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The approach of the court
The court should not grant the warrant unless it is satisfied that the legal requirements have been met; but in practice, courts tend to rubber-stamp suppliers’ applications for warrants in the absence of the customer. However, the Court of Appeal has emphasised the importance of carefully scrutinising warrant applications to gain entry to private homes.1O’Keegan v Chief Constable of Merseyside [2003] 1 WLR 2197 Magistrates have discretion under the 1954 Act and are expected to exercise that discretion reasonably in each case, considering all relevant factors, disregarding irrelevant ones and not acting perversely.2Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223 If you suspect that your supplier will be applying for a warrant, write to them. You should set out the reasons why a warrant should not be granted and send a copy to the court, asking that it be shown to the magistrate (or other Scottish court officer) who will deal with the application. Letters and representations should be addressed to the Justices’ Chief Executive stating that you wish to attend the hearing and make representations at any application. Letters may be emailed or faxed to the court in urgent cases.
However, as a result of magistrates’ court reorganisation and the recent closure of some courts, administration is not always efficient and it may be necessary to attend the court in advance to seek an adjournment, or alternatively on the day set for the hearing. If attending in advance, ask to speak to the duty legal adviser about the application.
1     O’Keegan v Chief Constable of Merseyside [2003] 1 WLR 2197 »
2     Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223 »