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Royal Court COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Royal Court - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update 23/01/21
 

January Circuit Breaker
 

In line with the States of Guernsey guidance around the January 2021 Circuit Breaker the Royal Court has reviewed our activity.

The Circuit Breaker will see a return to lockdown measures at the Royal Court. We would encourage enquiries to be done online and by email as we will have no staff to answer phones due to everyone working from home.

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 adjourned where the matters are non-urgent and only for critical matters will we hold physically 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 will continuing to sit in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.30 a.m. for critical contractually bound matters only

Power of Attorneys will be required, so no members of the public are able to attend Contract Court.

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

 

Liquor Licensing
Applications to the Royal Court under the Liquor Licensing Ordinance 2006 must continue to be made to the Committee forHome Affairs in the first instance, as previously. 

 

Criminal Courts
The Magistrate's Court will be physically sitting in person for critical matters only. If you are on bail to attend Court you are still required to attend unless you have been directed to self-isolate by Public Health, or are symptomatic of COVID -19., unless an official tells you otherwise.

When people are attending Criminal Court in person during the current lockdown, social distance measures mean we need to put some restrictions in place on who can attend.

  • All persons entering the Royal Court must wear masks and use the hand sanitisers provided
  • The public gallery will be limited to two persons at any one time, with distancing maintained throughout
  • If you are attending Court and need support you may bring one person with you - such as a friend or family member
  • If you come with more than one person, one of them may not be allowed to enter
  • There are no childcare facilities at the Court, and no staff can look after your children whilst you are in the hearing.

 

Civil Courts (including Matrimonial, Family and Child Care cases)
Courts will not be sitting in person except for urgent cases, and where possible we will move to online Courts. Deputy Greffiers will be getting in touch with parties who have upcoming cases to advise them of procedures.

 

Petty Debts
The Petty Debts Courts are not being held at the current time, if you have been summonsed for a Court please contact pettydebts@guernseyroyalcourt.gg and a member of staff will then make contact with you to progress your enquiry.

 

Marriages
We are not offering our marriage service at this time, the Deputy Registrar will be in touch with anyone who has a wedding planned in the next few weeks, and will offer full refunds.

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.

 

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 by email 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 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 between 9am-10am each day. 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 will not be providing our 15 minute premium service at this time. If you have questions on this area please contact conveyances@gov.gg.

 

Public Counter
Our public counter at the Court is closed to general attendance 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.

 

Strongroom
The Strongroom will be open and accessible for professional users only between 8.30am and 4pm each day. This will be only two persons at any time and by appointment only for urgent matters.

Member of the public who wish to conduct research in the Strong room will not be able to do so for the foreseeable future, please contact a member of Strongroom staff by email StrongroomRoyalCourt@gov.gg.

 

Litigation Searches
Persons wishing to conduct such searches will need to do so by email.

 

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@sarkgov.co.uk
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.