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Practice Direction 27A - Family Proceedings: Court Bundles fully in force as of today

Date:31 JUL 2014
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Journals Manager + Online Editor
Practice Direction 27A - Family Proceedings: Court Bundles is fully in force as of today.

Sub-paragraphs (a)-(c) and (e)-(g) of paragraph 4.1 and paragraphs 5.1 and 5.3(e) must now be taken into consideration when preparing court bundles.

'Contents of the bundle
4.1 ...
(a) correspondence (including letters of instruction to experts);
(b) medical records (including hospital, GP and health visitor records);
(c) bank and credit card statements and other financial records;
(e) foster carer logs;
(f) social services files (with the exception of any assessment being
relied on by any of the parties);
(g) police disclosure.'
'Format of the bundle

5.1 Unless the court has specifically directed otherwise, being satisfied that such direction is necessary to enable the proceedings to be disposed of justly, the bundle shall be contained in one A4 size ring binder or lever arch file limited to no more than 350 sheets of A4 paper and 350 sides of text.
5.3 The ring binder or lever arch file shall have clearly marked on the front and
the spine:
(e) where in accordance with a direction of the court there is more than
one ring binder or lever arch file, a distinguishing letter (A, B, C etc).'
In his 4th View from the President's Chambers: An update, Sir James Munby P, says:

'We shall need in future to distinguish more clearly between documents that are filed, documents that are served but not filed, documents that are listed but not served or filed, and documents that are included in the bundle...

Not every document that has been served or filed needs to be included in the bundle. Many do not. Surely, for the future, bundles should contain only those documents that the court needs to read or which will actually be referred to during the hearing. Everything else should be omitted. I suspect that a single lever-arch file will suffice for the majority of care cases.'
The Practice Direction gives details about how bundles should be presented, by whom and where and when they should be lodged.

The Practice Direction is available to download here.

For more information read Court Bundles (PD 27A) - essential update.
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