Court Appeal

KC1234
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:26 am

Court Appeal

Postby KC1234 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:58 pm

Scenario...

Mother (respondent) is not represented, father is. Section 7 report requested by the court. Cafcass worker asked to attend Final Hearing but does not show. Judge asks both parties if they wish to postpone - both parties decline. Judge and father’s Barrister tell mother they would advise her to wait so she can cross-examine the Cafcass Worker. Barrister tells mother if she was representing her she would tell her to adjourn. Mother does not take advice and wishes to go ahead ‘to get it done.’ She states she only has one question for the Cafcass worker of which she asks the Judge throughout the Hearing.

The Judge decides to go ahead with the Hearing despite Cafcass Worker not being in attendance due to both parties being happy to pursue the matter that day. Mother is now appealing because she states the Cafcass Worker didn’t attend and even though she said she wanted to proceed the Judge should have known better and adjourned, especially as father was represented and the section 7 report was in his favour.

Who is at fault? Did the Judge do anything wrong? Can she base an appeal on this?! The Judge actually allowed mother’s husband to be in the court room as her McKenzie friend due to father being represented and her not.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1988
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Court Appeal

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:12 pm

Dear KC1234

Welcome to the parents discussion board and thank you for your post.

You wish to know whether the mother is able to appeal the decision of the court on the basis that the hearing went ahead without the Cafcass officer being present.

The usual reason to bring an appeal is where it can be shown that the judge has made an error in the law or misdirected him or herself in respect of the facts of the case.

In the scenario you have described, the judge does not appear to be at fault, he or she gave both parties in the case the opportunity to have the hearing adjourned to another date due to the Cafcass officer’s non-attendance. The mother chose to have the hearing go ahead despite the father’s barrister suggesting to her that an adjournment was appropriate.

The mother cannot now say that the judge should have known better the decision was hers and the judge quite rightly gave her the opportunity to decide what she wanted to do and she chose to go ahead.

This matter relates to private law proceedings and our remit relates to public law matters where children’s services are involved. Should the mother wish to obtain further advice in respect of her case, I suggest that she contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre (Child Law Advice) on 0300 330 5480.

Best wishes

Suzie


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