In the case I referred to above, in which I assisted a mother to file an appeal, an anonymous allegation, allegedly made by more than one person, saying they had heard the mother threaten to do something which if done would significantly harm the child, was used to cross the threshold for issuing a care order. I became involved after the care order and a placement order had been issued. On close examination of the above hearsay evidence, by me, it became apparent to me there was a big problem with it. It was clear to me that the mother’s lawyers hadn’t taken the trouble to carefully examine and robustly challenge the hearsay evidence. One could say her lawyers threw the towel in at an early stage. The child is now adopted. If I was ever on the receiving end of any public law proceedings I definitely wouldn’t allow myself to be represented by any solicitor or barrister. For the conflicts of interest reasons I have referred to above. But then, unlike probably 99.9% of people on the receiving end of state v citizen proceedings, I would have, or be able to discover, ways of defending myself quite well as a litigant in person.
An attempt to give some practical advice
I was reading this blog post at the always excellent Not So Big Society
involving an unfortunate father who had his children removed and has reacted to this by constructing a case against Leeds City Council for genocide, which has been struck out and is now awaiting an appeal in the High Court against that striking out.
I think one can never, ever, underestimate what a profoundly awful experience having a bad time with Social Services must be. There is very little (possibly nothing, now that capital punishment no longer exists in this country) that the law can do to you that is worse than taking your children away. And for that reason, whilst people like this are wrong and misguided, I can see why they are driven to these awful pieces of decision-making.
I’ll make no bones about it – I’m a…
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