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Your Borough Of Poole

Law Courts

Magistrates' Courts

Approximately 96% of criminal cases are dealt with summarily at a magistrates' court. The case may be tried either by at least two but usually three lay magistrates or by a District Judge, who will usually sit alone.

Magistrates cannot normally order sentences of imprisonment which exceed 6 months (or 12 months for consecutive sentences) or fines exceeding £5,000. In triable-either-way cases the offender may be committed by the magistrates to the Crown Court if a more severe sentence is thought necessary.

Lay magistrates are appointed by the Crown (retiring at the age of 70). They are not paid but may claim expenses and an allowance for loss of earnings. They come from all walks of life and do not usually have any legal qualifications. They are advised on the law by qualified clerks.

Certain magistrates' courts are designated as Youth Courts. Such a court is composed of specially trained justices and deals only with charges against and applications relating to children and young persons aged under 18. It sits apart from other courts and, unlike other courts, is not open to the public. It consists of not more than three justices, including at least one man and one woman. Further information is available about our Youth Justice Service.

Poole Magistrates' Court
The Law Courts
Park Road
BH15 2RH
Tel: 01202 745309

For further information including the layout of a court please see the Magistrates Association Website.

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County Courts

County Courts deal with the majority of civil cases, as well as some family and bankruptcy hearings. Civil cases include claims for debt, personal injury, breach of contract concerning goods or property, family issues such as divorce or adoption, and the repossession of houses.

Bailiffs attached to each court will, if an application is made, enforce orders and seek to collect money if a judgment has not been paid.

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Crown Courts

The Crown Courts deal with criminal cases of a serious nature, such as murder, rape and robbery, which are transferred from the Magistrates' Courts. It also hears appeals against decisions of Magistrates' Courts, and deals with cases sent for sentence from Magistrates' courts.

Bournemouth Crown and County Courts
The Courts of Justice
Deansleigh Road
Tel: 01202 502800

See information on Crown Courts on GOV.UK

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Legal Advice

For legal advice please contact:

Citizen's Advice Bureau
54 Lagland Street
Poole BH15 1QG
Tel: 0870 751 0937

Alternatively, you may wish to contact a private local solicitor of your own choice.

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Contact Us

01202 745309

Poole Magistrates' Court
The Law Courts
Park Road
BH15 2RH