Rupert Chapman

Bundles: The new practice direction in family proceedings

As of 22nd April 2014 a new practice direction applies in relation to bundles in family proceedings. The key provisions are that;

  1. A bundle should be produced for all hearings, lodged at court 2 days before the hearing.
  2. The bundle is the responsibility of the applicant (or the person being treated as applicant at the hearing) unless that person is a litigant in person.
  3. The bundle should be paginated in Arabic numbering only.
  4. The bundle shall be limited to 350 pages of single-sided paper in a single binder unless directed otherwise. It shall be clearly labelled with the title and number of the case, the name of the court and the name of the judge.
  5. The bundle should be in separate sections individually paginated, indexed and divided. The order of sections is that which is familiar from previous practice directions.
  6. The bundle should contain only those items which are relevant and unless ordered otherwise (or where it is necessary that the court should read them or any party is to refer to them during the hearing) should not contain;
    1. Correspondence (including LOIs),
    2. Medical records,
    3. Bank or credit card statements,
    4. Contact notes or foster care logs,
    5. Social services files (save for any assessment relied upon by any party), or
    6. Police disclosure.
  7. The bundle should have at the start;
    1. A case summary of no more than 4 pages. Where the hearing concerns a child and is before magistrates this shall omit the names and identifying information of any party or child, save for their representatives and shall state the number of pages in the bundle. Where the bundle is incomplete as not all documents are necessary for the hearing this must be clearly stated.
    2. A statement of issues to be resolved at that hearing and the final hearing,
    3. A position statement from each party summarizing the orders to be sought at that hearing and the final hearing,
    4. A chronology if it is the final hearing or is otherwise necessary,
    5. Skeleton arguments as appropriate,
    6. A reading list and
    7. A time estimate.
  8. Such documents should state on their front page, after the heading, the date on which they were prepared and the date of the hearing. Previous versions of the said documents should be removed from the bundle. The preliminary documents must be lodged no later than 11am on the day before the hearing.

Rupert Chapman

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply