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  • FIRST POST
    • ruthieb77
    • By ruthieb77 14th Feb 18, 12:16 PM
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    ruthieb77
    Magistrate's Court - hearing duration?
    • #1
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:16 PM
    Magistrate's Court - hearing duration? 14th Feb 18 at 12:16 PM
    I'm going to the Magistrates' Court tomorrow to support a friend who has been falsely accused of assault by his ex. I need to arrange child care so need to know roughly how long I'll be in court. I know an exact answer is impossible to give but if anyone could give me a rough idea I'd be very grateful. Thanks!
    Last edited by ruthieb77; 14-02-2018 at 1:33 PM.
Page 1
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Feb 18, 12:28 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:28 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:28 PM
    I would make arrangements for child care for the full day.

    If this is a criminal court, my understanding is that the court lists everything at 10.00 a.m. and take the cases however works best on the day, which will depend on the other cases being listed and the other cases being dealt with by each of the solicitors.

    If it is in the civil court (e.g. an injunction application) then the case will have been listed at a specific time and with a time estimate, which would both be on the papers your friend will have received. However, cases don't necessarily go on when they are listed or last the time estimated, so you could still find yourself hanging around for a long time, if the court is busy, or the case ahead of you over-runs. Also, injunctions are often 'squeezed in' to a court's list at short notice, because they are usually urgent, so this increases the chances that the list will be full and that there will be delays.

    The other thing which will make a difference is what kind of hearing is it? Is it a directions appointment, a plea hearing, or a trial? If it is an injunction, is it a first appointment or listed for a full hearing?
    Directions appointments are usually mainly administrative and shorter, although you still have to wait for the court to call it in. A trial or full hearing will be longer but may be more likely to start on time as there will usually be fewer other cases in the same list.

    Court hearings are arranged to try to make the best use of the Judges' / Magistrates time, not for peak efficiency for the people attending court, so often involve a good deal of waiting around
    Last edited by TBagpuss; 14-02-2018 at 12:29 PM. Reason: correct typo
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 1:47 PM
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    Comms69
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:47 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:47 PM
    I'm going to the Magistrates' Court tomorrow to support a friend who has been falsely accused of assault by his ex. I need to arrange child care so need to know roughly how long I'll be in court. I know an exact answer is impossible to give but if anyone could give me a rough idea I'd be very grateful. Thanks!
    Originally posted by ruthieb77
    Need more info, is this a trial hearing or plea hearing?


    And is he pleading guilty or not guilty?
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 1:51 PM
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    Comms69
    • #4
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:51 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:51 PM
    I would make arrangements for child care for the full day.

    If this is a criminal court, my understanding is that the court lists everything at 10.00 a.m. and take the cases however works best on the day, which will depend on the other cases being listed and the other cases being dealt with by each of the solicitors. - For plea hearings this is correct, some hearings are set for half days or even full days, so tend to start on time.

    If it is in the civil court (e.g. an injunction application) then the case will have been listed at a specific time and with a time estimate, which would both be on the papers your friend will have received. - true, but often heard in county court. However, cases don't necessarily go on when they are listed or last the time estimated, so you could still find yourself hanging around for a long time, if the court is busy, or the case ahead of you over-runs. Also, injunctions are often 'squeezed in' to a court's list at short notice, because they are usually urgent, so this increases the chances that the list will be full and that there will be delays. - again depends if it's served ex parte (urgent, no notice) or follow on hearing where both parties give evidence.

    The other thing which will make a difference is what kind of hearing is it? Is it a directions appointment, a plea hearing, or a trial? If it is an injunction, is it a first appointment or listed for a full hearing? - sorry ignore comments above spot on!
    Directions appointments are usually mainly administrative and shorter, although you still have to wait for the court to call it in. A trial or full hearing will be longer but may be more likely to start on time as there will usually be fewer other cases in the same list.

    Court hearings are arranged to try to make the best use of the Judges' / Magistrates time, not for peak efficiency for the people attending court, so often involve a good deal of waiting around
    Originally posted by TBagpuss

    leaving my comments as I think it simply reinforces what you already said, spot on!
    • ampersand
    • By ampersand 14th Feb 18, 2:02 PM
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    ampersand
    • #5
    • 14th Feb 18, 2:02 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Feb 18, 2:02 PM
    op - surely you need to phone the Court, get some take on their assessment.

    Be aware, Courts are under a lot of pressure, too. with some area's systems creaking to breaking point.

    What representation does your friend have? Any estimate forthcoming there?

    Best wishes to you both.
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    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 14th Feb 18, 3:20 PM
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    Robisere
    • #6
    • 14th Feb 18, 3:20 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Feb 18, 3:20 PM
    Take a book or an e-reader and organise a whole day's child care. Based upon experience, though not of the need for child care. Cases can be delayed and reorganised, many things can happen to break up procedures. If your friend is truly innocent as charged, I hope it goes well for him. Don't be overawed by court surroundings, just present your evidence clearly and as briefly as possible. Courts do not like over elaboration.
    There may be more than one way to skin a cat.
    But the result is always inedible.

    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 3:29 PM
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    Comms69
    • #7
    • 14th Feb 18, 3:29 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Feb 18, 3:29 PM
    Take a book or an e-reader and organise a whole day's child care. Based upon experience, though not of the need for child care. Cases can be delayed and reorganised, many things can happen to break up procedures. If your friend is truly innocent as charged, I hope it goes well for him. Don't be overawed by court surroundings, just present your evidence clearly and as briefly as possible. Courts do not like over elaboration.
    Originally posted by Robisere
    Hopefully the solicitor will do doing this, since the friend has no rights of audience!


    - though as a defendant presenting your evidence should be secondary to disproving, or raising doubt, on any prosecution evidence
    • ruthieb77
    • By ruthieb77 14th Feb 18, 4:29 PM
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    ruthieb77
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 18, 4:29 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 18, 4:29 PM
    Thanks for all the responses. It is a trial hearing and he is pleading not-guilty. I'm not actually giving evidence; just going for moral support.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 4:46 PM
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    Comms69
    • #9
    • 14th Feb 18, 4:46 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Feb 18, 4:46 PM
    Thanks for all the responses. It is a trial hearing and he is pleading not-guilty. I'm not actually giving evidence; just going for moral support.
    Originally posted by ruthieb77


    that's not possible.


    It's either a plea hearing or a trial.


    So he has either already pled non guilty, or he hasn't.
    • ruthieb77
    • By ruthieb77 14th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
    • 19 Posts
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    ruthieb77
    It's the trial. He has pled not-guilty.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 5:20 PM
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    Comms69
    It's the trial. He has pled not-guilty.
    Originally posted by ruthieb77


    Out of curiosity, how's the evidence look against him?


    He will have had disclosure by now. What's his solicitor said?
    • ruthieb77
    • By ruthieb77 16th Feb 18, 10:13 AM
    • 19 Posts
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    ruthieb77
    Thank you for all the replies. It took 3 hours in the end and I'm pleased to say he was acquitted!
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