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plclegal
plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8297
Experience:  Barrister at law
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My brother in law has applied for a special guardianship

Customer Question

My brother in law has applied for a special guardianship order in reference to my son. There is no reason my child should be removed from my care, what do I need to do?
JA: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in family court?
Customer: I received a letter saying he has applied to the court for it and I have a court date for 4th October
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county does he live in?
Customer: It’s Bournemouth & Poole Family Court
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: My sons dad (the one who made the applications brother) died while I was pregnant if that is relevent, so emotions are high. And access has never been restricted. They see him regularly. Is this free? Sorry! And thank you
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  plclegal replied 12 days ago.

Good evening.

My name is ***** ***** I specialise in family law. I’m happy to assist you today and I appreciate that is is important that you find a resolution as soon as possible.

Please note that our discussions on this site are for general information purposes and do not create an lawyer-client relationship. It is always recommended that you consult with a local solicitor for specific legal information.

I'll do my best to resolve this for you, please give me time to review your question and I will revert back to you shortly.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you so much, look forward to hearing from you
Expert:  plclegal replied 12 days ago.

Very happy to assist. This is however a highly unusual application.

Could you possibly upload the section of the application that details the reasons for the application? This will better enable me to advise you on the issues you need to consider. You can attach as a PDF or as a screen grab/ photo, via the paperclip of file symbol.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi, thanks for your response.
So I have a lot of paperwork that came through, I’ve read through it all & no where does it say on what basis the application was made. I emailed the court and the judge responded and said it was an ‘application to *apply* for a SGO’, but couldn’t tell me anything else. He said I would have to attend court and ‘tell the court my position’.
I have a document with a court case number, saying I have to attend court on 8th October, and that said person has applied for SGO. No reasons given. I have been asked to send in my response, if I contest it, which of course I do. But I’m not sure how to contest if I don’t actually know what was said. It’s all really strange and no one can seem to help me. I’ve spoken to CSA and they just told me the best thing I can do is to get a statement from anyone that knows me, (a social worker, employer etc…) in case I need it in court.
I have been sent a C1A form, but it’s blank, which the lady at CSA said was strange as usually there are allegations of some sort on them that I can rebute. The person who made this application won’t speak to me. I’ve tried to call him several times and he is completely ignoring my calls. I’m at a loose end and I’m not prepared to go to court if I’m not 100% sure what I’m up against.
I’m sorry if that doesn’t help, but it’s all I know myself. Thanks again, I appreciate that’s a lot of information but like you say, I’ve done a bit of Googling and it seems to be a rare occurrence. It’s a weird situation and it was done behind my back and I don’t know why. I’m just scared that someone has essentially applied to remove my child from my care for no apparent reason and I don’t know how to defend myself when I’ve never done anything wrong, I have a seven year old who lives with me full time and is happy and thriving so I’m obviously a pretty good parent, I’ve never been in trouble with the law… CSA sort of told me I’m worrying over nothing if I have nothing to hide but I feel extremely overwhelmed and wondered if someone legally trained could offer me an insight instead.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
These are the emails I sent and received form the court. I don’t know if this will help anything, sorry!
Expert:  plclegal replied 11 days ago.

Thank you - that is actually helpful.

As he is not a legal parent, he has to ask the court for permission to apply for the order, which may of course not be granted.

If you are able to show the court that his application has no merit, and he has no standing to apply for the order, then the court could simply refuse him permission to even proceed with the application and the matter would go no further.

Special guardianship is a serious matter - it effectively replaces the birth parents with a substitute parent. It would remove your rights as a mother. If there's absolutely no justification for this then the application should not get past the permission stage, if I am honest.

The application should state why he is applying though, and to be fair to you, you need to see this to be able to present a coherent response. Do you have a copy of the C1 form that he submitted, or a supporting statement form him for example?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
That’s reassuring as I don’t have anything to hide and I really don’t believe he has any real reason to be doing this. It doesn’t. It doesn’t say anything. Like you can see I’ve asked the court why he has submitted the application and no one can/will tell me. The C1 is blank, and I don’t have it to hand as I gave the paperwork to my mum who said she will see if she can get her friend (i think he’s a retired solicitor but he’s away until the 10th and I couldn’t wait that long) to take a look. But yes, the C1 is totally blank and just a form for allegations of domestic abuse and harm. And there is no supporting statement of any kind. I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do with it. I’m thinking maybe I’ll phone the court again tomorrow and see if I get through to someone a little more helpful? I’m lost, but you’ve been really helpful and if nothing else I am feeling a little better hearing you say that if there’s no reason (which there isn’t) that it shouldn’t go any further. Where do you think I go from here? Do you think I need to hire a lawyer or would I be ok to turn up alone? Thank you!
Expert:  plclegal replied 11 days ago.

It's totally up to you whether you hire a lawyer - though you may not need to. If you can produce a position statement to outline why the application is without merit or good reason that will assist the court though, and it takes the pressure off you having to remember everything you want to say at the court hearing. I assume the hearing is by telephone/ microsoft teams? Or is it in person?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
for that, do I basically say what I’ve told you/in the email to the judge, right? I can definitely get supporting statements, if that would help? When my fiancée died I had a social worker involved with the kids and she is wonderful, I think she would write me something. It is in person. I thought it would be over the phone but it is face to face.
Expert:  plclegal replied 11 days ago.

Interesting.

I would have expected a distance hearing for this. Anyway, it makes little difference.

I would suggest you put together.a formal statement, attach any evidence you have in support such as supporting statements.

Don't simply email the judge, email the court admin desk with the case reference and attach your statement.

I trust that this assists?

Expert:  plclegal replied 11 days ago.

I didn't hear from you, but I trust that the information provided was of assistance.

Thank you for your enquiry today. I am happy to answer follow-up questions - please do get in touch with requests for extra information or further queries and I will do my best to help you.