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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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i am too illl to attend court and have a doctors letter -

Customer Question

i am too illl to attend court and have a doctor's letter - will this be enough
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i'm involved in a case which is due heard in the county court in coventry on Friday. The case involves an investigation into my finanacial affairs following on from bankruptcy last year. I have supplied some information but cannot account for various cash transactions to the trustee appointed by the creditor. I cannot make the court hearing this Friday due to injuries sustained from a car accident- i have a letter signed by my doctor stating that i am in considerable discomfort and that it will take aprrox 3 weeks to recover. My brother dropped the letter to the court and the officials said that it is still up to the judge as to whether the case can go ahead even in my absence- is this possible and what will happen if i am physically unable to attend.


Thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It really depends on the judge. Some judges are really pedantic.

If you want to be absolutely sure, the doctors in letter needs to say that because of these injuries you will not be able to attend that court hearing on that date.

If however the accident was some days ago or weeks ago, the judge is likely to take a very dim view of you advising the court 48 hours before the hearing.

A simple doctor's letter saying that you are ill and will not recover three weeks is certainly not enough

However it is worth telling you that the court may take the view that if you are well enough to attend the doctors surgery, you are well enough to go to court because it does not require any strenuous effort.


If you do not attend, you are likely to have the costs of whoever does attend awarded against you regardless of what the eventual outcome is.

The case will either be adjourned for the next available date or if there is some kind of claim against you, you will probably just get judgement against you regardless.

The best that you can hope for is that you are putting off the inevitable hearing and you have to pay costs for the other party for the wasted day.

The worst that can happen is that you lose by default and have do pay whatever is being claimed and the costs for the day

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo- The doctors letter gave specific details about the fact that i was experiencing persistent nausea from my injuries and the medication had the side effects of extreme drowsiness in the letter that was sent to me of the court date, it stated that failure to attend could result in asset seizure or imprisionment- how likely is this?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That letter is not enough.

It needs to say when the accident was and explain why, if the accident was some while ago, you were not able to advise the court earlier.

It also needs to say specifically why you are not able to attend that court on that date.

Without knowing the full circumstances behind the case I cannot say whether asset sees your or imprisonment is likely but it must be a possibility otherwise it would not be in the letter from the court.

The reason that imprisonment may be a possibility is that there appears to be some potentially fraudulent allegations here.

Unless you have some pretty strong evidence the court is going to draw the conclusion that you are simply trying to escape having to account to the court for whatever has happened.

My suggestion is that if you are able to attend court, you should do so unless you have the appropriate doctor's letter.

Saying that you would not be able to drive would not be sufficient because there is public transport and there are taxis.

By not attending court, you are putting yourself at risk and if you are attending as a result of a summons that is contempt of court and if you are in contempt of court you can be arrested and detained.

Without knowing chapter and verse of the whole case, it is impossible to say what is going to happen

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