Backlog of county court cases

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LANDLORDS wanting to evict troublesome tenants and those chasing debtors for money are being thwarted due to a backlog of cases being dealt with at the county court.

A landlord, who wished not to be named, said no summons had been issued for more than two weeks because Hastings County Court had lost its issuing clerks.

He said: “The result has been a massive pile of cases building up and landlords can’t evict tenants who don’t pay rent and debtors can’t be chased for outstanding debts.”

A spokeswoman for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) confirmed there was a backlog and said it is expected to be cleared “within three months”.

She said: “We are committed to ensuring cases are heard in a timely fashion but due to a high workload Hastings County Court has been experiencing a backlog of cases.

“Work is being distributed among neighbouring courts in order to reduce delays and ensure cases are dealt with efficiently.

“Court users also have the option of using Money Claim Online (www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome), which is a convenient and secure way of making or responding to a money claim on the internet.

“The service enables more court users to access court services from their homes, without having to go to a court.

“By encouraging more claims to be made online without the need to visit a court, HMCTS is aiming to ensure that court users receive a faster and more convenient service.”

She said HMCTS could not comment on staff changes but said there had been no redundancies at Hastings County Court.