By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Eight new Nightingale Courts to help clear possession backlog

Much has been made of the backlog of court cases - including landlords’ possession attempts - and now the Ministry of Justice has revealed eight more temporary courts will begin hearing cases from next week.

The Lowry Theatre in Salford, Jury’s Inn Middlesbrough, and the Hilton Hotel in York will begin hearing cases from Monday. The remaining five are to be located in Chester, Liverpool, Bristol, Winchester and Cirencester, and will open in the coming weeks.

In total they will deliver 16 extra courtrooms.


The Nightingale Courts will hear non-custodial crime cases as well as civil, family and tribunals work - including possession cases. 

The move will free up more room in existing courts to hear other cases, including custodial jury trials, which require cells and secure dock facilities to keep the public, victims and witnesses safe.

It brings the total number of Nightingales to 17, providing 32 court rooms, set up across England and Wales to alleviate the pressure on courts and tribunals resulting from the pandemic. 

An initial 10 opened their doors in the summer and are currently running at roughly 80 per cent capacity – according to the government this is higher than the average of comparable courts in more usual times.

Since August 1, magistrates’ courts have heard 1,000 extra cases through additional Saturday sittings. 

Liverpool, Hull, Stafford and Snaresbrook Crown Courts are already piloting temporary ‘COVID operating hours’, with other crown courts to follow next week.

  • icon

    Nightingale Hospitals, Nightingale Courts, how long before we have a Nightingale Government?

  • Matthew Payne

    It's a start but this addition will only scratch the surface, we need dozens, if not 100s more, 7 days a week. There is a backlog of 25,000 possession claims alone, and that number is 4 weeks old. The backlog of total Court cases back in the summer I saw quoted at 530,000 and was forecasted to climb by over 100,000 a month, so let's call it 800,000 now for round figures. With Courts at 25% capacity and another lockdown looming, that number is going to keep getting bigger.

  • icon
    • 24 September 2020 13:04 PM

    There are far more Social housing provider evictions due than private LL


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up