Civil claims are when people take each other to court over things like money or property. The project is one of the 25 exemplars (major digital services being rebuilt by the government) and aims to create an online service for all types of claims, improve user experience and save money.
We are starting in a single court and with a single type of case: social housing possession, involving councils taking legal action against tenants for non-payment of rent. The pilot will allow the council to start a case online and the tenant to file a defence, and will eventually replace Possession Claim Online.
What this means in practice is we are now building and refining a minimum viable product that will allow real social housing possession claims through it. With that as our focus, we now have many more things to consider.
To make this viable we’re making more use of sprint planning, and speaking to users from further afield. We’ve also had to prioritise the full technical stack, information security, policy, discussions with the judiciary, and much more.
The wider civil claims project covers a wide geographic area, a large number of types of cases and numerous different users. Starting small gives us a good base to grow from, and to iterate, test with users and learn.