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Royal Court COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

 

Royal Court - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update - last updated 19/06/20

PHASE 5

In line with the States of Guernsey guidance around Phase 5 of the release from Lockdown, the Royal Court continues to review our activity.

Phase 5 will see a return to a level of normality around the Royal Court. We would still however encourage enquiries to be done online, by email or by phone to minimise footfall in the building and also allow us to provide a more efficient service to everyone.

hmgreffier@guernseyroyalcourt.gg. - For Court related matters

pettydebts@guernseyroyalcourt.gg - For Petty Debt matters

HMSheriff@gov.gg - For summonses and Enforcement matters

Bailiff@gov.gg - Judicial matters and the Bailiffs Civic functions

conveyances@gov.gg - For Conveyance and Bond matters

Registrar@guernseyroyalcourt.gg - Births, Deaths, Marriages

StrongroomRoyalCourt@gov.gg - Litigation searches

Detailed below is more specific advice around some of the services we provide.

  • Courts
  • Contracts Court
  • Guardianships
  • Liquor Licensing
  • Criminal Courts
  • Civil Courts (including Matrimonial, Family, and Child Care cases).
  • Petty Debts
  • Staffing
  • Marriages
  • Registration of Births
  • Registration of Deaths
  • Wills, Legalisation of Documents & Apostilles
  • Public Counter
  • Strongroom
  • Litigation Searches
  • Maintenance Orders
  • Maintenance Orders with associated Wage Arrest - Employers
  • Alderney & Sark
  • General Information

 

Courts
Court hearings will be returning to physical in person hearings in all circumstances. If you are unrepresented, contact the relevant Court department via hmgreffier@guernseyroyalcourt.gg who will be able to answer any questions 

 

Contracts Court
The Court is continuing to sit in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.30 a.m.

Power of Attorneys are still preferred under Phase 5, to ensure there are no large gatherings of people in the Court building, and to ensure an efficient process for all.

Procedures for taking consent to transactions and for registration of documents have been modified in agreement with the Guernsey Bar.  The Court is constituted by a judge (usually a Lieutenant Bailiff) sitting alone in exercise of the power conferred under section 13 of The Royal Court (Reform) (Guernsey) Law, 2008. Please contact your legal representative who will be able to guide you through the process

 

Guardianships
Any person seeking to make application for the appointment of a guardian or for any matter related to guardianship shall first contact H M Greffier at hmgreffier@guernseyroyalcourt.gg.  These matters can now be dealt with in person, and so there is no formal requirement to have Power of Attorneys in place any longer.

 

Liquor Licensing
Applications to the Royal Court under the Liquor Licensing Ordinance 2006 must continue to be made to the Committee for Home Affairs in the first instance, as previously.  The Court will now sit in person to hear applications as per pre-COVID Lockdown.

 

Criminal Courts
The Magistrate's Court will be sitting for its full range of matters under Phase 4, including trials.  If you are unwell you will be required to produce a medical exemption to excuse you from Court.

The Royal Court criminal cases will be reviewed in Plea and Directions hearings when dates for trials and sentencing's in the Royal Court will be set.

 

Civil Courts (including Matrimonial, Family and Child Care cases)
The Courts are back sitting for a variety of matters, and have returned to business as usual.

 

Petty Debts
The Petty Debts Courts are back up and running since the 11th June 2020.

Enquiries for Petty Debts Court can be done through email or via the phone. Please contact pettydebts@guernseyroyalcourt.gg and a member of staff will then make contact with you to progress your enquiry.

 

Marriages
We are pleased to be able to offer our marriage service again.

Any person wishing to make marriage enquiries, we would ask to email Registrar@guernseyroyalcourt.gg. One of our team will be able to provide you with all the information you require by email initially, followed by booked appointments to take Notice. Please do not attend the Royal Court building to make Wedding enquiries in person, attendance is by pre-booked appointment only.

We will be able to conduct marriages in private residences again under Phase 5.

 

Registration of Births
Please CLICK HERE for information.

The Greffe have reviewed its procedures and the service it offers to new parents. New babies must be registered within 30 days of the birth.

Previously new parents had to attend the Greffe public counter, often with their baby, to register the birth, however we are looking to move to the new procedure set out below, to maximise the safety of your new family.

AT HOSPITAL:
In the information pack given to you by the Hospital after the birth of your child, will be our Registration Form. Please complete it, and then either send a clear photograph of the Form or use an app such as Adobe Scan to scan the document and email it to Registrar@guernseyroyalcourt.gg.

MARRIED PARENTS:
For married parents the declaration must be signed by the Father.

UNMARRIED PARENTS:
Unfortunately if the baby's parents are not married to each other, by Law the father cannot be named on the birth certificate unless both parties consent.

  • Please register the birth naming the MOTHER on the declaration in the above manner.
  • Please then contact the Greffe on 725277 or email us at Registrar@guernseyroyalcourt.gg and we will explain how the father can be added to the birth register.
  • This can be done at any time but we advise that it is done within 12 months of the birth.

For both married and unmarried parents, to request a copy of the birth certificate, please call us on 725277 or email us at Registrar@guernseyroyalcourt.gg. We charge £20 per certificate and you can pay over the phone with a card and we will then post one to you.

 

Registration of Deaths
This is a function which will be carried out by the Funeral Directors on your behalf. We have arranged a digital process with Her Majesty's Procurer to remove the requirement for anyone to attend in person with paperwork, making this more efficient for all.

 

Wills, Legalisation of Documents & Apostilles
These types of document can be dropped off at the Royal Court for action. If a contact number is left when it is dropped off, we can subsequently contact to confirm registration has been completed or the Legalisation has been done and is ready for collection. We are pleased to be able to provide our 15 minute premium service again. If you have questions on this area please contact conveyances@gov.gg.

 

Public Counter
Our public counter at the Court is open to general enquiries from the public, however we would urge you to contact us by email in the first instance as we can resolve most queries in that way, and we can arrange appointments should attendance in person be necessary.

The Royal Court building is open for payments to be made as ordered by a Court, which can't be done over the phone, and for any documents that need to be served, to be delivered.

 

Strongroom
The Strongroom will be open and accessible for professional users only between 9am and 4pm each day.

If you are a member of the public who wishes to conduct some research in the Strong room please contact a member of Strongroom staff by telephone or email StrongroomRoyalCourt@gov.gg.

 

Litigation Searches
Persons wishing to conduct such searches can attend without appointment to do so

 

Maintenance Orders
If you are subject to a Maintenance Order but your financial circumstances have changed and you are unable to maintain current payments, you do have the option to apply to the Court to vary the order. Should you wish to do so you will need to email hmgreffier@guernseyroyalcourt.gg. and someone will respond to advise of the process which needs to be followed. It is the Court's intention to process any applications for variation as soon as practicably possible.

 

 Maintenance Orders with associated Wage Arrests - Employers
If you are an employer facilitating a wage arrest in respect of one of your employees, whilst it is understood that they may be subject to reduced, or minimum wages, the Court Order remains and the Office of H.M. Sheriff is still bound to enforce the arrest of wages in full whilst they are in employment. As such, monies need to be remitted as they normally would be, unless you hear otherwise from the Office of H.M. Sheriff. Please email hmsheriff@gov.gg with any queries in this regard

 

Alderney & Sark
We support the Court officials of Alderney and Sark in the provision of Court services in their islands. We are in regular contact with them, it is requested that where possible, if you need to contact them, it is done by phone or email in the first instance. We have resilience plans in place to support them should any escalation occur. If residents of Alderney or Sark have any questions about upcoming events please make contact with the relevant officials in your islands for further advice.

Sark Greffier - greffier@gov.sark.gg
Alderney Greffier - jonathan.anderson@gov.gg or court@aldernsey.gov.gg

 

General Information
The Courts are still being cleaned thoroughly when they are used to maintain a high standard of cleanliness. In line with current guidance our cleaners are focussing on handrails, door handles and other obvious areas of regular contact. We also have supplies of PPE in the form of hand sanitisers available for use.

We are regularly reviewing local and national guidance and will continue to update this site with the latest information. If you have specific questions please call or email the details above and we will help.