Stonehaven Sheriff Court set to close

STONEHAVEN Sheriff Court is set to close in May 2014, the Scottish Court Service has announced today.

The closure still needs to be approved by parliament but the service say all business will be able to be transferred to Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The announcement comes following a public consultation carried out by the SCS after it was announced in September that Stonehaven Sheriff Court faced closure.

The public consultation closed in December and the SCS received 46 replies about Stonehaven Sheriff Court.

A number of concerns were raised including Aberdeen Sheriff Court’s ability to deal with a larger caseload.

In response to this issue the report states: “Aberdeen Sheriff Court currently has 9 courtrooms available to accommodate court business providing total capacity for 2,250 court sitting days per annum.

“In 2011/12 sheriff court sitting days for Aberdeen and Stonehaven were 1,693 and 199 respectively – a total of 1,892. The corresponding figures for the Justice of the Peace Courts at Aberdeen and Stonehaven were 253 and 40 respectively. The total court sitting days used (2,185) is close to overall capacity, however, the level of business at Stonehaven is such that it can be accommodated with only a marginal revision of the Aberdeen Court programme. As such there is no difficulty in accommodating all the business within the Sheriff Courthouse at Aberdeen.”

The SCS have recommended that Stonehaven Sheriff Court be closed. This decision is now subject to parliamentary approval.