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CM threatened to take me to court! Any help?

(128 Posts)
kbjin Sat 31-Dec-11 03:22:24

Hi, I am just after some help and advice on how to deal with this issue.

We used a local CM in Nov this year, who lived just across the road from us which we thought was really handy at the time.

3 weeks into the contract, one day my son (3 yrs old) returned home and after the dinner he complained about pain on his bottom. I later found out from him that he was smacked by the CM. There were red marks (similar to 4 fingers shape) on his bottom, I took photos and video of him as evidence. Spoke to the CM the next day and had a meeting with her at my place, but she denied everything happened to my son. I also reported to Ofsted on the same day as advised by my son's nursery.

Ofsted responded very rapidly and as a result the CM's registration was suspended for 3 weeks during the investigation. S/Service and Police were also involved but they said they couldn't not established any evidence and place any charge on her because they couldn't interview my son due to his age. Police said the child needed to be at least 4 before they could interview the child.

Becuase of the lack of evidence through the police and s/service, now Ofsted didn't do anything but sent us a letter notifying us of the outcome which was what we were expecting anyway.

The CM just dropped off a letter last evening blackmailing us to pay her money for her loss of income, stresss and all the problems caused by the allegation we made against her during the 3 weeks' investigation conducted by various officials. She demanded £5000 plus the 4 weeks notice and said in the letter if we don't pay her the amount, she would take us to court.

Can she claim that much against us esp. for her loss of income and stress etc? I thought as parents, it's our duty protect our child from being mistreated by CMs, and the proper way to resolve the matter is to report it to Ofsted. Whatever action or investigation they were susposed to do was completely out of our control and why should we be responsible for the 3 weeks taken by Ofsted to complete the investigation?

The other thing about the contract is that it's a NCMA standard contract, on page 4 usually there is a notice period. But we couldn't recall we have agreed on the 4 weeks notice, all we agreed was the 4 weeks holiday notice. Also, later we noticed we were not given page 4 so we couldn't check what's written on it. After the incident we asked her to give us back the page 4 of the contract but she didn't. Instead, she exchanged the carbon copy (all 4 pages) with our 3 original pages. We carefully examined the carbon copy and notice there was nothing written on the notice period, it's blank.

Any advice would be highly appreciated!

Murjika Fri 03-May-13 20:50:41

Get some advice from http://www.nspcc.org.uk/, you have done the right thing, good luck

kbjin Thu 02-May-13 00:29:24

Yes, it's been a long time for us.
I did asked her for her tax account for the past year to show she's earning that much, may be she wasn't declaring!
She is still registered and looking after children. I start to think what kind of cm she is and the type of of parent that would use her service. I have to admit it was my biggest mistake using her in the first place.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 27-Apr-13 10:23:12

Glad finaly sorted after nearly 2.5yrs

Sounds to me she reliesed that the court wouldn't pay out and dropped her claim

But what a stressful time it must have been for you sad

Is cm still registered and looking after children?

Willow33 Fri 26-Apr-13 23:23:03

Phew! Am sure you will sleep well tonight.

kbjin Fri 26-Apr-13 16:20:48

Hello everyone, I have got a bit of update for everybody. Out of everyone's surprise as chasing the CM for proof of her loss of income etc and waited and waited...I got a letter from her saying she didn't want to pursue with the case!
Felt relief but also felt this nasty person had wasted a lot of our valuable family time where I could have spent quality time with my kids rather than stressed out in dealing with her non-sense claim.

SugarPasteSnowflake Tue 05-Feb-13 19:17:54

Fyi the mark might have lasted if he bruises easily. I bruise like nothing on earth so your Ds might be similar

kbjin Mon 04-Feb-13 00:15:53

breatheslowly, she was claiming about 3K for her loss of earnings, and the rest would be her other 'excuses' to claim, now because she has run out of excuses because her previous excuses (stress & defamation) would required expert witness and evidences. Court ordered her 2-3 times to provide a full breakdown and evidences, each time she only provided a sheet full of figures of which she thought they would be treated as evidence as she believed those to be true.

We had the hearing and now waiting for a trial day, not sure when.

Mimishimi, we are not sure the hand mark would stay that long, only thing we noticed was the change of attitude in my son after the incident, he kept saying he didn't want to go back to the CM.

Nevertheless, this CM always comes up with new ideas of what I should be paying her that much.

Mimishimi Sun 03-Feb-13 23:40:04

To be honest though, could a smack with a hand leave a mark for that long? I've smacked my own son quite hard on his bare bottom and it never stays red for more than 30 seconds. Are you sure it was not a belt? You might want to get those photos analysed by someone who would be able to tell as part of their professional capacity. Unfortunately, I could definitely see some parents falsely blaming it on their child minder if they thought they could get compensation somehow but this does not appear to be the case here - the OP merely reported her to authorities.

She is clearly a bit deluded. She certainly wouldn't need you to pay her expenses in addition to her lost earnings, as earnings are what pay expenses in the first place. Claiming £5k for 3 weeks suggests that she earns £86k per year which seems unlikely.

Civil courts work on the balance of probability rather than beyond reasonable doubt, so the level of evidence that the police look for is higher than you need in a civil court.

Any idea when this will go to court?

kbjin Sun 03-Feb-13 22:41:44

Manminder, you might have your point, but please read the threads before posting, I didn't involve every agency, I only contact Ofsted as I was advised by the a nursery manager. Ofsted took their own actions and involved other agencies.
The CM was claiming a loss of earning, stress and defamation, all in a sudden she didn't claim all these but keeping the claim of loss of earning and invented new claims that she thinks I should pay on top of her loss of earning, her expenses include, Council Tax, Rent, Food, Gas and Eelctricity Bills, to a totla sum of 5K.

fairylightsinthesnow Thu 31-Jan-13 21:49:13

Manminder have you read the OP? "no substance?" she has photo evidence of a handprint. If she did it herself why would she be creating all this fuss?

MummytoMog Thu 31-Jan-13 16:56:13

Sorry what? ManMinder the OP did exactly what she should have done. If my three year old told me her CM hit her, and left a mark still visible later that day, I would damn well call the police, SS, Ofsted and anyone else I could think of.

OP, do you have legal insurance with your home insurance? It would cover the costs for a solicitor.

ManMinder Thu 31-Jan-13 13:52:34

What you have to take into account is that you have denied the Childminder her living for three weeks over an allegation that appears to have no substance, put her through extraordinary stress and involved just about every agency you could think of. If someone did the same to you I expect you too would be looking for compensation from your accuser.

HighJinx Thu 31-Jan-13 13:11:08

I would try also posting in Legal for recommendations of a solicitor.

Hope this is resolved soon - What a saga.

calmlychaotic Thu 31-Jan-13 00:21:30

can't believe this is still going on. her response makes no sense, if you hit your own child just don't show anyone no need to blame someone else for it.
hope thisis all resolved soon for you must be so stressful

kbjin Wed 30-Jan-13 23:46:12

hello all, just getting back to the case as it still on going, the court proceeding has been very slow, over a year now, I still haven't had a trial date. I had the hearing the other week and this nasty CM turned round and said I set her up because I was afraid to be found out as she said she 'knew' the smacking happened as my place.
Really need a solicitor now to speak to, any one can recommend one please?
Many thanks

kbjin Sun 26-Feb-12 23:18:48

I see. Yes the response time is alway a multiple of 14 days and the case management questionaire always give the other side to state the unavailable time,, so this makes it even longer.
I'd like to mediate but looks like even I choose this option, it won't make much difference.

fivegomadindorset Sun 26-Feb-12 22:29:57

No ours is to do with a dodgy car, but as far as I can make out this the norm, you are given so many days/months to respond.

kbjin Sun 26-Feb-12 19:50:24

Fivegomadindorset, what is your claim? Are you the parent or cm?

kbjin Sun 26-Feb-12 19:48:28

The counterclaim was for the few days I had days off in Dec 2011 for childcare reason and a couple weeks unused payment made to the cm. Was going to leave it but my solicitor suggested to make a cc.
In my case not sure the cm would want to take the mediation option and could be a waste of time due to her greedinese.

kbjin Sun 26-Feb-12 19:45:11

The counterclaim was for the few days I had days off in Dec 2011 for childcare reason and a couple weeks unused payment made to the cm. Was going to leave it but my solicitor suggested to make a cc.
In my case not sure the cm would want to take the mediation option and could be a waste of time due to her greedinese.

fivegomadindorset Sat 25-Feb-12 19:32:39

Be patient. We started our small claim court action in September. Our court date is March 26th. We were given the option of mediation in October which we were happy to do but defendent never got in touch.

HavePatience Sat 25-Feb-12 19:11:30

And good for you getting the paperwork in and moving forward, not backing down. smile

HavePatience Sat 25-Feb-12 19:11:04

What exactly is the counter claim?

kbjin Fri 24-Feb-12 23:42:23

No problem HavePatience.
Just sent off the defence paperwork last week and also included a counterclaim for the days off during Dec due to childcare, not much money involved but I felt I should include a counterclaim.
Got the Court Questionaire back to complete and probably that will give a hearing day.
Will update again when things progress

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