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Royal Court COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

 

Royal Court - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update - last updated 23/3/20

In line with the States of Guernsey advice around the full Island lockdown, the Courts have reviewed their activity.

Some of the core functions undertaken within the Royal Court must continue and plans are in place for them to do so. They are being revised to maximise safety of all persons involved whilst still performing lawful function.

We have staff working from home monitoring all of the group email addresses below. No one is monitoring our phone lines, or voicemail so please use the email addresses provided, you will receive a response.

conveyances@gov.gg - For Conveyance and Bond matters

HMGreffier@gov.gg - For Court related matters

pettydebts@guernseyroyalcourt.gg - For Petty Debt matters

HMSheriff@gov.gg - For summonses and Enforcement matters

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

Registrar@guernseyroyalcourt.gg - Births, Deaths, Marriages

StrongroomRoyalCourt@gov.gg - Litigation searches


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

  • Petty Debts
  • Staffing
  • Marriages
  • Registration of Births
  • Registration of Deaths
  • Conveyances of Property
  • Courts
  • Public Counter
  • Strongroom
  • Alderney & Sark
  • General Information

 

Petty Debts
The decision has been taken that Petty Debt hearings will now be suspended, initially until the end of May 2020.

If you are a Plaintiff who has already lodged, or a defendant in the system, and you have questions please contact the pettydebts@guernseyroyalcourt.gg email address and someone will answer your query.

If you are a Plaintiff looking to lodge a Petty Debt, we will still receive your lodging but be aware it will not be actioned for some time. The lodgings of Petty Debts will only be accepted by email at this time, using the above email address, please do not telephone or come to our public counter.

 

Staffing
All our staff are working from home, please use the email addresses provided if you wish to make contact.

 

Marriages
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.

We have had to cancel holding any weddings for the foreseeable future. A Deputy Registrar will be in contact with you if you have one booked in. It is recognised this is a considerable event in people's lives, but due to the restrictions imposed we simply cannot undertake this function at this time.

 

Registration of Births
Please CLICK HERE for information.

 

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.

 

Conveyances of Property
We will provide a Contract Court on Thursday 25th March to allow the work of Conveyancing and Bonds. We will be evaluating further Contract Courts beyond that date for absolutely essential items only. To maintain that service we are going to make some alterations to reduce the volume of people who gather.

We have been working closely with the Conveyancing Advocates on these proposals, and would urge you to contact the Law Firm you are using to discuss the processes we are looking to implement.

We will be insisting for all transactions to use a Power of Attorney to remove the requirement for you to come to Court in person. This will allow your Advocate or Conveyancing Clerk to represent you in Contract Court to complete the formalities of your property purchase or sale without the need for you to be present.

 

Courts
In relation to the various types of Courts we hold, each is being looked at individually. We will always maintain provision of Court hearings, as a core service to our community, however it may be a different looking service to normal. As restrictions come into force, it may be that matters are adjourned to a more suitable time, to prevent public gatherings. We will look to use video conferencing where possible and other technology to maintain service whilst minimising person to person contact.

We are working on this in conjunction with Advocates and States of Guernsey departments. If you have legal representation, they can guide you on the new measures being brought into place.

If you are unrepresented, consider getting legal advice, or contact the relevant Court department by email, who will assist with your query.

If you have been bailed, court warned, or summonsed to Court you need to attend as directed, unless you here otherwise from an official.

 

Public Counter
Our public counter at the Court is closed to the public, we would urge you to contact us by email in the first instance as we can resolve most queries in that way. Our phone lines are NOT being monitored so please do not ring as you will not get an answer and the voicemail is not being routinely checked.

 

Strongroom
The Strongroom will be open and accessible for professional users only between 9am and 10am each day. This will be by appointment with the Strongroom staff member by telephone or email.
From Monday 30th March we will be conducting limited Legalisation of Documents for urgent matters, which can be dropped at the Court between 9am and 10am each day. We will aim to provide a 24 hour turn around on this.
From Monday 30th March we will be conducting urgent Litigation searches, please send requests to StrongroomRoyalCourt@gov.gg we will endeavour to turn these around as swiftly as possible, but no guarantees are placed on turn around times.

 

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 during lockdown 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 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.