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What ae bundles for court(25 Posts)
my partners had a directions hearing last week and due to his ex not complying and various other things his application for contact has been transferred to family proceedings court. Not really sure what that means or the significance of it.
But on the typed order we received yesterday it states that his ex's solicitors are to do bundles for the hearing.
His representing his self so not sure what it means.
Could someone tell me what that means please??
I'm not an expert but I think it just means files with all the paperwork in.
Hopefully someone will be able to confirm that
I had to do one which included all court orders, any statements, letters backwards and forewards from solicitors, eveidence such as e-mail and I seem to remember there were skeleton arguments and something else.
"Bundles" just means the papers which will be required for the hearing - it's legal speak for "files containing relevant papers". They will probably include the things DaisymOuse mentions - if there is anything which your partner intends to rely upon or refer to during the hearing he should make sure it is included (his ex's solicitors should send him an index for agreement).
It's a collection of all the court papres including application, orders, statements, expert reports, and other evidence. It generally shouldn't inlcude much correspondence, some of which might be "without prejudice" anyway.
It's supposed to be a concise bundle of all the papers a judge will need at a hearing.
Many thanks for this info
Could I just clarify something?
In the past my partner has gone to court said something and could back up his claim with evidence he had, for example his ex wasnt complying and wouldn't hand kids to 3rd party as they had fallen out, the 3rd party confirmed by text 3 times on different dates that they were happy to do the handovers but his ex tried to say it was the third party that wouldn't do it and not her not complying and now they are talking again (their sisters) the third party confirmed the ex's claim. So we obviously used the texts to prove what he said actually happened.
If there are issues like this again can he still take things he needs to back up his point at the hearing or does it need to go to the court?! I'm guessing not actually and think that's actually a silly question and he should be able to use things he has but can any one confirm??
Also I assume if the solicitors do not show us details of what is in the bundle we can request it??
I suspect they may try to not put something into the bundle. His ex did a witness statement which was full of major lies, all of which (at least 95%) we had evidence proving it was lies and as the lies could of had an affect on the contact given we did a response with evidence and sent to court. Her barrister told us very strictly we wasn't allowed to do that which to be honest we didn't realise and I would think they wouldn't really want That in the bundle as it totally shows their clients statement to be all lies.
As the court already had a copy should it be included in the bundle even though it wasn't requested by the court?
The judge at the time never commented on us filing it but did bring up some if the points raised in our response during the hearing so we know he read it.
I would assume as the courts had it even though not requested it should be included.
Sorry that's long but hopefully it makes sense
Also just looking up skeleton arguments that someone mentioned were included.
Is this standard practice as nothing about a skeleton argument was mentioned at court or noted in the typed order
Would we have been told to do this or is it standard and his ex's solicitors will do there's automatically??
Sorry this is the only hard bit about representing yourself
Bundles should include all the documents either side wants to refer to on the day. It really shouldn't be one of those situations like you see in films where someone starts waving around a piece of paper on the day. It really isn't fair on either side if that happens- you don't have time to consider the document, whether other things set it in context, etc. Indeed in some situations judges will refuse to look at that type of thing. More likely they will demand a break to consider it and let the other side do so.
I don't work in this court, but what would normally happen is that you would do disclosure - i.e. both prepare a list of all the documents you have. The side preparing the bundle send you a proposed index of all the things they think need to go in the bundle and you agree, add things, etc. You can't really demand things be taken out as, pretty much, if one side wants them they go in (if there is a real fight there is sometimes a supplemental bundle for just those documents). Once the index is agreed, the solicitors prepare, paginate and copy the bundle. You should then get at least one copy before the hearing.
The bundle should then be the only thing you need to refer to on the day. Possibly the witness statements if the judge has asked for those to be separately bound (which they normally do).
Bits of that may vary for family courts.
Skeleton arguments are an outline of your argument. You have one each. Your barrister would normally prepare one. If you are self-represented I suspect you will not have been ordered to do one, but not sure on that. It is certainly not something the other side's solicitor will do for you.
I self represented and didn't do a skeleton argument. In my case my exes solicitor seemed to have a bit more to do as I was self repping but that may have been because I was the respondent.
Thank you very much for your replies
Could I pls ask something else??
At the first hearing they had to do witness statements, the one we wrote contained a bit of back ground history not relating to the relationship but about the children and hid relationship/contact that had taken place.
The courts have now asked for another statement, in the order it says an updating statement
Could someone please tell me should this new statement be in the same format with brief history re kids and previous contact
then details of contact etc wanted or should all history be left out and just concentrate on now and onwards as already seen history in previous witness statement.
Many thanks in advance
You need to include anything new which is relevant to your position and which wasn't included in the previous statement. If you need to refer to the previous statement for the new one to make sense, then you can do so, but don't copy the first one into the new one iyswim. Just make sure the previous statement is included in the bundle so that everything will be there for the court to get the full picture.
Thank you again for replying
Will the respondents solicitor who is arranging the bundles send one to us to or would we just have to rely on the index and ensure we have it all to hand??
They will send you one. You shouldn't be trying to assemble one yourself from the index as page numbers always go awry and that sends judges wild with annoyance. When you agree the index, you should ask for confirmation when you can expect your copy of the bundle.
If you need them to send you one they are entitled to ask for you to pay copying charges. This will be around 25p a sheet plus vat.
You will already have the documents that form the bundle anyway - just not paginated.
Yes, they are entitled to. 25p is steep though. My firm was always 15p and I thought that was expensive. They aren't meant to profit, and I'm not sure how many firms could justify 25p if pushed? <sidetrack>
Do check. We never charged unrepresented applicants. And that wasn't charity. It was the sheer awfulness of the judge giving you a ticking off when your page 285s didn't match up because, working from the index, someone had included the cover sheet of a document and someone the back page, etc, etc. Can still remember to horror of a similar telling off I got when a page had gone missing in the copier feeder and the judge's copy of the bundle was missing a vital page <shudder>.
When the court charges £1 a sheet the judge is going to allow 25p.
Thank you again.
I thought we may have to pay and I guess to make sure we were reading exactly the same as the judge would make sense and we would pay so least if they say no to doing a bundle we can offer to pay.
Thank you again
If they have been ordered by the judge to do bundles, they can't say no. It's not up to them- the judge has decided they are responsible for them, and that includes one for you. Their only flexibility is whether they charge you for it.
Oh right I thought it was just for the magistrates so that's good to know! Thank you once again lol
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