District courts text message reminder service goes live

5 November 2015

The Ministry of Justice has launched a new text message reminder service for those appearing in the district court.

The new service offers defendants the option to receive an automated text message the day before their district court hearing, reminding them of the date, time and location.

Currently there is a four to six per cent “no show” rate in case review, sentencing and judge-alone trial events. This results in more than 3500 court events being re-scheduled each year alongside the issue of 3500 arrest warrants for those who fail to attend court.

The new service is part of a wider strategy to modernise the courts and speed up the time taken for district court cases to reach a conclusion. It will initially be offered to criminal defendants with the intention to extend it to family and civil court users and dispute tribunal users in the near future.

Defendants can sign up for the text service at text message reminders, by calling 0800 268 787 or in person at the nearest courthouse.

The Minister's statement is available here: Text message reminder service goes live in District Courts (external link) .

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