Process for Simple Procedure claims to launch in March as phase 1 of Civil Online service
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has said it is planning to launch an online service for the public to track the progress of Simple Procedure claims – those with a value of up to £5,000 – as the first phase of its Civil Online service.
It said the launch is scheduled for next month, and will enable relevant claims and responses to be made online with electronic submission of documents and the creation of a digital case file.
The move will allow claimants, respondents and their representatives to see their case details, the data and time of any hearings, and the description of documents lodged in the case or created by the court.
Individuals wanting to use the service will have to provide an email address with their case registration in court, which together with the case number provides the secure online login to Civil Online. Solicitor firms will have to be registered to use the service.
Eric McQueen, chief executive of SCTS, said: “This is an important step on our journey towards electronic case handling. Simple Procedure was designed as a court process to provide a speedy, inexpensive and informal way to resolve civil disputes where the value is less than £5,000.
“Enabling online case tracking is our first step towards making this a straightforward secure online application process in the future. Phase 1 provides current users with access to helpful case tracking information online and is the foundation for Civil Online.”
SCTS added that there will always be an alternative available for those who cannot use or access a digital process.
It also described the service as an early building block in the development of Civil Online, allowing secure system access, as well as access to early functionality of what will be an online transactional court process.
The move is part of a broader digitisation of the courts process in Scotland. The Scottish Government recently launched a procurement for a ‘digital evidence vault’ on behalf of SCTS and the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service.
Image: High Court of Justiciary (detail) by RonAlmog, CC BY 2.0