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Need advice fast on Litigation friend capacity

Benice

Registered User
Jul 30, 2015
2
Hi I need some advice I have been a Litigation friend since the start of my wife's case and I'm not happy with the way things are going in this case. I feel overwhelmed with paperwork and my roll is or has got above my understanding of the case and paperwork I'm being asked to sign and I feel I don't know what I'm doing and this seems wrong as I'm acting on my wife's behalf . 1 year ago it was stated that my wife does not have the capacity and it was stated by the doctor in the report that if there was any evidence of improved decision makeing he would recommend a reassessment of the claimants capacity . Since a year ago my wife has made massive progress and I have stated to the solicitors and they stated I should get proof from my GP and I did and sent this to them with my GP stating she has made big improvements and she should be tested again. . Well since this they have done nothing and put my wife's case to court with the report that she has no capacity . I've told them over and over she needs testing again but now I've been told if she needs a new test I would have to pay for it on my own . It seems to me they have got what they want that sounds good for court and I don't know what I should do ?? What would happen to the case if I didn't want to be a Litigation friend anymore ?? Can I do that ? Any advice on the capacity and stopping being a LF would be great as I've said I find this all overwhelming and not sure what I should do for the best for my wife's futor .thanks
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,812
England
Hello and welcome to Talking Point.

I am a litigation friend for a family friend who sustained horrific injuries in a motorcycle accident three years ago. As a result of the accident he has brain damage but not to the extent of not having capacity. I receive copies of every letter, report etc. and when it is necessary for him to sign I have to make sure that I understand what he is being asked to sign and that I sit and and talk to him so I am sure he understands. If I have doubts that he is not understanding then I would contact his solicitors and they would deal with it. So far things have gone well.

All I can advise is that you see a solicitor yourself and explain your concerns as to how you feel. Unfortunately we are not professionals on the forum just carers and cared for living with dementia and not many will have had experience of being a litigation friend.

Beate has given you a link to a site for you to get some information but you really need to speak to someone with legal knowledge once you have read the information.

I hope you can get some advice soon and resolve this as it sounds very upsetting for you to be in this position. I too would want to remove myself from the position if I felt things were not right.
 
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tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
631
So sorry you are going through all of this and I really feel for you. I am currently going through the court process for my mum opposing a situation my sister has brought about. However the official solicitor for the court is mums litigation friend and I am unrepresented.

I'm not happy as we keep having hearings and not getting anywhere and the barrister says the official solicitor/litigation friend hasn't really had time to read my evidence properly and has only met my mum once for half an hour so I am not confident about her representing mum to be honest. The judge has ordered mum have a psychiatrist to deem if she has capacity. I say she has, my sister says not!! This is the problem. I believe all these costs have to come out of mums assets.

I agree with you it is all totally overwhelming and as I am looking after mum, I can only deal with all the paperwork at night after she has gone to bed. Consequently I work through most of the night to get it all done which means I scarcely have any sleep.

I would suggest you continue to act as your wife's litigation friend or the court presumably will appoint an official solicitor to do so which costs an awful lot of money. You know all the facts and you know your wife so I think you are the best person to act although the downside is you don't know all the jargon or the bizarre way in which the court system works! I would also suggest you do pay for an independent capacity test if this is what they want. I'm sure you don't want to put your wife through any more than you have to but it may be the best way forward.

I wish you and your wife all the luck in the world I truly do. I know exactly what you're going through, how it takes over every waking moment and how this stupid bureaucracy seems like a never ending brick wall and nightmare to get through. Xxxx
 
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arielsmelody

Registered User
Jul 16, 2015
516
I'm sorry to hear that you feel that you are asked to be doing something you aren't comfortable with and is making you unhappy. I understand that you don't want to make decisions on your wife's behalf if you feel she has capacity, but if you don't feel that you can cope with the paperwork, will she realistically be able to cope on her own? It sounds as if you need more help - perhaps if you talk to Citizens Advice they might be able to talk you through some of the paperwork, or point you in the direction of support. If they can't help, I do think you need to talk to a solicitor to see what your options are, and what it will mean if you step down as litigation friend.
 

Benice

Registered User
Jul 30, 2015
2
Thank you all

So sorry you are going through all of this and I really feel for you. I am currently going through the court process for my mum opposing a situation my sister has brought about. However the official solicitor for the court is mums litigation friend and I am unrepresented.

I'm not happy as we keep having hearings and not getting anywhere and the barrister says the official solicitor/litigation friend hasn't really had time to read my evidence properly and has only met my mum once for half an hour so I am not confident about her representing mum to be honest. The judge has ordered mum have a psychiatrist to deem if she has capacity. I say she has, my sister says not!! This is the problem. I believe all these costs have to come out of mums assets.

I agree with you it is all totally overwhelming and as I am looking after mum, I can only deal with all the paperwork at night after she has gone to bed. Consequently I work through most of the night to get it all done which means I scarcely have any sleep.

I would suggest you continue to act as your wife's litigation friend or the court presumably will appoint an official solicitor to do so which costs an awful lot of money. You know all the facts and you know your wife so I think you are the best person to act although the downside is you don't know all the jargon or the bizarre way in which the court system works! I would also suggest you do pay for an independent capacity test if this is what they want. I'm sure you don't want to put your wife through any more than you have to but it may be the best way forward.

I wish you and your wife all the luck in the world I truly do. I know exactly what you're going through, how it takes over every waking moment and how this stupid bureaucracy seems like a never ending brick wall and nightmare to get through. Xxxx
Thank you all for your comments
tryingmybest thank you for your kind words ) I've now requested a face to face meeting due next week and I'm hoping to make my feeling known and clear up a few things .
tryingmybest