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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16117
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Myself and my ex split up 5 years ago. We had 2 dogs which

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Myself and my ex split up 5 years ago. We had 2 dogs which she left with me. They have lived with me ever since and are now quite elderly. They are microchipped to my address, I pay their vets bills and for everything else. They stayed with her for a month last summer because I went away, and I had trouble getting them back so I vowed to never let her take them again. Up until 6 months ago when I put a stop to it, she used to turn up unannounced at my property and demand to see the dogs; she is very aggressive and argumentative, and it would upset both myself and our son who is only 12. So I told her in no uncertain terms that she was no longer welcome at my home. I met a new partner nearly a year ago, and since then she has suddenly demanded that i hand the dogs over to her, which I have refused to do. She is extremely controlling. I found out last week that she fraudulently changed both dogs microchip details to hers without my consent, which I have of course immediately changed back. I am now being threatened from her with court proceedings if I don’t comply with her demands. Where do I stand?
JA: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in family court?
Customer: No nothing that I know of it’s just threats
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 she live in?
Customer: She lives in Liverpool
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no I think that covers it
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Ps, we were never married

Good morning. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service.

she has threatened court proceedings but not taken them?

why did she leave dogs with you 5 years ago?

and you want to keep them as they are part of your famiy obviously -

you say she is very controlling - so she wants her way re the dogs?

are you prepared to also get court involved if necessary?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Good morningShe left them because presumably it wasn’t important to her to take them. They are 2 large dogs and she lives in a small ground floor flat. I have a 3 bedroom house with a garden.
Yes she has threatened them but I’ve had no contact from anyone to suggest that she’s taken it further.
She has stated in a text that “I have been issued a certificate to go to court which is still valid once the courts re-open”. What does this mean? Should I not have had any notification of this?
Yes she wants her way regarding the dogs, her text stated that “I will be going to court and taking them back permanently”. I am at my wits end and have no idea where I stand. She is very controlling in general, and I have been too passive from the start. She tries to poison my son against my partner and I aswell, it’s never ending and extremely stressful.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
If necessary yes I would take it further, but I’m keen to avoid the stress both on my son and myself and my partner.

Thank you. Tell her that you do not want her to visit the property again. Tell her that you have spoken to a solicitor and you feel that she is harassing you and therefore you don’t want her to court your property or speak to you or contact you in any way again and that if she does, you have been told to report the matter to the police with a view to having her warned (and if she carries on prosecuted) under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Harassment is defined as a course of action (more than once) which is intended to harass, does harass, is reckless as to whether it harasses, or if the average bystander would look at the conduct and think that it was indeed harassment.

Harassment is both a civil matter and a criminal matter.

If you are being harassed. Go to the police and ask them to warn the ex-under the Protection from Harassment Act. Some police forces take that very seriously and others not so and therefore, you may need to speak to a senior officer or put a complaint in writing to the Chief Constable.

Don’t let her have the dogs either for a walk or any other reason. Everything here points that to them being yours.

If she wants to go to court, let her but at least then it will be decided by a county court judge and from what you have said, I think it’s unlikely she would succeed.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you very much for your response I really appreciate it.
One thing I’d like you to clarify before I go is her threat that she has been issued a certificate to go to court once the courts re-open, what does this mean? Would I not have heard from someone if this was the case?

To be honest, I haven’t got a clue what she is talking about either. It may be a figment of her imagination or she may simply not understand whatever it is (if anything) that she has, or done, if anything. Ask her to send you a copy. You should indeed have had something from the court if there is anything on the agenda.

I am glad to help. Please don’t forget to use the rating service because it means that I can continue to provide affordable and timely legal advice to people with similar problems.

Although it says "rate to finish" it doesn't close the thread and we can still exchange emails.

You may need to login again to use the rating service.

Kind regards


F E Smith and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
You’ve been great, and just talking to someone in the know has been a huge weight off my mind. I will indeed give you a rating, a very good one, and if there is anything new to add in the coming days I shall let you know.Thank you again

Thank you for the kind words. I am glad to help.