Covid 19 banner

Do I have to attend court hearings during coronavirus?

  • Sharon McDougall -
  • 4th September 2020 -
  • 2 minutes to read

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the Scottish justice system to restrict the amount of business entering the courts to comply with public health guidance to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Due to the fast-moving nature of the pandemic, the growth rate of the virus and the enforcement of local lockdowns, the guidelines around attending legal proceedings are likely to change. The rules vary for each Sheriff court so when attending a court hearing, local guidance should be checked upon and complied with.

Remote court hearings during Covid-19

Court hearings are currently being held remotely where possible through digital means or telephone conferencing facilities. If a virtual appearance is required, the same guidance as issued in court should be followed. As a response to the coronavirus pandemic, remote hearings reduce the use of public travel services, cuts out commute time and makes social distancing easier to comply with. The courts are now also allowing for non-essential business to be carried out remotely, such as appeals.

Physical court hearings during Covid-19

Depending on local guidance, if you are invited to a physical hearing, additional bystanders will not be allowed in order minimise numbers and enable social distancing to take place, however, journalists are now welcome to attend. If a local lockdown is enforced, the Sheriffs Court may adjourn the physical hearing or conduct it remotely. When attending the court, you will be required to wear a face-covering in public areas, however, this is not necessary during the court hearing.

Electronic handling of documents

According to schedule 4 of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, documents handled during the preparation stage and the court hearing process should be handled digitally where possible. The PDF format of the document should be used which should be limited by file size and emailed using the correct naming convention - case name – case reference number – nature of document (e.g. A Smith v B Jones – A900-20 – Defences).

Extra measures due to coronavirus

There are extra hygiene measures in place for those attending court hearings and social distancing measures to help you stay safe while attending your court hearing. If any of the following applies to you, seek advice from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service for alternative arrangements to be made as you should not physically attend court.

  • You are in the process of self-isolating as you have been in contact with an individual experiencing coronavirus symptoms
  • If you are at higher risk as you are in the vulnerable category or due to underlying health conditions
  • If you are showing coronavirus symptoms
  • If you are returning from travel from a country on the quarantine list

Upon arrival, you may be asked to conduct a ‘hands-off’ bag inspection which requires you to empty the contents of your bag for inspection, reducing direct contact with security guards.

Guidelines concerning attending personal insolvency hearings are under constant scrutiny and reviewed regularly as Scotland transitions out of the lockdown. If you are unsure as to whether you should attend court hearings during the pandemic, further guidance as a response to coronavirus can be found here: https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/coronavirus-orders-and-guidance.

Scotland Debt Solutions is made up of a team of highly experienced, licensed insolvency practitioners operating from a network of offices across Scotland. We offer a free same-day consultation service to give you the knowledge you need to tackle debt and start the recovery process. Contact the Scotland Debt Solutions team for more information on personal insolvency measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharon McDougall
Sharon McDougall
Manager
About

Why Choose Us

Speak Direct With
Speak Direct With
A Qualified Adviser
We Don't Operate
We Don't Operate
Call Centres
5 Offices in Scotland
5 Offices in Scotland
National Coverage
Ask us About
Ask us About
Free Home Visits
Fully Regulated Advisors
Fully Regulated Advisors
From a Reputable Firm
Helping Scots Get
Helping Scots Get
Out of Debt Since 1989

We'll give you a call

Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.

When should we call?
Can we leave a message?
Here at Scotland Debt Solutions we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See our Privacy Policy.
Tools

Useful Tools

Personalised Debt Report

Personalised Debt Report

Our personalised debt report will help you better understand your financial position and see where your money is going.

Free Scheduled Call

Free Scheduled Call

 Arrange a call with an expert advisor at a time to suit you.

Find a Local Office

Find a Local Office

We have five offices located across Scotland. Find your nearest one here.

OUR SERVICES

We can help you with...

Sequestration

Sequestration

Sequestration is the Scottish version of bankruptcy and may be suitable for you if you do not have the money to pay back your debts

Trust Deed Scotland

Trust Deed Scotland

A Trust Deed involves making a monthly contribution to your debts for up to four years. After this time any remaining debt will be wiped out.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

A Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) lets you pay off your debt through a series of manageable instalments over a reasonable length of time.

Business Debts

Business Debts

Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company director, we can help you work through your current financial problems including money owed to HMRC

Close Menu Share with a Friend

Send this page to a friend

via Whatsapp via Messenger via Messenger via Email
Make sure you have WhatsApp installed.

Copy link to clipboard
Close
Edit this Page