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How to Prepare a Family Court Court Bundle?

Updated: Mar 1


Contents:


What is a practice direction in law?



According to English law, a practice direction refers to the supplemental protocols and rules of criminal and civil procedures in court.


A Practice Direction is defined as "a device to regulate minor procedural matters". It is also defined as "an official announcement by the court laying down rules as to how it should function."



What is practice direction 27A?


Practice Direction 27A are rules that are applicable when a bundle is prepared and presented in either a digital format or on paper.


An electronic bundle can be used with the permission of the judge in relation to a hearing in the High court.


What is a bundle of documents in law?


A bundle of documents, also known as a “court bundle” refers to a folder of court documents given to the court prior to a hearing containing all the documents that may be needed by the court for the hearing.





Why is a bundle of documents important?


The following are some of the reasons why a bundle of documents is important;

  • A bundle of documents is a well-prepared trial bundle that provides an advantage to make a good impression on the court.

  • To assist the Judge with regard to pre-trial reading

  • To provide the best summary and documentation to present the case effectively

  • To enable the hearing process to go smoothly

  • They put all the documents before the court with reference to the trial proceedings.

When is a bundle used in Family Law? By when does it have to be submitted?



A bundle is used before the family law hearing.

A court bundle must be submitted a minimum of 2 days before the case hearing.


However, in case of an urgent hearing you do not have to prepare a court bundle if there is no time to do so.


Who prepares the bundle?


If one party does not have an attorney or lawyer, then the other party’s lawyer or attorney will prepare the court bundle.


If neither of the parties has an attorney or solicitor, then the applicant has to prepare the bundle if the court has ordered them to do so.


Contents of the Bundle:


What Should Be Included?


The documents to be included in the bundle must be divided into separate sections.

Each section must be prepared separately and in chronological order i.e. from earliest to latest events.


What should be included in a bundle are furnished below;

  1. Preliminary Documents including the case management documents as needed by practice direction

  2. Orders and Applications

  3. Affidavits and Statements

  4. Care Plans (In case required)

  5. Reports of Exports or any other report including that of a litigating friend or guardian

  6. Any other documents as required can be divided into further sections

What shouldn't be in it


Here are some of the types of documents that should not be included in the bundle (until and unless specifically directed by the court):

  • Correspondence including instruction letters to experts;

  • The details of medical records including health visitor records, hospital, and GP records

  • Financial Records including bank and credit card statements or any other financial documents

  • Foster Care logs

  • Police Disclosure

  • Notes of contact visits

  • Documents of Social Services (with an exception of any assessments being relied on by either of the parties)

What should be included in a court bundle?


1. Preliminary documents

The following are a list of documents which would be called preliminary documents in a court bundle;

  • An up to date summary of the background of the hearing. Also, any matters that are relevant to the case management. This should be limited to four A4 size papers.

  • A statement of issues to be decided at that same hearing and at the final hearing of the case (to be agreed with the other party)

  • An updated chronology - with all the relevant occurrences to the case, in chronological order

  • Each party’s position statement showing what they want to happen and which orders they want granted at the current hearing,. and the final hearing.

  • A list of documents either of the parties wish for the judge to read prior to the hearing

  • Skeletal arguments if required

It is to be noted that each of the preliminary documents has to be succinct and short as as possible.


Also, they must all state the date of preparation and the date of hearing for which the documents were prepared.


2. Applications and orders

This includes any applications made or orders granted by the court relevant to this case. These should be submitted alongside the preliminary documents.


3. Statements and affidavits

Any affidavits submitted and statements made by either of the parties in the case must also be included in the court bundle alongside the preliminary documents.


4. Experts’ reports

Any reports obtained from the experts must be submitted with the other documents.


5. Any other documents

Any other necessary documentation that is either agreed with the other party or directed by the court should be included in the court bundle.


How should the Court Bundle be formatted?




The Court Bundle can contain up to 350 pages of documents in a file. You must ask the court for permission if you exceed this limit.


Binders and arch files must be clearly marked on the front as well as the spine. The following are some of the aspects of how the Court Bundle is formatted;

The outside of the bundle must have:

  • The title of the case and the case number

  • The name of the Court where the case has been registered

  • Date and time of the hearing

  • The name of the judge if this information is known to you

  • In case there is more than one arch file or ring binder, a letter or number distinguishing and ordering them must be mentioned eg. A, B, C, etc.

  • Each individual page should be numbered. Preliminary Documents should be numbered: as A1, A2, A3 etc etc. Then applications and orders as B1, B2, B3 and Statements and Affidavits as C1, C2, C3 and so on.

  • There should then be an index at the very beginning of the court bundle.

What is the maximum limit for the Court Bundle?


The maximum limit for the court bundle is 350 pages. All pages must be one sided. However, in case a bundle is larger than 350 pages, then one may raise this issue with the court. The court may include a direction in that regard stating that you have obtained permission for the bundle that can be larger than 350 pages.


In case the court bundle is being sent as an email attachment, the maximum size of the court bundle would be 36Mb in aggregate. If the attachment is larger than this size it will be rejected.


While emailing, the email must contain the case name, case number, name of the judge (if known), and hearing date in the subject line.


What rules and regulations apply to Family Law Court Bundles?

• Practise Direction 27A (PD27A) is a set of rules and regulations that apply to Family Law cases that need court bundles.


• A court bundle is a set of important papers for a family law case that are put together in an organised way.


• Putting together a court bundle means making the booklet, putting documents in order, and filing the right paperwork according to PD27A.


• Not following PD27A can have serious consequences and affect how the case turns out.


• If you want family law proceedings to go well, you need to know how important court bundles are and how to follow PD27A.


Rewritten Content: Family Law Proceedings: Understanding PD27A Regulations


What is Practise Direction 27A (PD27A) ?


Practise Direction 27A (PD27A) is a set of rules that tells the court how to handle family law cases. When making a court bundle, which is a document used in court that has all the relevant evidence and information about the case, it is important to understand and follow these rules. This blog post will explain what PD27A is, explain why it's important, and explain how to put together a court bundle that follows PD27A rules.


In 2006, the President of the Family Division issued Practise Direction 27A (PD27A) as a supplement to Part 27 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. (CPR). This direction tells lawyers what they need to do in family law cases, including those about requests for financial relief. PD27A's goal is to make sure that all relevant documents are turned in before a hearing or trial. It also says that any documents that don't follow Part 27 could be taken out of the court's consideration.


If you don't follow PD27A rules, there are serious consequences. If you don't follow these rules, the court could move your case to a later date or throw it out completely. Also, if your case doesn't meet the requirements of PD27A, you may have wasted a lot of time and money putting it together.



How to Put Together a Court Bundle That Meets PD27A?


To make a court bundle that follows PD27A rules, you must first put all of your case-related documents in folders or binders. This means submitting documents like witness statements, affidavits, and other proof that is related to your case. Once this step is done, you can start putting together the bundle itself. This means putting documents into different sections based on how relevant and important they are to your case. The most important documents should go at the beginning of each section, while the least important ones should go at the end or be left out altogether, depending on how important and relevant they are to your case.


Benefits of following Practise Direction on Court Bundles:


Summary of the Benefits of Knowing and Following PD27A Regulations for Family Law Proceedings Knowing and following Practise Direction 27A (PD27A) regulations when putting together a court bundle can help in many ways during family law proceedings. By making sure you follow these rules, you can avoid costly delays caused by not following them or making mistakes when sending in paperwork. Also, if you know how to make a good court packet that follows Part 27, you'll have an advantage over your opponents who don't know as much when you present your case to a judge or jury. If you follow PD27A, your chances of winning in a family law case will go up, and the costs of getting paperwork ready to submit before hearings or trials will go down. If you know how these rules work, you can make sure that no time or money is wasted getting ready for a family law case.


PD27A is a very useful tool for anyone who works in family law or is affected by it. It says exactly how court packets should be put together, including what information they must have and how it should be put together. This helps make sure that the evidence in family law cases is good, and it also protects the rights of the people involved, so they can present their case in the best possible way. The rules cover all family law issues, such as divorce, child custody, and how to divide assets between spouses. This makes them important for lawyers, barristers, and judges alike. By following PD27A to the letter, family law proceedings will go more smoothly, making sure that justice is done while keeping everyone safe.


Why are court bundle rules important?

A court bundle is an important part of a family law case because it makes it easy for lawyers and judges to find all the important documents they need to make a decision. Original documents like birth certificates or marriage records, as well as submitted evidence and witness statements, can be part of a court bundle. Each part should be carefully indexed and put together in order of when it happened, based on the timeline given in the case. Also, all of the parts must be clearly separated from each other so that any differences will be easy to see when they are being checked. With the help of a well-put-together court bundle, family courts can make decisions that are fair and correct quickly.


In court cases, putting together a court bundle is an important step. It requires collecting and organising documents, making sure they meet the requirements of Practice Direction 27A, and putting together the booklet. The compilation should be put together in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand. It should also meet all technical requirements so that the court will accept it. If the lawyer and the court have done their homework, they will be able to quickly understand and refer back to important documents when needed. This will save time during the proceedings.


Is conplying with the court bundle procedure important?


Yes else you may risk the court rejecting or other party objecting to the bundle non complaince.



How can we help you with your court bundle?


We at Court Help Limited are specialised in family court matters and are able to draft and prepare your bundle and help you through this difficult process. Our legal team has rich experience and knowledge to assist you in the documentation and paperwork involved in such cases.


We specialise in various family law matters such as child custody, divorce settlement, domestic violence, etc.


To know more about Practice Direction Law in England, check out some of our other related articles which are available here.


In case you are facing any such issues concerned with family law matters, do not hesitate to contact us. You can read our reviews here. At the bottom of the page, there is a Quick Contact Form, you can fill it out or email us at help@incourt.co.uk or call us at 07375757510.


Note: This article is not legal advice and must not be treated as legal advice.


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