Quarterly Complaints Bulletin

October - December 2009

Index

Introduction

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

Summary

  1. A total of 71 complaints were recorded however 4 relating to judicial decisions [the Court Service cannot deal with complaints against judicial decisions] and 5 relating to another organisation fall outside the scope of this report.
  2. Table 1 below illustrates that 62 complaints were received during this quarter. The number of complaints received has increased by 19% when compared with quarter ending Sept 09 [52] and has increased by 44% when compared with the same quarter last year [43]. 

Total Complaints Received

  1. Following investigation 22 complaints (35%) 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

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul - Sep  09

Oct - Dec 09

Total

Antrim

3

0

0

0

1

4

Armagh

0

1

0

3

0

4

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bangor

0

3

0

8

4

15

Coleraine

1

0

0

0

0

1

Craigavon

1

0

0

4

0

5

Downpatrick

1

0

1

2

4

8

Dungannon

1

0

0

0

1

2

Enniskillen

0

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

2

10

6

3

4

25

Larne

0

0

0

0

0

0

Limavady

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

0

0

Londonderry

3

0

0

1

4

8

Magherafelt

2

1

2

0

0

5

Newry

1

0

1

1

2

5

Newtownards

0

1

0

0

2

3

Omagh

0

1

1

0

0

2

Royal Courts of Justice
(RCJ)

5

3

4

2

4

18

Strabane

0

1

1

0

0

2

Court Funds Office

0

1

1

0

0

2

Communications Group

1

3

2

0

0

6

Enforcement of Judgments Office (EJO)

7

4

4

6

7

28

Coroners Service

1

0

1

1

0

3

Central Complaints
(Received in Communications Group)

14

16

17

21

26

94

Customer Service Centre (CSC)

0

1

3

0

3

7

Civil Processing Centre (CPC)

0

3

4

0

0

7

Human Resource Unit

0

1

1

0

0

2

Total

43

50

49

52

62

256

All  complaints recorded for Bangor Court from October to December 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

 

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul - Sep 09

Oct - Dec 09

Total

Summons Server

1

1

1

1

2

6

Court Service Staff

3

3

7

3

5

21

Delays

7

6

5

6

7

31

Administrative Error

5

6

7

6

4

28

Accommodation

5

6

2

10

12

36

Jury Service

0

2

2

2

2

8

Information Available

2

6

2

1

2

13

Telephone Manner

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

13

12

20

15

14

73

Online Services

1

1

0

5

1

8

Security Staff

0

2

2

1

1

6

Fees

1

1

0

0

0

2

Catering

2

0

0

0

3

5

Website

3

4

1

2

9

19

Minor of Age Funds

0

0

0

0

0

0

Investment of fund

0

0

0

0

0

0

ICOS

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

43

50

49

52

62

256

  1. The following 6 categories account for the majority [82%] of complaints recorded.
  1. 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)

  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

Antrim Court

EJO

Customer Service Centre

Lisburn Court

Website

Laganside Courts

Newtowards
Court

Online Services

RCJ

Other

Delays

2

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

 

Website

9

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

Court Service Staff

3

 

1

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

 

Accommodation

2

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

1

Online Services

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Jury Service

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Summons Servers

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Other

7

1

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

2

1

Total

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complaints Upheld

  1. Of the 62 complaints received a total of 22 (35%) 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

Antrim Court

Downpatrick Court

Dungannon Court

EJO

Laganside Courts

Londonderry Court

Newry Court

Newtownards Court

RCJ

Website

Delays

2

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

1

 

Administrative Error

2

 

 

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catering

3

 

 

 

 

2

1

 

 

 

 

Accommodation

5

1

1

 

 

 

2

 

1

 

 

Summons Server

1

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Information Available

1

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

5

 

 

 

1

1

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 one follow up questionnaire was 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 34% [21] 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 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul - Sep 09

Oct – Dec 09

Total

Letter

24

22

24

16

21

107

In Person

3

2

3

12

5

25

Telephone

2

6

7

8

7

30

Email

9

12

12

12

19

64

Complaints Form

0

4

2

1

2

9

Fax

0

0

0

0

0

0

Comment Card

5

4

1

3

8

21

Total

43

50

49

52

62

256

 

Response Time

  1. During this quarter 92% (57) of complaints received were answered within the 15 day turnaround time, with 5 complaints falling outside this timescale.     

 

Annex A

A breakdown of the 4 main categories of complaints recorded by venue is illustrated in Tables A - D below.

Table A: Administrative Error

 

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Oct – Dec 09

Antrim

2

0

0

0

0

Armagh

0

0

0

3

0

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

Coleraine

0

0

0

0

0

Coroners

1

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

0

0

0

1

0

Dungannon

1

0

0

0

1

Human Resource Unit

0

0

1

0

0

Laganside Courts

1

2

1

1

2

Lisburn

0

0

0

1

0

Londonderry

0

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

0

1

2

0

0

EJO

0

0

0

0

1

Coroners Service

0

0

0

0

0

Court Funds Office

0

1

1

0

0

Central Complaints

0

0

2

0

0

Communications Group

0

0

0

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

2

0

0

0

Total

5

6

7

6

4

 

 

Table B – Accommodation

 

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr – Jun 09

Jul – Sep 09

Oct – Dec 09

Antrim

0

0

0

0

1

Armagh

0

0

0

0

0

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

Bangor

0

2

0

8

4†

Coleraine

1

0

0

0

0

Coroners

0

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

0

0

0

2

0

Downpatrick

0

0

0

0

1

Dungannon

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

0

1

1

0

0

Londonderry

1

0

0

0

2

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

1

Magherafelt

2

0

0

0

0

Newry

0

0

0

0

0

Newtownards

0

0

0

0

1

Omagh

0

0

0

0

0

Strabane

0

1

0

0

0

RCJ

1

1

1

0

1

EJO

0

0

0

0

0

Coroners Service

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

0

1

0

0

0

Communications Group

0

0

0

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Other

0

0

0

0

1

Total

5

6

2

10

12

 

† All 4 complaints recorded for Bangor Court related to the opening hours of the building


Table C: Delays

 

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Oct – Dec 09

Antrim

1

0

0

0

0

Armagh

0

0

0

0

0

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

Coleraine

0

0

0

0

0

Downpatrick

0

0

0

0

1

Laganside Courts

0

0

0

1

1

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

0

Londonderry

0

0

0

0

0

Magherafelt

0

0

0

0

0

Newtownards

0

0

0

0

1

Newry

0

0

0

0

0

RCJ

1

0

1

1

1

EJO

3

2

1

3

3

CFO

0

0

0

0

0

Information Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

2

2

2

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

1

0

0

0

Coroners Service

0

0

1

1

0

Communications Group

0

1

0

0

0

Total

7

6

5

6

7

 

Table D: Other

 

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Oct – Dec 09

Antrim

0

0

0

0

1

Armagh

0

0

0

2

0

Dungannon

0

0

0

1

0

Laganside Courts

0

4

2

4

2

Newry Courthouse

0

0

1

0

2

Royal Courts of Justice

3

1

0

1

3

Central Complaints

6

3

7

0

0

Enforcement of Judgments Office

1

1

3

3

3

Coleraine Courthouse

2

0

0

1

0

Human Resource Unit

0

1

0

0

0

Londonderry Courthouse

0

0

0

3

0

Communications Group

0

1

1

0

0

Customer Service Centre

0

0

2

0

2

Civil Processing Centre

0

0

4

0

1

Total

12

12

20

15

14

 

Table E: Website

 

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Oct – Dec 09

Website

3

4

1

2

9

 

Table F: Court Service Staff

 

Oct - Dec 08

Jan –Mar 09

Apr- Jun 09

Jul – Sept 09

Oct – Dec 09

Antrim

0

0

0

0

0

Armagh

0

0

0

0

0

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

0

Coleraine

0

0

0

0

0

Coroners

0

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

0

0

0

1

0

Dungannon

0

0

0

0

0

Human Resource Unit

0

0

0

0

0

Laganside Courts

0

0

0

0

2

Lisburn

0

0

0

0

0

Londonderry

0

0

0

0

0

Magherafelt

0

0

0

0

0

Newry

0

0

0

0

1

Newtownards

0

0

0

0

1

Omagh

0

1

1

0

0

RCJ

0

0

0

0

0

EJO

2

0

0

0

1

Coroners Service

0

0

0

0

0

Court Funds Office

0

0

0

0

0

Central Complaints

1

2

5

2

0

Communications Group

0

0

1

0

0

Civil Processing Centre

0

0

0

0

0

Total

3

3

7

3

5