Should privacy or transparency have priority in the family court? The President of the family courts launched a consultation paper last week asking for responses on the role of the media in reporting family cases.
As part of his report, he explained, for the benefit of the media, how to interpret family law case numbers, which is often the only way that a case will be referred to on a court list. I reproduce the relevant part of his report here:
“Case numbers take the form BM14C01234. The first two letters identify the place at which the proceedings were issued, in the example given Birmingham. Each place has its own identifying code. I will shortly be publishing a definitive list. Most of these
codes reflect the place name (eg, CV for Coventry, GU for Guildford, SN for Swindon). Some do not (eg, HB for Brighton). FD refers to proceedings issued in the Family Division in London. ZC refers to the Central Family Court, ZE to the East London Family Court and ZW to the West London Family Court. The next two figures represent the last two digits of the year the proceedings were issued, in the example given 2014. The next letter identifies the type of case, in the example given a care case:
C Public law
F Family Law Act
J Judicial separation
P Private law (Children Act cases)
Z Placement and adoption
The final five digits identify the specific case, in a continuous numbered sequence throughout the year starting at 00001, in the example given the 1,234th case.”
The code for Milton Keynes is, perhaps rather predictably, MK.
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