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procedural questions civil appeals office

(12 Posts)
bibliomania Mon 13-Jun-16 15:58:45

Background: family law case about child residence - 4-day fact-finding hearing last Feb. ExH unhappy with outcome and has sought permission to appeal to the Royal Courts of Justice. Both parties are litigants in person.

On Sat I received two letters, one being Listing Window Notification Letter say the appeal will now proceed "but only on those grounds for which permission has been granted". The other letter was about support services. There is nothing to say what are the grounds on which he's been permitted to appeal. Does this mean that there is a letter still in the post to tell me? Do I have to wait for the bundle? Otherwise, how do I find out? ExH will cheerfully mislead me if he can (and will claim he just didn't understand).

I haven't seen a proposed bundle as yet - we had to proceed without a bundle in the original hearing, as exH said he'd do one then didn't do it, and refused to consider one prepared by me. If he can get away with it, I think he'll try to exclude the reasoned judgement given by the judge after the fact-finding hearing. I haven't take the steps to get this transcript - I presume I should now do so as a matter of urgency? Of course, without knowing the reasons why leave to appeal was granted, it's only guesswork as to what arguments I need to make.

Also, if exH does succeed in demonstrating some technical irregularity, what is the consequence? Is it referred back for another hearing, or do we automatically go back to the status quo before the case started, despite a Social Services recommendation about it not being in the best interests of the child?

If anyone can recommend any resources, they'd be welcome. I have to admit that I felt a bit shaky on getting this letter - I thought he'd be refused permission to appeal. Any advice welcome.

bibliomania Tue 14-Jun-16 14:04:34


I've answered my own first question. A court order was issued last week and allegedly posted to me, but hasn't arrived. I called the court and they promised to email it, but that hasn't arrived yet either. Once I see it, I'll now how urgently I need to pursue getting a copy of the original reasoned judgement.

Familylawsolicitor Tue 14-Jun-16 22:19:39

Don't help his appeal case! Don't get the judgment. That's his job and if he doesn't do it the appeal could get chucked out
You need to see all the papers he has lodged
Case could be remitted for a new hearing, parts of order could be reversed, court can make a fresh decision if it's something minor - impossible to guess or know without more details

babybarrister Wed 15-Jun-16 09:25:41

contact the Bar Pro Bono unit and see if you can get representation for the appeal as someone will probably pick it up as it is in the Court of Appeal

bibliomania Wed 15-Jun-16 09:44:03

Thanks to both of you for your responses.

Familylaw, thanks for saving me from making a stupid mistake. I won't get the judgement at this point. I think it's possible he will try to go ahead with the case without the judgment. His skeleton argument said the judge didn't consider x, y, z and that will be contradicted by the judgment itself. It would be great for his case to be thrown out for not including it.

Re the outcome - at this point, it's helpful just to understand the range of possibilities, so that's helpful.

babybarrister, yes, I'll contact the Bar Pro Bono Unit. It would not be very sensible to attempt to handle this myself.

I'm still chasing the court order giving permission to appeal - it hasn't come by post, and they haven't sent it by email as promised yesterday.

Familylawsolicitor Wed 15-Jun-16 22:51:46

biblio if you are quite sure the transcript of judgment will assist in disproving his grounds of appeal then do get it, however without it the appeal can't get heard - it might be delayed rather than dismissed although though
I second bar pro bono unit although I have a feeling you can't self refer and need a solicitor to do it - or possibly your MP (vague memory)
Have a look at their website

bibliomania Thu 16-Jun-16 09:23:32

I was sent a leaflet about a service offered jointly by the pro bono bar unit and Citizen's Advice Bureau, so I have contacted them. I'm waiting to hear back if they'll do a phone appointment or if I have to go down to London to see them - quite a long and expensive journey, but obviously I'll do it if I have to.

I still don't know on what grounds he's been allowed to appeal - this is my third day in a row contacting the court and being promised a copy of the order, without it being sent to me. If I don't get it by the end of the day, I've said I'll complain to the Court Manager. I get that they're busy, but obviously I really need it.

bibliomania Thu 16-Jun-16 10:02:53

I've now got the order. It said he was permitted to withdrawn his original grounds of appeal and skeleton argument and file amended ones on 7 June. The order was then made that he could go ahead on the new grounds. I haven't seen the 7 June version so still have no idea on what grounds he was allowed to go ahead. This can't be right, can it?

I was given no chance to give my reasons for opposing permission to appeal, and the court order gives on indication that my previous reasons for challenging permission to appeal were even considered (although they may be totally irrelevant, depending on what his new argument is).

How can this be done without my knowledge?

bibliomania Thu 16-Jun-16 10:05:41

Typo - gives NO indication that my previous reasons were considered.

bibliomania Thu 16-Jun-16 11:44:22

Okay, I've calmed down and read the order properly. The permission to appeal was made in relation to s.91(14). After a quick google, it seems he's just protesting the part of the order barring future court applications unless prior leave is granted. It's not the end of the world if he does win on that point.

(Sorry for rambling, it's just that I don't have anyone to talk to about it and need to get it out!)

Familylawsolicitor Thu 16-Jun-16 13:45:14

Permission to appeal is a totally one sided application, you're not entitled to respond.

It's only the actual appeal itself that you are entitled to be heard on.

But permission just on s91(14) sounds Ok - he should have been given notice the court was intending to make this order - was he? They can be successfully appealed if the court makes a s91(14) without proper notice / chance for him to object.

bibliomania Thu 16-Jun-16 14:21:12

In fairness, I think he has an arguable case that the original judge imposed s91(14) without consulting either party in advance. I personally think it's a good thing to have this provision, given our long history of litigation (which has been tough on dd), but I can live with it if he succeeds in getting it removed from the order.

Thanks for explaining about it being one-sided. I'm fine about it now that I understand. I was invited to make any objections to his original application for permission to appeal, which gave me the impression that I was supposed to get a say at this stage. I'll contain myself until I get his skeleton arguments.

I'm sorry to have gone on and on, and I really do the information. It's been impossible to get through to the RCJ Advice Bureau all morning, so it really helps to get a live person answering questions.

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