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How can these families seek justice?

For the first time ever, readers of my blog have phoned me at home about a post I wrote.

They were very upset and seek justice. It concerns my report about disturbing failings of the Court of Protection following a story in the Mail on Sunday. This told how many families were suffering, both emotionally and financially, because of considerable inadequacies in a legal system intended to protect the vulnerable who had not made an Enduring Powers of Attorney when they had full mental capacity.

This document appoints someone to help them if they should become unable to handle their own financial affairs. Without it, the families can find themselves at the mercy of the Court of Protection, a court which has failed to live up to its name and offered no protection or solace to many families, it would seem.

Complete strangers have rung me at home to pour out their hearts about their personal heartache and experiences, some of which are written at length in the comments of my post. One has described taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights. They asked my advice, and I was at a loss because I am no legal expert. They have done the obvious, ie had legal advice and contacted their MP. I sensed their despair and hopelessness.

This is what one man said in his comment:

If it takes to my dying day, I shall continue to fight this corrupt system of government and its co-ordinated NHS/Social Services/COP/OPG/Land Registry and Law Society member lies.

And Francesca wrote:

My life has not been the same, since the court of protection got involved with my Mother, this court is Corrupt and needs to be exposed for what it is; the court of protection , made an order resticting me from seeing my Mother,and putting the power of when and where i can see my Mother in the hands of the Local Council, for NO reason,they have NO grounds for doing this . The Court Of Protection don’t have my Mothers interests at heart at all , this Court is VERY Nazi-like. I am the youngest in the family and i am close to my Mother,so this has destroyed my life , they have destroyed me and my Mothers family life,and any happiness and peace we had,

What can be done to remedy this situation?  Is anyone listening to their grievances and responding? My response sounds feeble, but I posted an appeal on Twitter this afternoon asking for any MP followers to do something about these courts. I hope someone will listen.

The Daily Mail story referred to an internet forum which could help. I am not sure if this is the one in question called Court of Protection problems. It seems that sadly, there are plenty others in the same boat.

It’s time that this court stood for what it was intended to do.


8 Comments

  1. Ian Walker

    Our family too has been hugely frustrated by long delays and incredibly odd decisions by District Judges at the COP over the last 5 years – all of which have resulted in our losing hundreds of thousands of pounds in being unable to sell our house and to downsize / move on. We are marooned by their inaction, we cannot get on with our lives, and we continue to haemorrhage precious funds.

    Does your PR company or the Forum have any teeth to influence things????

  2. I just shake my head when I read this. How can such a body prevent a child visiting her mother? How did they get that right?

  3. “lots of people are confused between the Court of Protection, professional deputies, the public guardian and local authorities.” The court system and its terms and conditions should be reviewed to benefit such types of people.

  4. Kate, I agree that the Mail article was badly researched. But it doesn’t diminish the terrible difficulties that many families are suffering as a result. Something has gone wrong somewhere and this court system needs to be thoroughly reviewed.

  5. electro-kevin

    Isn’t this covered by a ‘living will’ ?

    Not many people know about these. Perhaps you could enlighten them.

  6. This is why it is important to make use of the Power of Attorney. You are in control rather than the state bodies.

  7. KateCorday

    That article in the Mail was extremely badly researched, full of inaccuracies and it seems when the writer couldn’t get the information he wanted, he just made it up.

    I would suggest a sensible way forward would be for you to do a bit of research into the matter yourself. It’s a sad fact that vulnerable people are more likely to be abused by people close to them than anyone else. Courts like this have to make difficult decisions – it’s rarely black and white – and people are often left hurt. The trouble with the Mail is they’re very keen to talk to the ones who feel they have been wronged but don’t want to talk to anybody else.

    A lot of these people are confused between the Court of Protection, professional deputies, the public guardian and local authorities. You get a very muddled picture from these accounts.

    So, do a bit of research, go to the websites of these government organisations, read their annual reports. Talk to some local authorities, professional deputies, Alzheimer’s charities, etc. I’m not saying the CoP will come up smelling of roses but you’ll certainly get a very different picture.

  8. It looks like you need to pass these messages on to the Mail on Sunday, Ellee.

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  1. Government urged to review family law and secret courts « Ellee Seymour MCIPR - [...] invited to attend this hearing because of my post about the Court of Protection which continues to arouse considerable…

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