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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 17613
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My future son in law & daughter are holding onto my legal

Customer Question

My future son in law & daughter are holding onto my legal papers which date back some 30 years ago. How can I get them back from them, prevent him from copying them & sharing them via media, etc plus using them against me
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I live in East Sussex England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Ask them for the papers, but they have flatly refused to give them to me, I have also received a lot of mental, emotional, verbal & physiology abuse from my future son in law overthem
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: What is the chargers for their consultation
Submitted: 22 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 22 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

I will need more background please -

what is the reason your daughter and her fiance are doing this?

what are these legal papers?

would you like to get injunction to stop contact?

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
The legal papers involved the removal of my eldest two children from my care in 1990/1991, because of my ex husband, who now resides as her majesty pleasure in Lewes. They wish to use the papers against my by maintaining I am a fur child & child abuser because of a fight they had in March this year, which nearly drove me to suicide as it spiked memories from my abusive marriage to my first husband
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Just a written response will do, as I am busy supporting a client with high needs this week
Expert:  F E Smith replied 22 days ago.

There is no statutory or regulatory duty of confidentiality with regard to these papers BUT depending on the nature of them, there is a common law duty of confidentiality.

Because of the nature of the documentation and the risk that if the matter became protracted, they could simply, out of spite or whatever, disclose all these documents or destroy them, you need to take action urgently and to do so without telling them.

Applying for a prohibitory (preventing) or mandatory (compelling) injunction is relatively straightforward. Just work it through a bit at a time.

There is a specific court order form N 16 A injunction application form which is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n16a-application-for-injunction-general-form

And you will also need court form N1 which is here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n1-claim-form-cpr-part-7

I have no idea why some require the extra N1 form because in my opinion it doesn’t add anything to the process but if they want it, let them have it. Alternatively you could use N208, which is virtually the same as N1. The difference is that N1 is part 7 of the Civil Procedure Rules and N208 as part 8 of the civil procedure rules.

If you want to know what the difference between part 7 and part 8 is, join the queue. Part 7 is appropriate if there are lot of evidential issues but how you decide that, the majority of solicitors don't even know.

So you can use one or the other.

The court fee is GBP308

You are going to need also a witness statement in this format

Please note that the Statement of Truth at the end of a witness statement has changed. It changed quietly on 6 of April 2020.

Here is the form of witness statement on the government website which at the time of putting the link together, still had the old Statement of Truth.

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/standard-directions/general/witness-statements

Here is the new wording: https://parissmith.co.uk/blog/guidance-signing-statement-of-truth/

it is referred to in box 6 of the N16

if there is some urgency with this you can make an emergency application and the next 48-hour is. You would need to attach a Certificate of Urgency (a letter headed as such) saying why this is urgent.

Incidentally, it would be a good idea to attach screenshots or documents, and in the witness statement you would say “a copy (or a screenshot) of the XXX is attached marked Exhibit A”. You then write Exhibit A (and so on and so forth) at the top of the exhibit.

You also need to ask the court to award costs against the other person, in your favour and in that respect you need a timesheet of everything that you have spent timewise and moneywise, including this advice, at GBP19 per hour.

Your order free for an order that they are not allowed to disclose the contents of the documentation and that they return them to you immediately and they pay the costs of the court application.

It would be an ex parte application meaning that you do it on your own and you don’t tell them. The first they know is when they get the court order.

You can also ask for an order that they refrain from contacting you either directly or through A 3rd party.

You can actually do this with the police but I would suggest the civil application because you want the papers back which the police will not get involved with. Having said that, depending on how they toss come to have these papers, it may be theft and it could be a police matter. However some police forces are not particularly interested unless its clear-cut theft.

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.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

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

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

That only applies to new threads, not this one. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.

FES