Online damages claims become mandatory
HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) launched the civil damages claims service in May 2021. The pilot was supported by a new practice direction (PD 51ZB).
From 4 April 2022, users wishing to issue a claim that is covered by PD 51ZB will be required to:
Sanctions for paper applications
If a claim is issued on paper rather than via the new portal, it will be for the court (either of its own motion or on application of the parties) to determine whether it should have been issued online and, if so, what (if any) sanction should be imposed.
The damages claims portal allows users to:
- see the latest activity on your claims
- manage and maintain your firm’s MyHMCTS account, meaning you do not need to contact HMCTS to add or remove users
- allocate additional litigators to individual claims as shared access, to cover any supervision roles required or to cover annual leave
You are not restricted by how many litigators can use the service.
The self-service system is available 24/7 and can be used to issue claims for:
- one claimant versus one defendant
- one claimant versus two defendants, and
- two claimants versus one defendant
HMCTS will be reviewing the response journey for claims between March and August 2022.
Some aspects of the portal need further clarification from HMCTS.
If you have feedback you’d like us to raise with HMCTS, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responding to claims
From 15 September 2022, defence solicitors must use the HMCTS online portal to respond to any damages claims issued online.