A personal review of the year, part 1

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December 20, 2017 3 comments

family law

In a (probably futile) attempt to make the traditional annual review of the year a little bit different, this year I am concentrating not so much on the big family law news stories, but rather the stories that I found of particular interest. Hopefully, this might make the review a little more interesting to the…

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Social worker ‘exaggerated’ threats from father

April 20, 2017 5 comments

children in care

A “complacent” county council’s failure to support a newly qualified social worker contributed to his invention of threats by a parent, a family court judge has concluded. The inexperienced social worker, ‘LM’, had been involved in the preparation of paperwork relating to the children of a man called ‘CW’, who have since been taken into…

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Litigants in person offered court tours and seminars

January 17, 2017 1 comment

litigants in person

Unrepresented litigants in person appearing at the Bristol Family and Civil Justice Centre will be offered a tour of the courts and ‘information sessions’ from next week. Both free options will be available between 1 and 2pm on Thursdays and Fridays, with alternating days dedicated to the family and then the civil courts. The initiative…

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Judge: care case delay ‘deeply frustrating’

September 16, 2015 1 comment

family law

A Family Court judge has called the year-long delay in a care case “deeply frustrating”. In May 2014, Gloucestershire County Council removed a five year-old boy from his mother’s care and placed him with a foster couple. The council cited “neglectful parenting” as the reason for their actions. However, the local authority did not issue…

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Judge responds to ‘missing mum’ statement (Updated)

June 12, 2015 16 comments

family law

  His Honour Judge Wildblood has responded to a public statement made by a woman who disappeared with her son last month. Two weeks ago, a district judge ruled that the three year-old boy, Ethan, should live with his father. This decision came after protracted and “heavily contested litigation”. The father, Roger Williams, had launched contact…

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Mother and child missing after court decision

June 10, 2015 3 comments

family law

A Somerset mother and her three year old son have gone missing following a court ruling that the boy should live with his father. Thirty-five year-old Rebecca Minnock left her home in Highbridge with her son Ethan two weeks ago. Police have tried to locate the pair but have so far been unsuccessful. The identities…

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Court of Protection approves care payments

April 24, 2015 0 comments

family life

The Court of Protection has retrospectively approved payments made by a deputy to himself for care provided to his elderly mother. Re HC concerned a 78 year old woman from Jamaica who had first came to Britain in 1957. She married twice – the second time after her first husband was killed in a car…

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A week in family law: New courts, u-turns and more

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February 20, 2015 0 comments

family law

Here are the highlights of an eventful week… A report published by the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group of the Civil Justice Council recommends the establishment of an Internet-based court service. The service would be known as ‘HM Online Court‘ (‘HMOC’). The Group recommend that HMOC should be a three-tier service, comprising ‘Online Evaluation’, which…

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Another u-turn on legal aid

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February 18, 2015 2 comments

legal aid

I’ve commented here many times about the obvious lack of forethought involved in the legal aid cuts that took place in April 2013. Results that were clearly foreseeable to anyone with a moderate knowledge of our family justice system were apparently not realised or considered by those responsible for the cuts. It would be quite…

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