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Claiming costs back due to Cafcass

(8 Posts)
CourtandMoney Wed 24-Feb-16 12:43:24

Excuse the name change - done to prevent ex locating my posting history as this post is identifying.

My child access case was referred from the Family Court to County Court. The hearing today was adjourned as the judge refused to hear it because Cafcass hadn't turned up. We don't know whose fault this is but the judge and my solicitor said I can fill a form in to try and get my costs back (£450 for my solicitor).

But...no-one can seem to tell me what form and where I find it. Can anyone help me please?

I've tried ringing the court, who said they thought it was form D11 but that doesn't look right. My solicitor just said "it's on the website" hmm.

I really need to claim this money back so any help would be massively appreciated.

sootica Wed 24-Feb-16 23:05:03

Well firstly you need to find out if its the court's fault or cafcass's fault - did the court forget to send the order out to cafcass notifying of the hearing or did cafcass receive the order and forget to turn up?
I would do a written complaint to both cafcass and the court with details of your costs to see what response you get.

This is the complaint form for the court: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223545/contact-director-wales-hmcts-annex-a.pdf

I would just email cafcass to start with to find out if they received the order and escalate if it turns out it is cafcass's fault.

sootica Wed 24-Feb-16 23:08:59

Sorry its not a form but a complaints procedure for the court
Just do a letter. And chase chase chase.
I got costs back for my clientwhen we were listed for a 2 hour hearing and spent all day at court and never got to see a judge as none became free. As far as i remember I just wrote to the court but do make sure its headed "administrative complaint" and address to the court manager so it goes to the right place,

CourtandMoney Thu 25-Feb-16 11:53:37

Ohhhh. Replies!!! Thank you both so much.

I'll get on it straight away.

CourtandMoney Thu 25-Feb-16 11:54:23

Sorry. Thank you sootica blush

babybarrister Thu 25-Feb-16 20:04:36

Don't hold your breathe though - sadly it happens all the time and I have never known a client get a penny back despite repeated written complaints

CourtandMoney Thu 25-Feb-16 22:30:17

I'm expecting to get nothing but I have to give it a try, I'm skint!

In the paperwork for the first case at Family Court, it asked for a safeguarding report and for Cafcass to be available to speak to both parties and the judge.

When we attended Family Court, they refused to hear the case and transferred it to County Court (and to the judge who had given a ruling on our case 2 years ago). There was a Cafcass rep at that first hearing but we never got to speak to her. The transfer paperwork just states the case was to be transferred to County Court. No mention of Cafcass attending.

I spoke to Cafcass today who said they weren't at County Court because they weren't asked to be. They had signed their involvement off once the safeguarding report was done in early January.

So I've got no idea who is to blame. My solicitor isn't returning my calls. I'm out of pocket and bloody skint with no resolution to this PITA case my ex is pursuing.

<and breathe> grin

sootica Fri 26-Feb-16 10:27:49

That sounds like a cock up of case management by the lay bench (that is, the direction for cafcass to attend was omitted from the order made by the court) rather than an administrative cock up - I suspect you've lost the money but worth a try at complaining. I think I only got the money back for my client as it was such a blatant adminstrative issue - no judge at all available to hear a listed case

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