated in Tables A - F below.

Table A: Administrative Error

 

Oct -Dec 07

Jan - Mar 08

Apr - Jun 08

Jul – Sep  08

Oct - Dec 08

Antrim

0

0

0

0

2

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

Coleraine

0

0

0

0

0

Coroners

0

0

0

0

1

Craigavon

0

0

0

0

0

Dungannon

0

0

0

0

1

Laganside Courts

1

0

0

1

1

Londonderry

0

0

0

1

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

0

0

0

1

0

EJO

0

0

0

1

0

Coroners Service

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

2

0

3

0

0

Information Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

1

5

0

1

0

Total

4

5

3

5

5

 

Table B: Accommodation

 

Oct -Dec 07

Jan - Mar 08

Apr - Jun 08

Jul – Sep
 08

Oct - Dec 08

Antrim

3

0

0

0

0

Armagh

0

0

3

0

0

Ballymena

1

0

0

0

0

Coleraine

0

0

0

0

1

Coroners

0

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

0

1

0

0

0

Dungannon

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

0

1

1

1

0

Londonderry

0

1

0

0

1

Lisburn

0

2

0

0

0

Magherafelt

0

0

0

0

2

Newry

0

0

0

0

0

Newtownards

0

0

0

0

0

Omagh

0

0

0

0

0

RCJ

0

1

2

0

1

EJO

0

0

0

0

0

Coroners Service

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

0

0

0

0

0

Information Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Total

4

6

6

1

5

 

Table C: Court Service Staff

 

Oct -Dec 07

Jan -Mar 08

Apr - Jun 08

Jul – Sep
 08

Oct - Dec 08

Antrim

0

0

0

2

0

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

Enniskillen

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

0

0

1

0

0

Newry

1

0

0

0

0

Omagh

0

0

0

1

0

RCJ

1

0

0

0

0

Information Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

1

1

2

0

1

Dungannon

0

0

0

0

0

EJO

0

1

0

0

2

Customer Service Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Downpatrick

1

0

0

0

0

Total

4

2

3

3

3

 

Table D: Delays

 

Oct -Dec 07

Jan - Mar 08

Apr - Jun 08

Jul – Sep  08

Oct - Dec 08

Antrim

0

0

0

1

1

Armagh

0

0

0

2

0

Ballymena

0

0

0

1

0

Coleraine

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

1

0

0

1

0

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

0

Londonderry

0

0

0

0

0

Magherafelt

0

0

0

0

0

Newry

1

1

1

0

0

RCJ

0

1

0

0

1

EJO

3

0

4

1

3

CFO

0

0

0

0

0

Information Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

1

2

2

0

2

Coroners Service

1

0

0

0

0

Total

7

4

7

6

7

 

Table E:  Website

 

Oct - Dec 07

Jan - Mar 08

Apr - Jun 08

Jul – Sep 08

Oct - Dec 08

Website

3

0

0

0

3

Total

3

0

0

0

3

 

Table F: Other

 

Oct -Dec 07

Jan - Mar 08

Apr - Jun 08

Jul – Sep
 08

Oct - Dec 08

Laganside Courts

1

0

0

1

0

Newtownards Courthouse

0

0

0

0

0

Royal Courts of Justice

1

1

1

1

3

Central Complaints

0

0

3

0

6

Craigavon

0

0

0

1

0

Enforcement of Judgments Office

1

0

1

1

1

Coleraine Courthouse

0

1

0

0

2

Londonderry Courthouse

0

1

0

0

0

Ballymena Courthouse

0

0

1

0

0

Larne Courthouse

0

0

1

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

0

3

0

0

Total

3

3

10

4

12