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Digital C100 pilot
HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and the President of the Family Division have announced that the digital C100 application form will be piloted in family courts in the South East, subject to a new practice direction. The new digital C100 offers an opportunity to improve the way in which HMCTS supports users and presents information to judges and others within the family justice system.
The new form has been developed with family justice professionals, including mediators and lawyers, the judiciary and Cafcass, as well as users of the system.
Family courts in Reading, Milton Keynes, Watford and Guildford will initially pilot the new form to ascertain whether:
- the form can be effective in informing families about appropriate out-of-court dispute resolution services;
- families can use this information to access safe out-of-court services instead of submitting a court application;
- a digital C100 form will help HMCTS to collect information from applicants more efficiently and to improve the provision of information regarding risk and Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) exemption;
- contextual information and tailored support helps litigants in person to navigate the C100; and
- it is possible to gather feedback on customer satisfaction.
Following the pilot, further roll-out is anticipated to Essex and Suffolk, East London, Bristol, Medway and to a Designated Family Judge (DFJ) area in Wales. Confirmation of dates and decisions on locations will come in due course and depend on the feedback received in the first pilot phase.
In order to collect evidence for evaluation, judiciary and staff in the participating pilot courts will help to:
- Screen for eligibility: to make sure only relevant applicants participate in this pilot initially, an online screen will assess their eligibility and direct them to the digital C100. The pilot will limit access to litigants in persons only and those who already have permission to apply to court (for example parents who are named on the birth certificate).
All courts need to be aware of this pilot in order to guide applicants to the screener when speaking to people who wish to make an application using the C100, (for example at court desks or queries over the phone). The eligibility screener will be placed in prominent places where applicants may search for the C100 form such as form finder.
- Receiving applications completed via the digital C100: initially the process of receiving the applications will remain as per the current process, however, the format of the information received through the digital C100 will change. Staff and judiciary at the participating courts will be shown examples of what to expect.
- Data gathering: to evaluate the quality of the applications received, court staff from the participating pilot courts may need to help collect data regarding digital C100 and paper applications. HMCTS is developing feedback surveys which will be shared with the participating courts and training will be arranged.