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Aaron D
Aaron D, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 443
Experience:  LLB, BPTC
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I have a question about a current court case I’m going

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I have a question about a current court case I’m going through to which I am representing myself can you help at all?
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Yes it’s for a non mol. My ex has contested it and I need to write a third witness statement. I’m a little lost on what I need to do.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Gloucestershire
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: There’s police evidence of the allegations that I am making. The judge said that another hearing need to be done before the final hearing which could last a day. I just need some advice as I’m representing myself as I have been advised the judge is more understanding when you go alone. Can he contest a non mol? If so what do I need to put in the third witness statement

Hello, thank you for your question. My name is***** am a barrister and will assist you with this issue today.

Please be aware that this is an e-mail service rather than a live chat. Sometimes there will be some delay between responses but I will try to reply as soon as possible.

What did the judge say at the hearing/ in the order about this third statement? Did they perhaps say you need to write a statement in response to one filed by the Respondent?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
They said that I need to write a second statement in regards ***** ***** allegations Iv made. He has solicitor and I don’t do he’s writing a response to both. I have two weeks for mine and he has a month for his. Then they said something about a hearing on the 28th of July before the final one on the 17th of August. I believe this is because of the police records that can take awhile to get. I got a little confused as Iv made one statement I’m not sure why I need to do another but they told me to get some legal advice so here I am. I think also the third statement is because of recent text messages that have been sent via him.
I’m a little lost with all of this if I’m honest.

The advice you received that you're better off attending court on your own was not good advice. You'd be far better off getting a solicitor if you can. You'd probably qualify for legal aid. These can be quite complex cases.

So what usually happens is you issue an application and accompany that with a witness statement.

If the first hearing is "on notice" i.e. the Respondent has been told about it then the judge will give directions at that hearing if the matter is to be contested. This includes ordering a "scott schedule" which is a table where you set out your allegations in a list (normally limited to 5).

Often the judge also orders a narrative statement. This is where you go through each of the allegations and you explain what happened from your memory. You can attach copies of any text messages etc as exhibits.

You have to send a copy to the other side's solicitors and to the court. He then replies to what you've written in his own statement.

At the next hearing the judge will look at everything that is filed and see if the case is ready to go to a contested hearing. That is usually 1 day long and involves the you and the respondent each giving evidence and being cross-examined. At that hearing the judge makes findings about whether the allegations are true and whether an order is necessary.

I hope this helps, if you can please accept my answer and rate me 5 stars (in the top right of your screen) then Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

I will remain available for any follow-up questions.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
the next statement I have to give is just in list of what I can remember from memory. There’s more than 5 incidents does this matter.
I don’t qualify for legal aid on this. I can’t afford a solicitor to come with me Will this impact me a lot or not. If what I am saying is true and is backed up with evidence?

No, the list is called a Scott Schedule. Check the directions order to see if you have been ordered to prepare a schedule or just a statement.

The statement is a narrative statement so full numbered paragraphs setting out what you say happened. The judge obviously needed some more detail. Have a look at this for some advice:

In terms of legal representation, you originally said "I’m representing myself as I have been advised the judge is more understanding" so I thought you had made a deliberate choice not to use one. It's always easier to use a solicitor but you can do this yourself. You just need to put everything into a clear witness statement and back it up with whatever third party evidence you have e.g. messages, police records etc.

In term of more than 5 incidents. Note all incidents in your statement. If the judge wants you to cut down to 5 then they will tell you. Again, check the court directions order.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
In previous court proceedings for child arrangement order they advised me then that a judge is more understanding when you go it alone.
I think I understand. Thank you for your help

No problem. Good luck with the case.

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