The Ministry of Justice have recently released a consultation with regards to proposed increases in court fees.
The court fees proposed to be increased include:
- The maximum fee for the issuing of a money claim would be increased from £10,000 to £20,000 (currently the fee for issuing a money claim for a debt above £10,000.01 is charged at 5% of the amount claimed for but the court fee does not currently exceed £10,000).
- The fee for the issuing of an accelerated possession claim to increase from £280 to £355.
- Fees for general applications in civil proceedings to increase from £50 to £100 (application without a hearing) and from £155 to £225 for applications made where there is a hearing.
Quoted from the MoJ website “As the Lord Chancellor set out recently, we are seeking to modernise HMCTS and improve its efficiency. We need a properly funded service that protects access to justice and if we are to achieve that whilst reducing the cost of the courts and tribunals to the taxpayer we must also look again at the fees we charge”.
Despite the efficiency of County Courts still decreasing after court fees increased in April last 2014 we would hope that the efficiency of ALL County Courts will increase with the increasing court fees.
The consultation of the proposed increasing court fees closes on 15 September 2015.
The full consultation, where you can also submit your view on the matter can be found on the MoJ website at: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/further-fees-proposal-consultation/consult_view
In a further consultation the MoJ are looking to reduce the HMCTS estate by closing one in five courts to reduce the current cost to taxpayers of approximately £500 million each year.
The closures were trailed by justice secretary Mr Michael Gove in a speech last month which was his first since coming to office. They are similar in scale to a closure programme announced in December 2010 which confirmed the shutting of 141 courts.
The proposals include the following closures:-
- 57 Magistrates’ Courts,
- 19 County Courts.
- 2 Crown Courts.
- Integration will involve two magistrates’ courts, 11 county courts, 2 Crown courts, 15 tribunal hearing centres and 1combined court.