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Booker

 

I have just read the latest scandal piece about the family justice system by Christoper Booker.  Now, Mr Booker has quite a bit of previous viz a viz accuracy of reporting despite being well-meaning and committed, so I will come back to this once the judgment is published.  [I have read all of the published judgments by Mrs Justice Simler up on Bailii, and it isn’t any of those – so will keep an eye out]

As ever with Mr Booker, if the facts are as he reports them, it would be right to be completely appalled and troubled, and this decision (if it turns out to be precisely as he reports it) would be very worrying for McKenzie Friends up and down the country.

Even the boy who cried wolf was of course, eventually right about the wolf, so Mr Booker may be an accurate reporter of facts here. Let’s see.

Here is his story

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10775631/Costs-ruling-in-family-court-penalises-those-helping-wronged-parents.html

 

Let’s break it down into the core allegations that are made

 

1. That a child was placed in foster care because social workers felt he needed speech therapy and mother disagreed.

 

2. Mother removed him from foster care

3. Mother was sent to prison for removing him from foster care

4. Whilst in prison, she was assaulted by prison staff and crippled

 

5. That she was then deported to America

 

6. That some people in the UK, having heard about her case, offered to help her, and a judicial review was brought

 

7. At a hearing in April, at which her McKenzie Friends “could not be present”,  Mrs Justice Simler decided that the case was entirely without merit  (the unspoken inference here is that the Judge was wrong to dismiss an application for judicial review at which the applicant did not show up. )

 

7a  That Mrs Justice Simler is “the latest recruit to the High Court team”   [well, this is theoretically possible, but I find her name as one of three Judges sitting in the Court of Appeal doing criminal cases, so it seems somewhat unlikely.  EDIT  – it does appear that she became a High Court Judge in October 2013, so I stand corrected.]

 

8. An order for costs was made, with the McKenzie Friends being considered to be “parties in the case” and liable for a cost order of £4,000

 

9. In effect, the judge was sending a warning to all such lay advisers that, by offering help to litigants, they now risk severe financial penalties if their case is lost.

 

 

I am fairly sure that points 6, 7 and 8 ARE true.  We will probably never know about 1-5, because they weren’t argued before the Judge (because the applicants didn’t attend the hearing).  You might think that for a McKenzie Friend, 8 is the most serious, and if that’s likely to be true, then point 9 is also true.

 

Well, not quite.

The article seems to confuse family courts and a court dealing with judicial review, but that’s an understandable mistake. In judicial review, it is not at all uncommon for a costs order to be made against the losing party, that’s how it works. You win the case, you get your costs from the other side. In family courts it is a very rare occurrance. It happens, but only where the conduct has been reprehensible.  One would assume that the McKenzie Friends bringing the judicial review understood the costs risks, and also understood that the costs position would have them personally on the hook for the costs order.  It doesn’t mean at all that a McKenzie Friend helping a parent with a FAMILY LAW case would be at risk of a costs order, unless their behaviour was extremely bad.   That’s a very important distinction – I can understand a journalist, even one who ostensibly writes about family law, not getting it but it is important if you are trying to imply that Justice Simler’s decision means that being a McKenzie Friend in care proceedings carries a personal costs risk

 

Here is the deal

 

If you bring a judicial review application and you lose, you are likely to have to pay the other side’s costs. Even if you brought the case in good faith and thought you were going to win.

The costs order can cover those who are funding the litigation on the loser’s behalf or conducting it

In a family case, it is extremely rare for a “loser pays costs” decision – the law is very very different, and is more on the basis that everyone covers their own costs unless costs were wasted by egregiously bad behaviour by one of the parties.

You therefore TAKE A RISK about costs in issuing judicial review that you DO NOT in a family case.  You can end up paying costs in judicial review even if you behaved impeccably, if you end up losing. You don’t pay costs in a family case if you lose, unless your behaviour is really bad.

 

So even the headline of this article “Costs ruling in family court penalises those helping wronged parents” is wrong by the fourth word, judicial review is not a family court.  Judicial review is far less forgiving than the family court – if someone doesn’t show up for a family court hearing or files a document late, the Court CAN be forgiving, in judicial review that’s going to be game over. A McKenzie Friend is at very little risk of a costs order in helping a parent in a family Court. I would hope that Booker’s take on this case is not going to put any of the people who do really important work helping parents off doing so.

 

[Is that fair? Was it the right thing to do in these circumstances, to these McKenzie Friends who were just helping a parent who they thought had been mistreated? Well, that’s probably a wider public debate, but if you know enough about the law to know how to bring a judicial review, then the expectation would reasonably be that you also know that costs are a risk in such an application. ]

 

 

ADDENDUM

It is very hard to be sure – but it appears that the family case might be this one – which I have written about before – London Borough of Barnet v M1 2012  http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCC/Fam/2012/5.html.

 

There are enough echoes within it to make it a possible match and the timelines fit with Mr Booker’s earlier article.

 

My previous piece  https://suesspiciousminds.com/2013/11/01/it-aint-me-babe-it-aint-me-youre-looking-for/   .

 

Mr Booker’s previous column about this woman   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/10308803/Deported-imprisoned-and-beaten-for-being-a-parent.html ]

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About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

183 responses

  1. Jerry Lonsdale

    If the Judicial Review was filed by the book, including a letter before claim, in that response to the LBC I am almost certain that responding authority would have highlighted their desire to recover costs if the application fails, it is somewhat of unwritten rule in that the costs part are included in any response to the LBC.

    having read this blog post over and over again I cannot see that a Judge would have the power to apply costs on the MKF, that would simply be wrong, however if in that the MKF has in fact filed the JR, compiled the applications et al, then that could be construed as the MKF acting outside the parameters of what an MKF can do.

    I am forever more correcting the masses to the meaning of MKF, no one can possibly be an MKF for any particular case unless the court has granted such powers to act in the remit of a MKF, prior to that the person is a Lay advocate,

    Example for that is I am on record to be the MKF for 4 of my current cases, I have two pending cases awaiting a hearing, I am not an MKF in those two latter cases until the court has permitted such, for those two cases I am simply a Lay Advocate or Lay advisor, nothing more,

    I am pleased that within the last few weeks the role of the MKF has been under the microscope, it hasn’t happened for some time, well Sir, I think it was about a year ago since the wrath of MKF cases were being dealt with in the COA.

    There was an article published on the Law Gazette on Thursday and some of the remarks and comments are quite unpalatable to read simply because the role of the MKF is gravely misunderstood, even by those who practice as professional MKF’s

    The article can be found here

    http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/culture-change-needed-to-embrace-fee-charging-mckenzie-friends/1/5040875.article?PageNo=2&SortOrder=dateadded&PageSize=10#comments

    • Jerry,

      It is hard to know the precise mechanism without seeing the papers, but it is quite possible to make a third-party costs order against a non-party or a wasted costs order against legal representatives.

      I’d suggest anyone getting involved as a lay advocate/advisor/representative in proceedings within the ambit of the costs provisions of the CPR ought to either have professional indemnity insurance or at least a solid grasp of when they might wind up with a personal liability for costs.

      On an aside, while you criticise others for how they describe their function as a McKenzie Friend, seems equally misleading to describe yourself as a ‘Lay Advocate’ when anybody who does not enjoy rights of audience has to ask for permission! ‘Lay Advisor’ seems closer to the mark.

      • Jerry Lonsdale

        Lay Advocates do not simply relate to those issues dealt with within a court arena, a Lay person if want for a better analogy, it was not meant as a criticism, you are absolutely correct with the indemnity insurance, it is however fraught with extreme difficulties in trying to obtain such insurance.

  2. forcedadoption

    Booker was as usual accurate as an examination of your 9 points will show when expanded.

    1. That a child was placed in foster care because social workers WITHOUT A COURT ORDER felt he needed speech therapy and mother disagreed.

    2. Mother removed him from foster care WITHOUT A COURT ORDER

    3. Mother was sent to prison for removing him from foster care SHE WAS SENT TO PRISON FOR KIDNAPPING A CHILD THAT WAS AT FIRST HELD NOT TO BE HER OWN AND PLEADED GUILTY ON ADVICE FROM HER SOLICITOR ! The boy was found to be her son after tests with DNA but by then she had served her sentence…….

    4. Whilst in prison, she was assaulted by prison staff and crippled

    5. That she was then deported to America WITHOUT HER ELEVEN YEAR OLD SON IN BREACH OF HER HUMAN RIGHTS;After arrival in usa her prison escort confiscated her passport and left her penniless (without the usual sum given to discharged prisoners) in a wheelchair in the airport with no ID,no cash,and no idea where to go as she could not leave usa for Ireland without a passport.

    6. That some people in the UK, having heard about her case, offered to help her, and a judicial review was .brought;
    The application was brought by the mother with the advice of the two Mckenzie friends but she was unable to return to the court because her passport was confiscated and video evidence was not possible either.The two advisers were just that as they had not been accepted as Mckenzie friends so there was little point in going for a client who was forbidden to attend.

    7. At a hearing in April, at which her McKenzie Friends “could not be present”, Mrs Justice Simler decided that the case was entirely without merit (the unspoken inference here is that the Judge was wrong to dismiss an application for judicial review at which the applicant did not show up. ) IRONIC THAT THE UK DEPORT A WOMAN AND A MOTHER; LEAVING HER IN A WHEELCHAIR IN WASHINGTON AIRPORT ,PENNILESS,FRIENDLESS,AND WITH NO DOCUMENTATION OF ANY KIND;
    AND THEN CRITICISE HER FOR NOT SHOWING UP FOR COURT IN UK !

    7a That Mrs Justice Simler is “the latest recruit to the High Court team” [well, this is theoretically possible, but I find her name as one of three Judges sitting in the Court of Appeal doing criminal cases, so it seems somewhat unlikely]
    SHE WAS HEAD OF CHAMBERS AS A BARRISTER LAST YEAR SO SHE MUST BE A NEWISH JUDGE !

    8. An order for costs was made, with the McKenzie Friends being considered to be “parties in the case” and liable for a cost order of £4,000

    9. In effect, the judge was sending a warning to all such lay advisers that, by offering help to litigants, they now risk severe financial penalties if their case is lost.

    A warning more than justified as all these two ladies did was advise someone in trouble .They thought she would testify herself not needing them, but video arrangements fell through without them knowing.
    On that basis lawyers should be liable for costs if their clients lose ! Not a bad idea actually !

    Please forgive capitals that occur when I FORGET TO LOOK AT MY SCREEN after typing a letter I !

    • Ah the old “I didn’t do it but my lawyer made me plead guilty” situation.

      As you know a lot about it, perhaps you can confirm whether this mother was indeed the mother in the Barnet v M1 case I’ve linked in my postscript.

  3. forcedadoption

    Yes the old ” You are bound to be found guilty , but you will get a lighter sentence if you plead guilty,” ! She was indeed foolish to trust her lwyer who she told me apologised later for giving her the wrong advice !In this case DNA proved the boy was in fact her son ,so she was clearly innocent but nevertheless she was deported to USA after her sentence had been served and her son (11 years old I think) was more fodder for the fostering and adoption industries.
    I think the case is the same one you mention as Barnet did figure……..

  4. I know EXACTLY who this case is about! There was an attempt to ‘recruit me’ to the case and in the end I found the mindset of the ‘McKenzie Friend’ so unbelievable and the behaviour of the Mother so illogical (she can’t even answer a basic question) I withdrew my participation. (Which of course they now want to paint on the Internet as being a ‘completely incompetent’.)

    As another poster said, you can not act as a McKenzie Friend without leave of the court and following the proper procedures. Until the permission/leave of the court you must call yourself a Lay Advisor/Lay Advocate……

    I do wish people would read and then digest and then think and then act……but they don’t. TC

    • forcedadoption

      Hard T.C for this mother to “think” when her son is taken from her with a view to forced adoption in UK and she is deported alone; dumped in her wheelchair in an airport in Washington with no money (none at all) no passport (confiscated by her uk ex-jailers) and no ID or other documents…………Such wanton cruelty should not receive support even from you T;C !

  5. https://suesspiciousminds.com/2013/11/01/it-aint-me-babe-it-aint-me-youre-looking-for/

    This link doesn’t seem to be working. My question is if she were beaten i while imprisoned, wouldn’t the staff members be charged with the crime?

    • forcedadoption

      Matt, Surely you must be joking???

      • Matt my understanding is that the Mother has made numerous accusations which can not be substantiated. She is unable to explain many of the events and her actions (such as living under a false identity with the child, exceeding visitor visa requirements, claiming she has health problems that no one can confirm, assaults that no one can confirm, etc) It would appear that her ‘McKenzie Friend’ bought her fantasy story and thought they could get publicity for themselves.
        As posted by someone on the law gazette link cited above:

        Has anyone seen the website “mckenzie-friends” They advertise themselves as an association of Mckenzie friends acting for litigants in person and were founded by one Belinda Mckenzie, who is no relation to the Mckenzie in the original case.

        A thorough review of their website doesn’t take too long before we stray into the world of wacko conspiracy theories.

  6. forcedadoption

    It’s perfectly clear that this mother lived under a false name to avoid detection when she overstayed her visa.For this offence her punishment was out of all proportion especially when compared with that given to illegal immigrants suspected of terrorism !
    There was no fantasy when her son was dragged back from Spain by social workers who persuaded the authorities the boy was not her son and that she had kidnapped a child who had not belonged to her.She was advised to plead guilty in UK because they at first refused to get DNA to prove his identity so she was told she had no defence.She was sent to prison in good health and whether she was beaten by prison staff or someone else the fact is she ended up crippled in a wheelchair ! The DNA eventually procured after she had served her sentence; proved the boy was her son but too late to stop adoption proceedings;She was immediately deported with two escorts to be dumped in the airport in Washington in her wheelchair with no money(who took the £80 normally given on release from prison?)Do any contributors applaud this cruelty??;Her escorts also took away her passport so she could not fly to Ireland where she has property and friends who had already booked her ticket.She could not even apply for work because she had no ID thanks to her ex prison escorts.She wanted to return to face the hearing on the adoption but could not and so she asked for a judicial review to study the way she was railroaded into prison,her son taken from her and her deportation separating her from her son.Belinda and Sabine advised her on this and expected her to give video evidence in court but this was refused by the court at the last moment . In any case there was no reason for these two ladies to attend as the main evidence was to come from the mother not from them. The penalty for daring to give advice to a mother in distress was a bill for £2000 apiece with the threat that it could be increased if they dared to dispute it !These are all verifiable facts not just hearsay accusations implying that the mother was crazy and got what she deserved !

  7. Ashamed to be British

    How can the judge recover costs from two people who had not brought a case into the court, (therefore weren’t personally responsible for the application) had been denied MKF status and weren’t there to defend themselves over that decision on the day?

    I hope they will be appealing that decision and that they get their JR over this ridiculous judgement (concerning them) !! If it was me he’d be straight in the RCJ

    • The reason is because a) they had no evidence to prove they had been ‘instructed’ by the Mother b)It became clear that Belinda and Sabine had completed all the paperwork with no input from the parent- which McKenzie Friends are not allowed to do c)It became clear to the court that IF Mother had herself had filed the application, it had no merit; that is she was unable to point to a point of law where the http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCC/Fam/2012/5.html ruling could be challenged.
      Further, Mother’s first error (among many) was as soon as any suggestion of removal of the child or arrest, she should have immediately notified US Citizen Services. It is also UK Law that if a non UK citizen is committed to prison for more than 2 years, as soon as that person is released from custody, they are to be immediately deported to the nation of their origin. If the child was born in Ireland and an Irish national, then the Irish High Commission should have been informed immediately.
      Now consider all the criminal acts committed and even Mother’s use of multiple identities and you have someone who created a completely ‘no win situation’.
      Once a UK court has an ICO, it is illegal to remove the child from the jurisdiction and is an arrestable offense.
      Mother sought a JR regarding her arrest, detention and removal of her child. This had no prospect of success. As these individuals were seeking a JR of a CRIMINAL matter, the ‘no costs’ order (which is the usual in the FAMILY court) does not apply.
      As these individuals did not do their homework on the law and process and procedure, the court had to impose a fine for ‘wasting court time’.

      • forcedadoption

        TC My previous post gave the facts.I will repeat some of them now for you.The mother’s ONLY offence was overstaying her visa ,an offence for which some are not only unpunished but treated almost like royalty !
        There was no ICO when she went to Spain,and it was an absurd pretext to drag the boy back to the uk to ostensibly receive therapy which I HEAR HE WAS NEVER ACTUALLY GIVEN!!
        There was every prospect of success if the mother had been allowed to return to uk to give evidence or if she had been allowed to give previously agreed video testimony but that was refused at the last minute.All the “would haves” and “should haves” you mention assume a mother well represented or clued up on UK law when in fact she was a foreign mother who had just had her son taken from her and then jailed for kidnapping a boy who they said was NOT her son !
        Can this excuse dumping a crippled lady in a wheelchair in a crowded US airport alone with no money ;no passport,and no papers of any kind?
        Keep avoiding the question you bloggers !

      • TC,

        McKenzie Friends are not allowed to ‘complete’ paperwork on behalf of litigants at all. That is ‘conducting litigation’ for the purposes of the legal services act and is (I think) technically a criminal offence. They can’t file documents with the court or accept service of documents either.

        McKenzie friends may, however, draft documents and forms for the litigant provided the litigant signs the statement of truth as if they had prepared the document and files it themselves.

        It is a narrow distinction. But anyone setting themselves up as a ‘for-pay’ McKenzie Friend ought to understand the difference as anyone crossing the line could get themselves and their client into trouble.

        If the two McKenzie Friends in question here tried to conduct litigation in the Administrative Court (and we don’t know if they did) then it might explain why the court dealt with them as it did.

      • Jim Nately
        At least you understand the distinction of ‘assisting to draft/advise’ and ‘doing it for them’.

        Also, we don’t know the contents of Mother’s application for a JR: what point of law was broken? (I don’t know if it could have been argued that the sentence of ‘manifestly excessive’)

        The only way to know that the video evidence was not going to happen would be either a)advanced notice or b) turning up on the day to be told.

        Again, I completely agree with the sentiments about all the injustices and wrongs in the Family Law System, but that is not what this is about. I have been ‘fighting the system’ for many years…so I am hardly a supporter of the status quo/current system.

        Jim Nately- I agree with you: I want to read Silber J’s order.

        It is just based on my knowledge, no way the situation would have really happened as claimed: ‘A woman in a wheelchair dumped at Dulles with no money and no passport’. She was advised to go to an Information Desk and ask for an official from the US State Department/Citizen Services.(I know because it was me that told her.) All she would have had to do is give her name, date and place of birth, social security number, last known address and the name of a relative. How do I know this? It happened to me! I was at Heathrow (Nov 13) and my bag with all my official documents was stolen…all I had in my hand was my boarding pass. Got to the plane ‘Your bag has been found and is in Lost Property- here is the reference number.’

        Got to the USA; gave them my details; I was found instantly; a phone call to a relative and ‘Welcome Home to the USA’ is what I got….

        Returning to the UK…..Hit passport control. Gave my name, address, National Insurance Number and the name of the person collecting me and the email from Lost Property detailing all the contents of my bag. ‘Welcome back to the UK.’ Within 15 minutes I had all my documents back (including my Residency Papers and all my jewelry, etc.- talk about a bad thief!- although they did charge me £20 for the pleasure…)

        *The fact that I know all my own details by memory is one thing….the fact that ‘the system’ could find me so fast is a different topic!)
        TC

  8. Booker reminds me of a used nappy being full of sh*t and of no further use.

    As for j.r. – in a wide range of cases applicants should be required to insure their liability for the defendant’s costs before the claim is issued – the premium to be recovered from the defendant if the claim succeeds.

  9. Ashamed, I assume the McKenzie friends were liable because they actively promoted and supported the case – it sounds highly unlikely that this mother would have brought it without them.

    Forced adoption, if this is the mother in the Barnet case, don’t you think Booker is being far too economical with the truth in suggesting that the child was only put into care because of the speech therapy issue and nothing else? The facts are simply horrifying.

    And I don’t understand why you suggest that the issue about the child’s identity was the fault of social services? It was the mother who was denying his identity in the teeth of reams of evidence against her, and social services and the local authority who were maintaining – entirely correctly – that he was her child.

    • What about the issue of the dogs and her ban on owning them; and one of the dogs who she should not have owned, bit the child? She went to Spain on the specific day that she knew an application for an ICO was being made. She was given a passport. She is the one who left Ireland over being convicted of benefit fraud. She is the one who told people that she witnessed her mother being murdered by her step-father; only for her Mother to be alive and well in Virginia……

      • forcedadoption

        Talk about hearsay gossip !Even if these absurd allegations were true which they are not, does it warrant being deported without her child and, dumped in a wheelchair in a busy US airport with no money,no passport,and no ID or papers of any kind? The question none of the “system supporters” want to answer !!

  10. Ashamed to be British

    Thanks all, I understand (I think) although do not see it as morally correct to punish anyone who has not taken a case to court themselves/about themselves and is just a supporter/helper of the parent. Naughty in anyone’s books.

    Cheeryble – I would have no problem in believing the LA would remove a child because she refused speech therapy, they would see that as neglect, children have been removed for far far less

    • The point is that if you look at the law report you can see that there was much, much more to the decision in this case. Therefore Booker’s suggestion that the child was removed only because of the speech therapy is a serious misrepresentation of the facts.

      • Ashamed to be British

        He does good work in bringing the corruption to the attention of the public, but there have been many cases I do know that he’s reported on, where I think to myself … you just took this person’s word for it didn’t you? The facts aren’t quite as simple as you’re reporting them to be. If he’d seen the files he wouldn’t report on many of them

      • forcedadoption

        “Ashamed” ,I have been working closely with Christopher Booker for around 7 years on every family case he has written on;I have NEVER known him write an article without looking at the paperwork,especially correspondence from social workers,conversations with witnesses, and position statements from the local authorities.We generally start from the premise that if all the social workers say (even hearsay) is true ;then are their actions justified? The answer is usually NO !Furthermore he is 100 times more accurate than social workers and the only time judge publicly rebuked him for innaccuracy some years ago it turned out that he had found an innaccuracy about a child’s injuries on my website two days before Booker’s column was published so he had to withdraw!Easy to say someone is untruthful but difficult to ever find an example of significance !

      • Ashamedtobebritish

        Well I do know of one that was reported and the mother was not as innocent as family & friends made out – Christopher even wrote that they had confirmed, so he’d relied on their character references, one of those ‘friends’ being the latest boyfriend who she’d only just met.
        He was factually incorrect in his report regarding issues surrounding the case

      • forcedadoption

        Easy to say Christopher was innaccurate but not so easy to give a specific example !
        Those who say he is innaccurate are themselves innaccurate when they make such claims without giving details of any innaccuracy of significant importance !

      • Ashamedtobebritish

        In this instance I can’t

      • I wrote a long response to this, but there doesn’t really seem much point. If Booker’s position on evolution, asbestos, climate change, bse, energy and a High Court judge berating him for inaccurate reporting haven’t shaken your faith in him, there isn’t anything I’m likely to be able to say that would affect you. I’m sure that he is a lovely bloke, and perhaps he actually means all of the stuff that he writes. I would prefer to use other sources if I wanted an accurate account of events.

      • forcedadoption

        Yes suespicious you wrote a long piece ,but the only specific innaccuracy you pointed out was Booker’s description of judge Simmler as the newest recruit to the judges of the family courts which you doubted and then when it turned out to be true it was YOU that apologised for YOUR innaccuracy not his! The only other specific item was the high court judge who berated him for claiming that a baby had been removed for a small fracture when in fact it was for several fractures .He too was forced to “withdraw” when it became apparent that the judge had got the misinformation from my forced adoption website on the Friday when I prematurely published a draft that Booker had sent me ,two days before Booker’s article appeared on the Sunday with the item corrected ie Booker’s article was accurate and I was the one who apologised ,not to the judge but to Christopher for putting a draft of his column on my site instead of waiting for the finished article !Iwas flattered that the same judge took the time in court to read a long extract from my site though I must admit that it was not in anyway with approval !
        Lastly Booker’s views on global warming ,asbestos,and the European Union may not accord with your opinions but that does not make them innaccurate as many eminent people share them as indeed I do myself !

      • No Ian, I mean I wrote a long piece on his inaccuracies, which I deleted because I knew it would make no difference. And your final sentence shows me that I was right. [The High Court case wasn’t criticising him for the difference between one small fracure and several, it was for the difference between ‘faint bruises’ and six metaphyseal fractures. ]

        If, as you say, Booker saw all of the court papers before writing his first piece, do you not think it was slightly disengenous not to mention that his primary source for all of this scandal was a mother who had a psychiatric diagnosis as being a fantastist? You may not, I suppose.

      • forcedadoption

        The undisputed facts are bad enough ! This lady was deported without her son and this prevented her attending court to oppose his forced adoption.Two ladies who helped her are threatened with having to pay thousands of pounds in costs.Hired gun psychiatrists would probably diagnose myself and Booker with personality disorders given half a chance and should never be taken seriously;I talked not just to M but to prison visitors,and to staff at the refuge she found after a few days at the airport ! Nobody has seriously contradicted anything of importance that she said and neither has anyone explained why her passport was confiscated by her escorts and her “leaving prison money” either stolen or at any rate not handed over.

      • forcedadoption

        I should also mention that there was no confusion by Booker between family court and judicial review.The two ladies helped a mother who had been deported to the USA leaving her son to be placed for adoption and leaving her unable to oppose it. The two ladies had not even been acceped as McKenzie friends by the court and had no need to attend once it was ruled at the last moment that the mother could not give video evidence (often used however by social workers as evidence from children in care when it suits them);This case could certainly scare off potential helpers of parents in trouble and that was probably the objective of this judge !
        Please don’t pretend that due to the distinction between judicial review and family court care proceedings, potential helpers would grasp the difference and take the risk .They would not !

      • As so often Ian, I have no idea what you mean here. The headline says “family court”, the case is about judicial review. As I carefully explain, the difference in cost risks between judicial review and family courts are huge.

      • yes….I also thought the same as you suess:

        As so often Ian, I have no idea what you mean here. The headline says “family court”, the case is about judicial review. As I carefully explain, the difference in cost risks between judicial review and family courts are huge.

        I was using the same line of logic as yourself….

      • forcedadoption

        I write such clear and simple english that lawyers cannot understand it! I will repeat in words that (hopefully) cannot be misunderstood ! If the judge awards £2000 damages against each of these two ladies it will SCARE OFF others who might help parents in a similar plight ! The average helper or adviser would not know the difference between judicial review and family court care proceedings ,or the difference in risk to such helpers.The message to the public would be simple “if you see a parents in trouble because their child has been taken DO NOT HELP or you may be liable for costs” If one kind of hearing is riskier than another that is not something that would occur to well meaning folk going to help parents in trouble.They would just avoid the risk and back off ! Most non charging McKenzie friends are people who have little knowledge of the law and its finer distictions ,they are simply friends who are not intimidated by social workers and judges but who will instill enough courage and confidence into parents that at least they fight back.Such folk would however rarely take the risk of paying thousands of £s costs for their trouble .When legal aid was cut it was surely not also intended to scare off well meaning friends and advisers from helping parents whose children had been taken,and leave them isolated and alone?

      • There is the error of your thinking….some know the differences in JR and appeals and everyday proceedings….

      • forcedadoption

        Just ask the average person for yourself if they know of the difference in the risk of being landed with costs between family court care proceedings and judicail reviews ! I doubt if one in a hundred would know that or even what on earth you were talking about ! This ruling could scare off most if not all helpers and advisers !

      • Ian,

        1) The statement the latest recruit to his [i.e. Sir James Mumby’s] High Court team, Mrs Justice Ingrid Simler is wholly wrong. Mrs Justice Simler is allocated to the Queen’s Bench Division and is not a family judge. If you are going to adopt the language of ‘High Court teams’ she is the latest addition to Sir Brian Leveson’s (i.e. the President of the QBD) High Court team. Booker is wrong.

        2) The difference between starting an application for judicial review and responding to care proceedings are, I would have thought, wholly and plainly obvious. The forms are completely different—one has “Judicial Review Claim Form” written in massive letters at the top, the ones concerning family proceedings have the word “Children” in the title massive letters at the top. Anyone literate can tell the difference.

        3) The only person who has caused any confusion between Judicial Review and care proceedings is Christopher Booker—and if anyone has scared anyone off it is him. He could have quite easily said something along the lines of “the two McKenzie Friends were involved in starting a claim against [whichever public body it was] in the civil courts. As the civil courts have very different rules about paying costs, these two ladies found themselves ordered to pay the other side’s costs”. That would have been clear, simple and accurate. And avoided the ‘scaring-off’ effect.

        Blame Christopher Booker’s failure to adequately explain the proceedings if anyone is scared off.

      • Jim Nately- thank you,,,Made the point better than me!!!

      • forcedadoption

        Jim you honestly don’t understand ordinary non legal folk ! Most will not read Booker but will read the popular press if it is reported that judges can penalise anyone who helps parents when their children are taken from them by the local authority.And that is how it will be reported ,without further complications or descriptions of processes, or analysis of any kind.
        “BEWARE helping such parents or you’ll get done for costs ” is the simple message that will come across in the popular press and for that reason I reckon the judge will probably not go ahead with her threats !

      • If MacKenzie friends can’t tell the difference between Judicial Review and Family Court proceedings, they have no business whatsoever starting a Judicial Review application. Other considerations apart, these two seem to have been totally unaware that, not only did they put themselves at risk of having to pay costs, they put the lady they were purporting to help at even greater risk of it.

        If you want Booker inaccuracies, you only have to look at his article on the Pacchieri case. Remember the claim that she was hospitalised for a ‘panic attack’ and that the Caesarean was done at the behest of Social Services?

      • forcedadoption

        Alot of MCKENZIE friends are simply local business people( shopkeepers etc) who have more confidence than disraught parents who need a shoulder to lean on and cry on ! Booker was accurate as there certainly was a panic attack and the presence of social workers immediately before and after the birth indicates their influence in the decision to operate . These are in any case petty concerns that distract from the basic facts that this woman was kept prisoner for months ,refused permission to return to Italy,drugged,sliced open so that her baby could be taken to feed a rapacious adoption industry leaving the mother to go home without her baby.

      • Ian,

        So you’re saying that because you don’t think the average person understands the difference between bringing a claim against a government department (or other public body) and care proceedings—and frankly, I don’t think that is the case—you think the best approach is to not even try to explain? And to actually write the story on the basis that they are the same? That is is absurd.

        You said “BEWARE helping such parents or you’ll get done for costs ” is the simple message that will come across in the popular press and for that reason I reckon the judge will probably not go ahead with her threats! .

        That’s an interesting angle on the reason for the story—to deliberately create a misleading newspaper article in an attempt to pressure a High Court judge to set aside a costs order. I can’t see it working: once sealed court orders are legally binding obligations not threats. If the two protagonists haven’t made an application to go before Simler J and given a good reason why they shouldn’t pay then the orders stand and there’s nothing Booker can do about it.

      • forcedadoption

        Extraordinary how supporters of the present familycourt system consistently attribute words and thoughts to those who disagree with them and then act triumphantly after exposing their own suggestions as absurd. In short knocking down aunt sallies !
        I never said that the average person could not understand the difference between proceedings against a government and opposing care proceedings and neither did Booker What I did say was the average person would not know what a judicial review was. I reckon they would not care even if they did ! The essence of the story is that those who help parents are liable to get penalised .End of story !
        In this particular case a firm of solicitors acting on behalf of M filed the application fror a judicial review and the two ladies intended to be witnesses on her behalf .Since M did not or could not give evidence there was little point in their going to court (little use I reckon even if they had gone).I think this judge like a previous one mentioned in the column might have egg on her face…

      • What rubbish. If you’re going to accuse others of invoking a strawman argument you need to actually make clear what your position is. But let’s just unpack it a bit.

        You said (April 26, 2014 at 9:47 am) If the judge awards £2000 damages against each of these two ladies it will SCARE OFF others who might help parents in a similar plight ! The average helper or adviser would not know the difference between judicial review and family court care proceedings ,or the difference in risk to such helpers.

        You also said (April 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm) I never said that the average person could not understand the difference between proceedings against a government and opposing care proceedings and neither did Booker. What I did say was the average person would not know what a judicial review was.

        Judicial review is an action against the government or another public body. That is the point. It is possible to explain the concept without having to use the words ‘judicial review’. And you accept that most people would understand the difference when expressed in those terms.

        Booker’s article admits three possibilities:
        1) He doesn’t understand the difference, or at least doesn’t understand what judicial review is.
        2) He does understand the difference but feels that he can’t adequately explain the difference in layman’s terms. That seems unlikely as the fundamental difference is, as outlined above, very simple.
        3) He does understand the difference and chose to ignore it as the rhetoric ‘people who try to help parents in family courts get hit with £4k costs order’ sounds better than ‘two people who get involved with a Claimant bringing an action against a public body get hit with costs order when claim fails for having no merit’.

        Finally, for what it is worth, your new account of these two characters being mere witnesses in proceedings run by solicitors flatly contradicts Booker’s account that they were trying to become ‘validated’ (his word) as McKenzie Friends.

      • forcedadoption

        For goodness sake stop playing with words ! Two ladies tried to help a mother in trouble and get punished and probably fined ! That is the reality and I doubt if either lady considered for a moment the legal differences between two types of court actions !
        Bookers article is not limited to the possibilities you postulate, he merely points out that you help parents at your peril if they are in conflict with family courts and without that conflict there would have been no application by M’s solicitors for a judicial review.(but maybe THEY should pay the costs or are they immune?);Who pray are you to be sure that in future McKenzie friends will not also be fined in family courts if their clients lose.Ths case could be the thin end of the wedge !
        Lastly of course these ladies intended to be Mckenzie friends but once that judge decided that the mother could not give evidence there was no purpose in going to court or applying to be anything at all or for any application at all !
        Common sense isn’t it But to most lawyers that concept is heresy !

      • For goodness sake stop playing with words
        It is hardly playing with words when it changes entire thesis of the article.

        Two ladies tried to help a mother in trouble and get punished and probably fined ! That is the reality and I doubt if either lady considered for a moment the legal differences between two types of court actions !
        It is not impossible they didn’t and thought they could be involved with bringing a claim against someone else without there being any costs consequences. But that is not how the law works in this country and that is not difficult to find out. It is, for a starter, on the MoJ JR factsheet which comes top of the Google ranking for the search “bringing a judicial review”.

        Bookers article is not limited to the possibilities you postulate
        So what are the other options? He either understood the difference or he didn’t. And if he did, I can’t see another reason for not explaining it to his readers. It goes to the central point of his article.

        …he merely points out that you help parents at your peril if they are in conflict with family courts
        And he is wrong. As I have said repeatedly, these women chose to enter the arena of civil litigation.

        but maybe THEY [the solicitors] should pay the costs or are they immune?
        No, solicitors can (and not infrequently do) get stuck with orders for wasted costs. They are not going to be liable for these ladies’ costs though—the order was (as I understand) against them.

        Who pray are you to be sure that in future McKenzie friends will not also be fined in family courts if their clients lose.
        A barrister, who understands the difference between the costs rules of the CPR and the FPR. So long as they don’t act in bad faith so as to cause other parties to waste costs or try to disrupt the court process there will be no basis to make them pay costs. And it isn’t a fine—costs are, as the name implies, sums of money that other people (potentially including HMCTS) have had to pay because of how someone else has conducted their case.

        Lastly of course these ladies intended to be Mckenzie friends but once that judge decided that the mother could not give evidence there was no purpose in going to court or applying to be anything at all or for any application at all!
        Common sense isn’t it But to most lawyers that concept is heresy!

        To me, it would seem like common sense to write to the court, explain the situation and ask for a different hearing date or say that the claim will be discontinued. It would seem to me to be common sense (and basic courtesy) to ensure if a judge is there to hear the case and other people are going to attend that those people don’t waste their time by turning up.

      • forcedadoption

        F.A For goodness sake stop playing with words

        JN It is hardly playing with words when it changes entire thesis of the article.

        FA NOTHING YOU HAVE SAID CHANGES THE RISK PEOPLE RUN IF THEY HELP THOSE
        WHO HELP PARENTS WHOSE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN TAKEN

        FA Two ladies tried to help a mother in trouble and get punished and probably fined ! That is the reality and I doubt if either lady considered for a moment the legal differences between two types of court actions !

        JN It is not impossible they didn’t and thought they could be involved with bringing a claim against someone else without there being any costs consequences. But that is not how the law works in this country and that is not difficult to find out. It is, for a starter, on the MoJ JR factsheet which comes top of the Google ranking for the search “bringing a judicial review”.

        FA fantasy land!Can you just see 2 kindly civilian ladies sttling down to read the JR factsheet as their evening reading material? Get real only lawyers read that stuff……….

        FA Bookers article is not limited to the possibilities you postulate

        JN So what are the other options? He either understood the difference or he didn’t. And if he did, I can’t see another reason for not explaining it to his readers. It goes to the central point of his article.

        FA His article was not written to explain finer points of law to bewildered readers.It was to emphasise the injustice of calling interpol to extradite a boy from Spain born in Ireland of an American mother to feed the greedy adoption industry.Also to jail the mother then deport her so she could not attend court to oppose the adoption and finally fine two ladies who dared to offer her help and advice !

        FA…he merely points out that you help parents at your peril if they are in conflict with family courts

        JNAnd he is wrong. As I have said repeatedly, these women chose to enter the arena of civil litigation.

        FAThese ladies were just good samaritans trying to help a lady in distress and may get punished for it because they dared to help a mother oppose a corrupt system of law

        FAbut maybe THEY [the solicitors] should pay the costs or are they immune?

        JN No, solicitors can (and not infrequently do) get stuck with orders for wasted costs. They are not going to be liable for these ladies’ costs though—the order was (as I understand) against them.

        FA Who pray are you to be sure that in future McKenzie friends will not also be fined in family courts if their clients lose.

        JN A barrister, who understands the difference between the costs rules of the CPR and the FPR. So long as they don’t act in bad faith so as to cause other parties to waste costs or try to disrupt the court process there will be no basis to make them pay costs. And it isn’t a fine—costs are, as the name implies, sums of money that other people (potentially including HMCTS) have had to pay because of how someone else has conducted their case.

        FA BARRISTERS ARE NOT FORTUNE TELLERS so I DOUBT THAT YOU CAN BE CERTAIN THAT IN THOSE WHO HELP PARENTS IN FAMILY COURTS WILL ALSO NOT BE STUNG FOR COSTS;THIN END OF A NASTY WEDGE !

        FA Lastly of course these ladies intended to be Mckenzie friends but once that judge decided that the mother could not give evidence there was no purpose in going to court or applying to be anything at all or for any application at all!
        Common sense isn’t it But to most lawyers that concept is heresy!

        JN Not me, it would seem like common sense to write to the court, explain the situation and ask for a different hearing date or say that the claim will be discontinued. It would seem to me to be common sense (and basic courtesy) to ensure if a judge is there to hear the case and other people are going to attend that those people don’t waste their time by turning up.

        FA i gather the judges decision to refuse video evidence( despite the fact that social services use it frequently ,when it suits them for children to testify)., came at thelast moment so maybe the judge should pay costs !They did then notify the court in advance that they would not be attending.They were not representing M so it was up to her or her solicitors (who never came off record) to notify the court that the claim could not go ahead if M was not allowed to give her evidence after deportation and refusal of video.

  11. The practice direction requires notice before a decision to award costs against a non-party. This did not happen here.

    These sorts of things are preventing people from challenging the state far more than any changes to legal aid.

    • That is not what the rules (48.2 & 7) say.

      For both wasted costs orders (against a legal representative) and a non-party costs orders the requirement is only to give the person subject to the costs order a reasonable opportunity to attend a hearing at which the matter is considered.

      Without knowing the procedural history, and in particular what was on the notice(s) of hearing, who it was sent to, who were or were not parties (and when they were made parties), who signed which parts of the claim form, who filed it, and what order was made it isn’t possible to say whether the procedural requirements were met.

      It does, however, beg the question of why the two McKenzie Friends couldn’t attend and, if they had a good reason, why they didn’t ask the court to vacate and relist the hearing or excuse their attendance BEFORE the hearing.

      In any event, no doubt if the order was made in excess of jurisdiction the aggrieved McKenzie Friends will appeal or make an application to set aside or vary.

      • forcedadoption

        Why on earth should they attend? The mother concerned was going to testify by video from the USA where she had been dumped so cruelly, but at the last moment the court refused video so she could not give her evidence.There was therefore nobody present in court to receive advice and support from either of these two ladies,so no point in them going to apply to be McKenzie friends.Why should they be penalised for advising someone in trouble? You tell me !

      • As I say, Ian, without knowing the procedural history it is impossible to say.

        There are broadly two possibilities here:

        1) these two people were utterly blindsided by the order made against them, have genuinely have no idea what they might have done, that or why they needed to attend and Silber J has made a spectacularly unlawful order which will undoubtedly be overturned on appeal, or

        2) they had perfectly good notice there was a hearing going ahead that they were required to attend, they decided neither to go nor seek permission not to attend and blithely ignored a court order and as a result they got stuck with a costs order against them.

        As the judgment isn’t up on BAILII yet I can’t say which of the two is the case. But, with the greatest of respect, both Booker and yourself are utterly crap at presenting an impartial and objective account of the both sides of the story and tend to skew your account to fit your narrative. If this is Barnet v M1 & M2 2012] EWCC 5 (Fam) then the reporting of the basis upon which the court made its orders is wildly inaccurate.

        So I’m disinclined to be drawn on the issue until I can read why Silber J made the orders she did.

      • forcedadoption

        For the fifth or sixth time I raise the question ” Why was this MOTHER dumped in her wheelchair in a busy U.S airport ,penniless,with no passport or papers to establish her ID;
        Why was she deported without her son (born in Ireland) so he could be forcibly adopted?
        Why was nothing done about the injuries she suffered in prison that left her crippled?
        Why was she refused giving video evidence at the last moment and fined for her absence?
        Why on earth should two ladies who helped her be penalised for not turning up to a hearing where they had no right of audience?

    • forcedadoption, I suspect the reason people aren’t responding to your emotive posts about the mother allegedly being dumped in a wheelchair etc etc is that we have no way of knowing whether that version of the facts is the truth. The reported judgment demonstrates that there was much more to the case than Booker suggests, and therefore frankly I for one would not trust any of his version of events without good independent verification.

      • forcedadoption

        I spoke frequently not only to the mother concerned but also to the staff at the sort of refuge where she eventually found herself after a few days at the airport! I spoke to her via an airport payphone so I don’t suppose she hung around the airport for at least 3 days and then slept in a refuge through any kind of choice;
        The important thing is that she has been denied all contact with her son (direct or indirect) for well over two years and that is barbaric; All forced adoption is barbaric !

      • forcedadoption

        As I said before,in this case I spoke by phone ,not only to the mother but also to those who visited her in prison and to staff at the refuge that rescued her after a few days of her sleeping on airport benches !Nobody has ever accounted for the cash usually given to prisoners when they are discharged or explained why her U.S passport was confiscated by uk jailers !Suepicious indicated that enough had been said about the merits or otherwse of this lady’s character so I switched to the general position,but felt I could no longer ignore the remarks on this blog addressed to me personally.

  12. forcedadoption

    When judges repeatedly ignore the regulations they are mean’t to enforce what hope is there for the rest of us?

    • Ashamed to be British

      Which brings me back to my suggestion of JR’ing the judge in this case, he needs to be ‘corrected’ or the LA all over the country will use this as case law

      • The costs rules under the Civil Procedure Rules (i.e. loser usually pays for everyone) and the Family Procedure Rules (i.e. everyone normally pays for themselves) are very different.

        Applications for JR (and for what it is worth, I think you are conflating a JR and an appeal—judges are appealed) are made under the CPR and thus are subject to CPR costs rules. This decision applies only to the CPR, not the FPR.

    • Ashamed to be British

      No I’m not, judges are JR’d too, I do know the difference between a JR and an appeal, having done one or two

      • Please post any report on bailii or elsewhere – any law report, not some piece of gossip – of a judge of the High Court being judicially reviewed when acting as a Judge of the High Court.

      • Actually, ‘Ashamed’ is technically correct and I ought to have said ‘generally’ or ‘practically’.

        If I recall correctly you can JR the mags, the county court and I think you could JR the Crown Court on a limited class of issues (although actually I’m not sure if these are now appeals under the Criminal Procedure Rules 2005/2013. Who knows…?). Having said that, I can’t immediately think of an example of where a JR would be preferable to an appeal (and if you fail to exercise a right of appeal I think that has a bearing on the Pre-Action Protocol for JR) as an appeal has a wider scope than a JR and some appeals are as of right.

        But, anyway, what you certainly can’t do is (successfully) JR a High Court judge sitting in the High Court.

      • Ashamed to be British

        Indeed, thank you for the clarification

  13. Beyond all issues of costings and their legality etc. The simple question arises in me… Why did the MKFs not appear in court? They applied after all on behalf of this mother for a judicial review and gathered a court to sit together and do judgment work.

    Some basic manners can go a long way, especially with women. These are serious matters the MKFs are dealing with after all, the lives of people and their children. What happened then, why did they not come? I am missing a basic explaination, and perhaps the judge missed that too.

    • forcedadoption

      ROTE MUTTER :-THEY DID NOT APPLY ! They advised the mother who was going to testify by video ,so no need for them to apply to be Mckenzie friends to sit next to and advise a client who was in the USA ! The court refused video at the last moment so the mother could not testify and the presence of 2 ladies not party to the case with no mother able to testify would have been superfluous !

      • Thanks for clarifying this further forced adoption. As soon as cases such as this and the situation with the MKFs and this order get into the press such questions are raised by the public and it is perhaps important to clarify such circumstance, as they add considerable to the scenario but also to the public’s understanding/non-understanding as to what happens at the Family Courts and how dirty a fight it can be.

    • Not sure that forced has clarified anything, to be honest. The problem is that we haven’t seen any of the paperwork, and it would I suspect be very instructive if we did. It is totally unsurprising that the court wouldn’t take video evidence, because live evidence is rarely used in judicial review cases: because they are concerned with legal issues, the evidence is normally dealt with by way of written statements. If the MacKenzie friends did not know that, they had no business whatsoever advising the mother. If they had any sense at all they would have lodged written evidence in any event as a precaution against the video evidence being disallowed, and they could have turned up and argued the case on that basis.

      Like others, I also strongly suspect that the MacKenzie friends were given notice of the hearing and of the potential adverse consequences for them, and they chose not to attend.

      • forcedadoption

        “Mckenzie friends” no reason to go to the court as firstly they had not been accepted as Mckenzie friends by the judge,and secondly it would have been useless without the evidence of the mother concerned who was refused permission to give video evidence despite the continual use of this by social workers whenever it happens to suit them.

      • So what stopped them from organising a written witness statement, which is the normal way of submitting evidence in judicial review proceedings?

  14. Pingback: Booker – not biting / Pink Tape

  15. forcedadoption

    YET the whole situation could be resolved if there were “no punishment without crime”.If children could only be removed when a parent had committed a crime against their children or any other children most of the injustices would no longer exist.Social workers could then concentrate on the much smaller number of children like Baby P,and Daniel Pelka who suffer severe and repeated physical or sexual abuse but who get overlooked in the present stampede to adopt attractive toddlers and bonny babies !

    • So do you seriously suggest that no-one should act to protect a child from an abusive parent until they have sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt? They should actually wait until the child has been assaulted so they will have adequate forensic evidence? What about the cases where a child is being abused but it is impossible to get a conviction because the abuser has ensured that the only evidence available is from the child and that child is too young or too terrified to go into the witness box?

      • forcedadoption

        YES ,strangely enough I believe in “innocent until proved guilty”;That was always the case until social workers and family courts reared their ugly heads from 1948 onwards.Of course at the moment children in care are forbidden to even mention that they are being abused by fosterers,social workers,guardians,or celebrity visitors !Of course also, a child should be removed if a parent is charged with assault and kept safe until the charge is either proved or dismissed.At the moment social workers are so absorbed with collecting children “at risk” that they ignore the cases of actual physical abuse such as baby p,Daniel Pelka,Maria coldwell,etc etc as such children make very poor adoption material !

      • So you are happy to leave abused children being abused in cases where you couldn’t get a conviction because the only evidence comes from them and they are too traumatised to give evidence?

      • forcedadoption

        If a parent has not been convicted of a crime against a child it should never be up to social workers to brand parents as child abusers (usually on hearsay evidence !).The main difficulty in getting evidence from children is that when it happens in care they are not believed.They are forbidden to mention injuries and abuse to parents at contact .If they do contact is stopped.Police refuse to take statements from children and parents and if parents believe and support their children (like Vicky Haigh did) they are banned from all contact.How any mother can “groom” a child by passing on a birthday card which can be read by the responsible adult before being given to the child stretches the imagination.Have supporters of snatching children from non criminal parents ever heard of “innocent until proved guilty”?. OR “No punishment without crime”? The parents who are being deprived of contact are in any case not the abusers they are those who reported abuse and were disbelieved and punished for it !!

      • Ashamed to be British

        I have to agree with Ian on this one, I know of a suspected sexual abuse case where the child is repeatedly trying to speak out (witnessed by myself a couple of times) the parent who reported it has had residency removed and is now on supervised contact, or should I say was, the child continues to try to tell contact workers who get the sack for also reporting the same concerns (7-8 contact workers to date) but all the LA are concerned with is shutting them all up so they don’t get found out for ignoring the child’s plight and it has to be said, ignoring the very long sexual abuse history brought before the courts that goes back a couple of generations, concerning the same alleged perpetrator!!

  16. Pingback: Booker | Children In Law | Scoop.it

  17. There are friends, and then there are friends who are better described as enemies. Is there a single case these McKenzies have actually won? Better yet, is there a case which they have not messed up and made far worse? I see any case is taken by them as an opportunity for gratuitous self-promotion. Yet they have always failed to put anything on the table.

    Such bogus campaigns as those put forward by these McKenzies are indeed so bad, one wonders if they are insiders paid to mess people around and put them deeper into the shxx, or if they are simply naive people with extra leisure time at their disposal and so confused that they really believe what they are doing for fun is of any help?

    The broader assumption is they do not know what they are doing and confuse the court with a TV reality game show, featuring themselves as the main protagonists. Some people would call such behavior irresponsible. Perhaps those people are right.

  18. From the arguments made out here and the ‘attack’ on Booker’s ‘factual accuracy’, something much more malign is being missed- that the judges in the relevant courts may be as unfair and wrong in applying decisions which make justice impossible but for the few with resources and legal ‘clout’ of the best legal teams.

    Booker may, like many journalists not get the information / full facts in his article. But he is trying to throw a spotlight on what to anyone who is not a social worker, family court lawyer or someone paid through this same system, or has such persons in their own family, should be concerned about.

    There has been a real burring of what is heresay and what is fact that supports evidence of serious harm/ abuse having actually occured or will occur. People are unaware that often it is about what social workers feel (their gut feelings’ about you) rather than actual known fact, or an incidence, that quite often determines what they report.

    Ian is right in pointing to the morality of what happened to the mother by the system. The posters who challenge Ian might condone this kind of immorality / inhumanity, but it says much for Booker and his likes that he does not.

    I found on a social services document that something about me was deemed to be true merely because of ‘my perceived appearance’ (I was not shouting, swearing etc or even challenging, save for making my points). If you are in a room full of people ‘gunning for you’ it might be difficult to feel calm; that after I was refused the use of a tape to record the proceedings by the players in the health and social services system. Guess what- the report that was produced by two agencies players separately did not converge in any way and could have been written on toilet paper after using the toilet- it had no bearing on what actually happened in the meeting ( I went in alone as I had no time to get independent support)..

    Until my own experiences, I would not have looked at Booker’s articles, now I see how they are full of more likely truths than the make believe of social work.

    I want a fair and just system- not one where gagging and court restrictions on reporting hold sway by those in power to avoid scrutiny. These should be made illegal where public organisations.are concerned. I want to be able to take legal action against authorities who do wrong. Somehow we have a system, that includes a government, who care a jot at bringing innocent people to their knees- literally. I ended up so stressed I now have a terminal illness, but the suffering of the vulnerable involved causes me the greatest distress..

  19. I notice all has gone ‘dead’ once I sent this to JIm Nately

    Jim Nately
    At least you understand the distinction of ‘assisting to draft/advise’ and ‘doing it for them’.

    Also, we don’t know the contents of Mother’s application for a JR: what point of law was broken? (I don’t know if it could have been argued that the sentence of ‘manifestly excessive’)

    The only way to know that the video evidence was not going to happen would be either a)advanced notice or b) turning up on the day to be told.

    Again, I completely agree with the sentiments about all the injustices and wrongs in the Family Law System, but that is not what this is about. I have been ‘fighting the system’ for many years…so I am hardly a supporter of the status quo/current system.

    Jim Nately- I agree with you: I want to read Silber J’s order.

    It is just based on my knowledge, no way the situation would have really happened as claimed: ‘A woman in a wheelchair dumped at Dulles with no money and no passport’. She was advised to go to an Information Desk and ask for an official from the US State Department/Citizen Services.(I know because it was me that told her.) All she would have had to do is give her name, date and place of birth, social security number, last known address and the name of a relative. How do I know this? It happened to me! I was at Heathrow (Nov 13) and my bag with all my official documents was stolen…all I had in my hand was my boarding pass. Got to the plane ‘Your bag has been found and is in Lost Property- here is the reference number.’

    Got to the USA; gave them my details; I was found instantly; a phone call to a relative and ‘Welcome Home to the USA’ is what I got….

    Returning to the UK…..Hit passport control. Gave my name, address, National Insurance Number and the name of the person collecting me and the email from Lost Property detailing all the contents of my bag. ‘Welcome back to the UK.’ Within 15 minutes I had all my documents back (including my Residency Papers and all my jewelry, etc.- talk about a bad thief!- although they did charge me £20 for the pleasure…)

    *The fact that I know all my own details by memory is one thing….the fact that ‘the system’ could find me so fast is a different topic!)
    TC

    • forcedadoption

      As understand it there were no relations or anyone else to collect this mother.She claims her escorts promised to see she was “looked after” and then disappeared without a trace leaving in her wheelchair penniless and without documents.She slept on the benches at different parts of the airport for several days as nobody was the slightest bit interested at information or anywhere else.Eventually someone took pity on her but it was a horrific experience !

      • You have to ask why? Relatives were identified. (They probably took her to Dulles as closest to her Mother in Virginia…you know they one that is alive but she said she saw murdered by the step father when she was three…but has 3 younger half brothers…) Note you used the term ‘Claims’ but can produce no documentation, nothing in writing…nothing from the airline staff? I made sure I had a letter from the pilot to confirm what was being relayed from air traffic control, the airport and the authorities. (I got off the plane in the USA with a handwritten note from the Chief Steward! with his name and badge number!)

        quote:
        Also a big difference was of course that unlike TC this bereft mother had seen her son stolen, had no person collecting her, no national insurance number,no relative,no bag in lost property,and her last address was a prison !Try it like that sometime TC (unquote)

        Sooooo….I saw my son stolen at gun point…what is your point? Why did she have no one to collect her? I have checked- if no family available, then taken into holding in humane reasonable conditions- especially at Dulles- until a rep from citizen services can be found and a State appointed lawyer. Why doesn’t she have either a NI or SS (social security number)- you do know both are issued at birth? She had no last address in the USA to confirm where she attended school, or registered to vote, or paid taxes or had a mortgage or a lease?

        Really, I can’t wait to see this ruling…..

      • forcedadoption

        T.C I don’t know if you were one of the jailers who dumped this mother at Dulles airport but I do know your story is false. I was in fairly constant phone contact with her for her first few day in the USA,and your story of relatives who picked her up is complete fiction ! I spoke not only to her but to sympathetic staff from the refuge who picked her up after several days sleeping on benches and scrounging food from other’s leftovers ! Why was she left with no cash?You ask, “What is my point about son stolen?” Well she was in a pretty bad state as a consequence and your having in your pocket” a note from the Chief Steward and his badge number” might have given you a feeling of importance but did not help this poor lady one bit. Memorising long ago insurance numbers with nobody to give them to even if she had thought of them was not a possibility.You ask why she had no family to collect her! Well she was dumped in the airport with no cash,no contacts ,no papers, crippled after a beating and missing the son that had been taken for adoption by strangers. Noone collected her because nobody in authority notified anyone else of her arrival and dumping !No airport officials showed the slightest interest in her plight .I do suggest you add the word “compassion” to your vocabulary as everything you write about this poor lady reflects a sort of contempt for her which she honestly does not desrve .

    • Ashamed to be British

      It’s hardly gone dead :/ there is plenty more input since.
      I think possibly the readers were cooking dinner for their families while the kids did an easter egg hunt

  20. forcedadoption

    Also a big difference was of course that unlike TC this bereft mother had seen her son stolen, had no person collecting her, no national insurance number,no relative,no bag in lost property,and her last address was a prison !Try it like that sometime TC !

  21. Why has her OWN MOTHER posted on Facebook that everything I am saying about ML is true?

  22. [NAME DELETED] is not in a wheel chair and is living with an old man in roanoke va and diagnosed as a pathetic liar she will never see zeb again because she incapable of caring for a child . she cares more about dogs than her own son and she does not deserve to get him she also a con artist and will do anything to get what she wants/ and this sabina believes every lie she tells her she does have family in the usa and she claims her mother is dead which is not so her mother also lives in va but no longer resides in roanoke va/

    • forcedadoption

      T.C The evident pleasure you experience in thoroughly abusing this poor mother and the relish with which you condemn her “never to see Zeb again” ill becomes you…………

      • Why? They are not my words? You have completely (and I think intentionally) misunderstood my views. The case being discussed is not to do with Family Law….It is about a Judicial Review of a Criminal case and the processes and procedural matters associated. Try to keep on topic.

  23. The question has been asked as to whether Mackenzie Friends have ever won anything. Speaking only personally as a Lay Advisor (my degree is in Physics not law).

    I have won one case in the Criminal Court of appeal getting a constituent (Michael Singleton) released from a 5 year jail sentence.

    I have won one judicial review. (for Councillor Martin Mullaney over a standards board case).

    I have won two family cases in the court of appeal.

    In three of the instances above, I did the initial paperwork and after permission was given and the cases had progressed in some way funding was provided to enable paid advocates to be involved. However, without the original application nothing would have happened.

    I know of other cases where PTA or an appeal has been granted without regulated practitioners being involved for the appellant.

    • For once Mr Hemming…..we are in agreement.TC

    • Ashamedtobebritish

      I think the poster meant these two particular MKF’s John

    • Yes, I also know of cases where MacKenzie Friends have been both successful and a real assistance to the Court and to the people they were helping. I absolutely would not want to begin tarring all MacKenzie Friends in that way. It will be important to see the judgment in this case once it is published. Actually, £4000 is a very low costs order in the grand-scheme of a judicial review application , and I would want to see both why the Judge decided that it was right to make a costs order wider than simply against the Claimant herself (The Court has jurisdiction to do this, if it is either “the litigation was brought by a campaigning group and the members of that group are liable for costs” (see for example the threats made in the Simon Singh litigation) OR “these people were the representatives of the Claimant and screwed up to the point where wasted costs were considered appropriate”. At this point, we honestly don’t know which it was, because the judgment isn’t published, and Booker is not a reliable source for hard information)

      AND how the amount was arrived at.

  24. forcedadoption

    But T.C THESE ARE YOUR WORDS and so callous and unfeeling are they that I will quote them again !
    “[Name deleted] is not in a wheel chair and is living with an old man in roanoke va and diagnosed as a pathetic liar she will never see zeb again because she incapable of caring for a child ”
    Do you now disown the deplorable sentiments above directly quoted from your blog entry ?

  25. forcedadoption

    [Name deleted] is not in a wheel chair and is living with an old man in roanoke va and diagnosed as a pathetic liar she will never see zeb again because she incapable of caring for a child . she cares more about dogs than her own son and she does not deserve to get him she also a con artist and will do anything to get what she wants/ and this sabina believes every lie she tells her she does have family in the usa and she claims her mother is dead which is not so her mother also lives in va but no longer resides in roanoke va/

    TC YOU wrote the above not her mother ! Her mother would not herself have written “she claims her mother is dead which is not so” or “her mother also lives in VA” clearly the writer is not referring to himself/herself !

  26. Erm.. is it really necessary to drag this woman and mother further through the mud? I actually don’t really care if she is bound to a wheelchair or not, if she is pathological liar or not. I feel sorry for her and her child. A parent needs to be absolutely horrendous a person to justify a forced adoption and what is a little personality disorder in the bigger scheme of things – it’s all a matter of perspective. I know various people who are officially labeled as borderliners who are absolutely delightful people.

    A few years ago people with psychiatric illnesses were treated, nowadays their children are taken into adoption. The actual illnesses haven’t changed, but the interests of the government and the provision of social care and health care have changed. Nowadays speed adoptions are pushed as the fast solution for “healthy families”, and the bitter outlook is that more and much worse psychiatric illnesses will come as a consequence of these policies

    Back to McKenzies:

    It is my understanding that in this particular case (Melissa Laird) were missed opportunities and perhaps some gross procedural mistakes that should and could have been avoided by the McKenzies involved. If an adjournment of the hearing concerning judical review was missed due to non-appearance of the McKenzies – that would be a bad move and the case would hereby be lost and gone, and so is the child. Who got anything out of all this, and what is supposed to happen next?

    I assume the next move by the government and judicary is to demand a regulatory body for McKenzies, in particular when they charge fees (which I believe these particular McKenzies don’t do).

    • Good post Rote Mutter

      • Don’t tell me I had the last word on this case, I don’t believe that 😀

      • I think that it was an apposite last word. Whether this mother has been harshly treated or was partially the author of her own misfortune, she is still a person and your point is extremely well made.

        There is a substantial debate about McKenzie Friends who charge for their services (over and above expenses) and it seems that quite a bit of thought needs to go into that. The law is a very regulated profession, requiring professional qualifications and specific volumes of updating training per year, plus insurance and the ability to be sued by a client for negligent advice. If a McKenzie Friend is helping someone who has no recourse to law (and recovering their out of pocket expenses) then that’s fine, but if they are instead providing a service for profit, and simply undercutting solicitors (because they don’t need qualifications, insurance and can’t be sued) then that’s rather a different matter. If you are allowing unqualified people to sell services in law, then they either need to be qualified, regulated or capable of being sued. Ideally all three.

  27. People, you do know the rules about naming someone who has been a parent in care proceedings. It might very well be that when the judicial review is published that it contains the Claimant’s name, in which case you may name it. But not until then. I don’t care that it can be found on social networking or in Ian’s huge filing cabinet of people who have given him their life history.

    • Apologies Suess…genuinely. Please check your email….my bad….(hangs head in shame…even though told the truth) TC

      • It’s fine, I removed the name (I daresay that for the period it was up, it was being read by people who already knew it). But in future, no names unless the name appears in the published judgment please.

      • Dear Lisa, sorry – what you sent came up as a comment, not a private message. I have now deleted that, and Ian’s response to it. It is risky to try to send a private message to me via the comments, because of the way the comment system works on WordPress

  28. Jerry Lonsdale

    I have been pondering on this for past few days and I can remember a few years back applying for Judicial Review on a matter not related to family per se, it was difficult in the matter because the person could not make the application “herself” therefore following the PD’s of Judicial Review I filed on the persons behalf, I had sufficient interest to pursue the case, it was in Leeds, the person was detained against their will and not had in effect a trial to detain them, due to the place of detention not being a “Prison” there was no avenue to apply for a writ of Habeas Corpus, the only open option to the person and myself was one of Judicial Review, [the matter revolved around the MCA 2002]

    Dealing with the permission stage was quite straight forward, satisfying the first hurdle of sufficient interest was not an issue however to continue the Judicial Review I would, in that the outcome would not have any bearing on me personally, I simply had sufficient concern about the persons detention, I had in effect a Locus Standi to pursue the initial stages of the Judicial Review,

    In this Booker matter I would suffice to say that the MKF’s could possibly have had a Locus Standi however if it was pursued outside the remit of the Practice Directions 54 the problems the MKF’s faced would be exactly what has happened,

    Prior to the recent changes in Judicial Review practices it was a point of law that Judicial Review could only be brought when there are no routes of appeal available [Exhaustion of other remedies] or a person has sufficient interest in a matter of concern in a way which a public body has acted.

    During the initial directions hearing of the Judicial Review here, there could be a world of reasons why the Judge would have wanted the MKF’s present, it may not have been adversarial, the judge may have spotted a lacuna in the evidence or case as a whole, I have noticed on the blogsphere world that the “Mother” had sought to seek out a way to set up a telephone or video link hearing, it has been suggested as well that the court refused the mother to use Skype, however if that was not properly pursued in the court by the MKF’s then it could be what the Judge was requesting the MKF’s to explain the situation, as we know and even on this blog that Skype has been used within the court arena and indeed it has been suggested that the tools such as Skype could be used more frequently.

    I would say that maybe when we can see the Judgment from the Judge in the initial case we would be able to deduce the actual reasons why this situation has occurred and then debate it accordingly, debating the points without the full knowledge of the situation is purely academic

    • Solely on the point about Skype, it is worth mentioning that Re ML (Use of Skype Technology) [2013] EWHC 2091 (Fam) doesn’t quite sanction the use of Skype for hearings. The Skype-only approach seems to refer to a video of certain documents being signed in Nepal and witnessed by Guardian and solicitor in England.

      For a hearing in a seperate matter, the court sanctioned a Skype-ISDN link where a Videolink facility wasn’t available.

      It seems to me that it is hinted that the courts might look favourably on a Skype-ISDN link to avoid the costs of procuring a full international ISDN connection. However, it is also quite clear that a Skype-only hearing is unlikely to be sanctioned given the relatively trivial cost of setting up an interface between Skype and the ISDN facilities at the local court, given the reasons for preferring Videolink over other forms of video facility.

      • forcedadoption

        All goes to show how wrong it was to deport this mother to USA before she could appear in court to fight against the forced adoption of her son whom social services retained in the UK

      • As ever, Jim is absolutely right here. The ML case was a really narrow use of Skype in a situation where a video-link would have been impossible. I think that if an application were made about Skype, the Court might consider it, but there’s no legal right to use Skype in preference to video-link, you’d need the Court to approve it.

        I do wonder on this one whether the costs that were ordered really covered the video-link. As people may know, setting up a video link with America is expensive and involves a lot of liaison with the staff at the RCJ. That sounds to me more likely than that the Defendant’s costs for the hearing were £4,000 (bearing in mind they wouldn’t have been on legal aid rates – am mindful of the recent non-mol authority where the costs of privately funded lawyers were said to be £49k. The most I ever billed on a non-mol on public funding was £2k for a very very fiddly one)

  29. forcedadoption

    DEAD RIGHT JERRY !

  30. Ashamed to be British

    I’m sitting here after doing a bit of mulling over this case myself as well …

    I’m amazed that a woman who was so destitute that she had to live in her wheelchair, to the point of sleeping in it and any bench she found, was able to charge her phone in order to take/make calls and find access to the Internet to post on FB, how strange

    • forcedadoption

      She had no phone at that time but was given enough money by passers by to phone me from a call box in the airport to ask me to call her back at that number; and similarly I rang the refuge when she finally got there and I was able to send them a bit of cash so that she could get the necessary ID papers for her to apply for work. She had no access to internet or facebook at that time but maybe later after she found work.

      • Ashamed to be British

        She definitely posted on her FB from the airport and I quote her as saying

        “Sleeping here as no help from a government who help steal my child and currently holding me hostage in a country that I don’t want to be in! — at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (WMATA station)”

        The MKF’s also express that they had put in applications, again I quote them ..

        “the Admin Court knows about our applications and payments for Judicial Reviews”

  31. forcedadoption

    A good question is “who stole the cash that is normally given to prisoners on release????????”

    • I know she had email access at the airport as I sent her names of ‘friendly’ people who would assist…including her US Senators in CA (as that was her last known residence in the USA) I emailed her everything she needed to do…what did I get in response? ABUSE!!! ‘You don’t care if they stole her boy, you don’t care that she was assaulted in prison……blah, blah, blah.’ I also stupidly at the time sent her money.

      I completely agree that the CPS in the UK and to an extent in the USA are a nightmare and focus mainly on the wrong families. (For God Sake, I was told it was unnatural for my 3 year old to identify a steak but not a Chicken McNugget. Trademark somewhere.)

      Burt this is an EXTREME case. I have been non stop on the internet and phone with the USA and International Lawyers…..I have nothing to hide.

      I think it is highly unlikely that it will reach the court phase. My Husband (you know the one slowly dying….) and I took our son on holiday in August 2009. somehow, this became we were selling our child to a paedo ring….the police after keeping us in cells for 28 hours, said ‘sorry, we raided the wrong house.’ But the SS would not let go. I have them on tape ‘He is so attractive, so personable, so intelligent,….easy adoption…I need that bonus for my new kitchen.’ (My Mother and I froze in our steps) So I know what they do….

      The person was eventually sentenced and it was clear we knew nothing.

      Intellect and Experience are a deadly combination.

  32. Pingback: FROM BRUSSELS Pilgrimage to McKenzie Crusade: in defence of justice for future generations | Voluntary Public Interest Advocacy

  33. forcedadoption

    Easy enough to access internet and facebook from machines at the airport for free if you wait around until someone does not use all the credir they paid for! I have left a few euros myself for the next user when I have had a plane to catch and vice versa have found unused credit on other occasions;I am not saying she did this because I do not know but it is a strong possibility!I always found this mother calm ,polite,logical,and surprisingly not bitter about her plight at the airport or elsewhere.
    I am still shocked at the latest tirade from judge Simmler blaming her for not turninig up to court when she had been deported to USA probably for exactly that reason ie to stop her attending !

  34. I am expecting a high degree of personal integrity from any legal advisor, private or public, and I am not seeing this is what is happening, here on this blog and beyond (I refer to the comments made). Public exchange of gossip and personal opinions on people is not helpful, and only demonstrates that McKenzies, lay advisors & co are a risky endevour and potentially untrustworthy. Very disappointing.

    • Ashamed to be British

      Direct quotes from the person(s) involved is hardly gossip

      • It is indeed gossip, and it seeks to directly influence opinion on a person who can not speak for herself.

        I hope that SM will delete all comments in question.

      • Ashamedtobebritish

        She did speak for herself I quoted HER! Gossip is when you listen to other peoples opinion or perception of the situation, what I copy and pasted was straight from the horses mouth

      • Well. since this is a legal blog, one is tempted to ask for the evidence for your claims. And since this is a blog dealing with family matters and vulnerable people and children I ask you to consider her son and his feelings, and to bite your tongue and leave people – however unreasonable those people may be – in dignity, even if you feel angry and have that raging need to throw mud to make your point. In short – be above it and behave nicely.

      • Ashamed to be British

        I’m not angry at her, why would I be? I think it’s disgraceful to lock someone up to shut them up then throw them out the country while keeping their child behind to meet adoption quota

        I challenged Ian’s claims that she was potless and had no internet access by quoting the very person in question, a blog like this is always going to cause debate, and in debate you will always find two sides – I happen to be a rarity in that I will always take a balanced and level approach to my input, which is what I have done.

        Other than taking screenshots – which I am not prepared to do – I will not be providing evidence of what I am saying, I don’t need to, it’s all on a public wall for anyone in the world to see.
        You obviously don’t take kindly to those who will challenge half truths, I’m not prepared to make that my problem

      • forcedadoption

        Ashamed to be British is not afraid to praise herself to the skies !
        She says “I happen to be a rarity in that I will always take a balanced and level approach to my input, which is what I have done.”
        Great to know you admire yourself so much !

      • Ashamed:

        Oh Lord, it’s so hard to be humble
        When you’re perfect in every way . . .

    • Ashamed to be British

      what are you? 12?

      • Ashamed….for my 2 cents (which are free and you did not send for me!) You are correct. Can you note that forcedadoption claims to assist parents…however…read the small print….he tells people to flee and then will provide financial help when he has a receipt in his hand…and that is only for travel….after that, they are on their own. If you listen to him speak (which I have) he seems to think he is the second coming of the Lord!! My husband was in the audience with me and our son and asked ‘Who is this complete nutjob?!’
        Again, he has not read the files….I have…..TC

      • No, Ashamed; but you have long since put my bullsh*t detector into permanent redline and I have found a way of saying so.

    • Ashamed to be British

      Yes TC I have heard Ian speak and also spoken to him via telephone, I get what you’re saying, however I don’t want to bash him, he has absolutely no need to be involved in any of this, yet uses his own money to help desperate parents (many of who we both know) out of trouble, I think one has to give him mucho credit for that alone

      He just needs to stop being so trusting on every word some people tell him, it’s not always the truth and tbf a lot of them take the absolute piss out of his generous nature

      For example in this case, ML has told him she was in a wheelchair, that’s true she was, but not because she’d been beaten up and crippled by jail thugs, she has arthritis, at the time an operation to correct it had been performed …

      • forcedadoption

        I know she had arthritis but who is to say whether or not she was also beaten up by jailers or fellow inmates?.I did NOT just take her word for it,I spoke to those who had visited her in prison .I usually cross examine every parent who asks me to help and get the truths that they try to conceal by questions that often cause them to ask if I am on their side or working for the local authority.In most cases however even if you take everything the local authority alledge as true it rarely justifies permanent fostercare and never never justifies forced adoption as has happened in this case which has been exacerbated by the deportation of the mother to prevent her stating her case and the penalising of those who tried to help her……….
        Most parents who contact me have serious faults but not such as to justify confiscating their children;Before attacking them for minor character flaws I recommend that we should also remember the wise words of Hedley J in Re L (Threshold Conditions) [2007] 1 FLR 2050:

        “Many parents are hypochondriacs, many parents are criminals or benefit cheats, many parents discriminate against ethnic or sexual minorities, many parents support vile political parties or belong to unusual or militant religions. All of these follies are visited upon their children, who may well adopt or ‘model’ them in their own lives but those children could not be removed for those reasons.

      • Ashamed to be British

        Yes I know, that’s what I was saying, they are so busy chasing the children who should be at home and often there’s nothing wrong there at all, that they leave the real victims to die.
        I’m totally in agreement with you

    • Ashamed to be British

      Yes I agree, awful business, you’d really have to do something horrific to warrant removal of a child (which is usually the way, the LA wait until the child is dead because they are too busy chasing the very slightly adverse families) a real bone of contention for me.

      The reason I brought up the wheelchair business is because her own MKF states in writing that it was due to the operation for arthritis, I believe she’d have said it was because she’d been crippled by her jailers, whether that be the sole cause or on top of the operation

      • Ashamed unfortunately I must disagree with you. You can have children removed for things like owning too many books, having too clean a home, having ‘too nice’ a house’, having ‘too nice a car’, sending your children to private school, feeding them ‘too well.’ Oh and having the balls to say ‘Repeat back to me what I just told you.’ ‘Erm there were too many big words…I can’t spell them or know what they mean. I am meant to have a concern but I can’t find the box on the form.’ That is the reality…

        As for this particular case- read the judgement. She kept asking for operations that no doctor could find a justification for. (And she was doing it in the UK so she did have an NI number- so there goes that supposed argument.)

        I am not bashing anyone..but believe there is a requirement for facts to be laid out. It is regrettably a condition I have; a 158 IQ with a Type A personality and a Myers-Briggs INTJ profile….I can’t help myself!!!!

  35. Rote Mutter

    You say things of great common sense. But just as you rightly point to the damage of opinions / gossip / hearsay on this blog, it should not be forgotten that in social services / work reports and those of the wider professionals involved this is just what the family courts / CoP accept, even if parents / families try to prove otherwise (when they are often prevented by the machinery in pay of the state to do so).

    There is a real problem of how the state laws and their execution in non criminal matters has developed, with evidence often being little more than tittle tattle / personal views. We know only too repeatedly that professionals are not infrequently prone to errors of judgement or even worse bad behaviours (the attack on ‘care’ in the NHS / social services funded provision is a good example).

    We need more ethical lawyers only too willing to ‘bite the hand that feeds them’ to ensure that they are not duped into accepting what at worst is fabrication and at best embellishment or economical of actual fact, but also demonises ‘difficult’ or challenging individuals.

    We all need to behave as human beings with understanding that the person we are condemning may not be worse than us and ‘but for the grace of god go I – I am an atheist),

  36. Clearly forcedadoption is not capable of a rational fact based discussion….everything above proves this…supposedly a Law Degree from Oxford??? Really? I think my cat could put up a better defense and logical argument. (Again, read the actual court papers….)

  37. Okay, I think we have reached the point of time to agree to disagree about the merits or otherwise of the mother’s case.

  38. forcedadoption

    Well said suespicious !

  39. forcedadoption

    Speaking generally the removal of a child is a very serious business but can sometimes be justified if a child suffers serious injuries at the hands of a parent or parent’s partner.
    What in my opinion can NEVER be justified is to deprive a parent who has never physically harmed a child of all contact direct or indirect; ie no emails ,phone calls ,or birthday cards (jail for one mother) or “hello” at a chance meeting (3 years jail for Vicky Haigh).
    All human rights are flagrantly disregarded by criminal judges who should themselves be locked up for crimes against humanity in such cases .Non molestation orders are made for indefinite periods yet the word molest (oxford dictionary) = to intentionally annoy !How dare these bent judges twist the English language in order specifically to criminalise those who have committed no crimes and pretend that parents wanted contact to intentionally annoy their children!The judge at Vick’s last criminal trial for the offence of passing on to a vicar a card addressed to her daughter but written by her daughter’s two half sisters agreed with that interpretation of molestation and said the family judges should read the section more carefully as it did not refer to contact;What about baby p ? Well he was beaten and killed but his mother never went to court to annoy local authorities by trying to recover her surviving children ,so unlike Vicky and 4 other mothers in similar situations she was allowed face to face contact with her surviving children before finishing her sentence in jail and then going on to a new life with a new secret identity and a new job at vast public expense ! That’s family court justice !!

    • Ashamed to be British

      There are a million and one similar stories … this is why I say the local authority are so busy looking at the wrong famlies who haven’t really done anything other than run into fiancial difficulties, or had an argument or even worse, the neighbours, ex partner or family have decided they don’t like one of the parents & make a referral. What they don’t consider is the lifetime impact they have on often innocent people by looking in the wrong direction, when there are children being seriously harmed, sometimes fatally right under their noses.

      BUT, I do have to say, sometimes social services do get it right, one case in particular, the mother is just fooling everyone and herself, but there is no way she should have a child in her care, eve so, the way the case was conducted was fundamentally flawed & the child should have gone to relatives, in the end, the ones who really suffer are the kids, whether social services have got it right or not

      • Agreed Ashamed tbB. That is why I fight for the REAL child protection of REAL children.

        Years ago, when my daughter was little, we had a neighbour across the road. This woman never hit her child, never yelled at her, never abused her. But my neighbour was an older mum on her own with kidney failure. (She had her when Mum was 44) A few times we found the poor child wandering the streets after 10pm; her mother was in hospital and had no one to look after the child.

        Over the course of 2 years, the child slowly moved into my home. She had her own bed and chest of drawers,etc. But she could see her Mother whenever possible- she was only across the street. She had to do the same ‘chores’ around the house as one of my own; fold laundry, unpack the dishwasher, etc. (she was 6 months older than my daughter and I treated them the same.) It got to the point that my parents asked ‘So have you set up Z’s university account yet?’

        It never once crossed my mind to phone social services; this was not a bad Mother; this was an ill woman trying to look after her child alone.

        When Z was 15 we had to move house. As we were leaving, Mum came to see me: ‘Thank you for everything you have done- you could have reported me and had my child taken away.’

        Now I am absolutely not a saint (I am probably more of a sinner- sounds much more fun) but that is my approach to a situation like that.

        By the way Z got 8 good GCSE’s and joined the military….she is now a Mechanical Engineer! Apparently me making sure she had the discipline to do her homework everynight, a set bedtime and a routine, helped her….or so she tells me!

      • Ashamed to be British

        TC – I was in a similar situation except the young girl was 13 years old, and already under social services, who were quite happy for me to act as foster carer for someone who I can only describe as extremely disturbed, yet wouldn’t allow me to see my own grand-daughter because I know how to tell the truth, which wasn’t the version of events they wanted to hear.

        I know the pains Ian, Stephanie Freeman, mummy to Lewis and Ryan Freeman is my best friend – and before anyone goes mental over the naming thing, I’m allowed

  40. forcedadoption

    It may often be bad when a child is taken from a parent who has never hurt it, but it is 1000 times worse if all CONTACT (direct or indirect) is stopped with that parent under threat of jail.That is what I am on about !

    • Normally I would agree but in this instance the parent was found guilty on multiple counts and many of them put the child at direct risk. It is a shame that whatever she has done in the past has created a situation that her own family will not support her or assist her regarding her child. (Again, read the judgement; family members were approached and refused to assist.) It is the child I feel for…..

  41. forcedadoption

    There can never be justification for refusing contact to the extent that any parent risks jail if they send a birthday card or email, or cannot have a supervised telephone conversation.
    I repeat that nothing can justify cutting all contact with a parent who has not been convicted of physically harming a child. and jailing that parent for writing ,waving,speaking ,sending Xmas or birthday cards .This is sheer barbarism and a breach of all basic human rights.
    I refer generally not to any one case but to ALL such cases !

    • But this is about a specific case and a specific ruling!

      • forcedadoption

        Specific cases and specific rulings form case law that guide judges in future cases to make decisions that may or may not be fair and just.Discussions on this case have continually descended into attacks on the character of one poor woman and of those who defend her .That is unproductive and of less importance than stressing that in this and other cases forced adoption is always wrong as is the cutting of all contact (especially indirect contact) between parent and child,and the penalising of those who advise or help parents in those situations.

    • Yet child abusers are perfectly capable of using cards and letters to continue to intimidate and groom children. Isn’t that justification enough?

      • forcedadoption

        When nobody has been convicted of abusing a child ?No that is definitely not reasdon enough ! Even baby p’s mother was allowed to see her surviving children !

    • And NOTHING can justify the FINAL separation / ADOPTION of a boy born in Ireland from his American mother thanks to Interpol arrest in Spain – when Sir James Munby ruled that UK Courts must not decide the fate of foreign children. But Barnet Council is above the law and HMP Holloway mistreat all mothers whose children were taken.

      http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2014/6.html

      • Sabine, you have probably fallen into the trap of believing the Daily Mail report of Sir James Munby’s decision in Re E. He (and later the Court of Appeal) absolutely don’t say that the UK Courts must not decide the fate of foreign children. What he said was that the Court must be alive to the possibility that a Brussels II application might be made, ensure that the foreign consulate is notified and that if a Brussels II application is made, it should be decided on the principles set out in Brussels II and not on the basis that either “adoption is so evil that the case must be transferred to another country who don’t do it” or “adoption is so good that transferring it to another country who don’t do adoption must be a reason not to transfer” (which were the issues that got Mostyn J tied up in the case that got appealed)

        And you would probably need to read the second judgment in Re E, where you see that the mother in the case had been feeding her son nothing but orange juice and goats milk for several years and that this had caused him to be first hospitalised and then later sectioned.

      • I can assure you that Barnet Council never alerted the US Embassy and that Melissa was prevented from seeing the US Embassy when she was held in prison for some 12 days in Spain, while she was tricked into signing an ‘extradition paper’ for her son to go to the UK.

        REPLY Suesspicious Minds

        The Court of Appeal often do strange and outlandish things, but they’ve never yet given a decision that would require a Council to build a time machine, go back in time two years and then follow guidance that the Court of Appeal has only just given on a different case.

  42. Forced Adoption & otherrs

    Yes, it is very bizare what happens in custody cases when sexual abuse is alledged (by mothers). To come forward with sexual abuse allegations is kind of a custodial death sentence for the mother (and child) and the guaranteed outcome is (almost) always loss of residence and – if at all – only supervised contact, provided the father (who is usually the alledged abuser) gets sole residence. In many other cases children endup in long term foster care or in forced adoption. No, and it doesn’t matter if child speaks about abuse in front of social workers during contact and confirms what mother always said is happening. It gets simply ignored and social workers demand of mothers to ignore it too or contact will be canceled. Erm.. yes.

    I put this down to fear of jobloss and reputation but also affiliated business interests in “the system”. What is a child worth against all those interests.. well, the child itself is the wealth.. in money. Every child in care makes cash (for care providers and social workers working through affiliated agencies). It has all deteriorated into hypocricy, the business of child protection in the free market.

    In a strange, cruel and twisted way, all the mothers who loose custody to abusive fathers have reason to be glad.. because at least the child stays somehow within the family. Tell that Vicky Haigh perhaps.. I know it is awful and beyond bitter. Even the woman whose children were taken after she was raped by their father, had the option to support social services in their endevour to give sole residence to him. Never mind he got convicted of rape and sits for 6 years in jail. The mother did not collaborate and off are her children into forced adoption.

    Any explaination on all this madness? Perhaps worth a case to post.. dear SM.. and perhaps you also include some of the “evidence” papers by SS that collude to form such judgments the public learns to hate with good reason.

    Cover ups and perversions of this kind go way beyond incompetence, and manipulation by perpetrators. The allegations against the mothers are always PAS related (Parental Alienation Syndome) and involve some personality disorder assessed by SS friendly Psychiatrists in need for extra cash.. whose reports serve as needed evidence to legally justify to bar mothers from any further contact, or only limited contact. And if the abuse ever comes out.. what then? When the Mother has been legally declared as child endangering nutcase and SS seeks to cover it’s incompetence.. what else is there but forced adoption and vanishing into the care system for the child.. truly, this is hell, and one that generates money, loads of it. Child protection is a business after all. Privatized hell of stereoids.

    Concerning Booker.. I wrote something on the man, and as annoying as it may seem when he skips aspects of cases, at least he writes about these things and outs the system. At least someone in the mainstream media does.

    http://rotemutter.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/christopher-booker-the-liberal-and-the-right-wing-press-the-truth-and-child-protection/

    • As usual very perceptive assessment of the ‘industry’ RM and very depressing. But it is no longer confined to child protection…we grow old now ,with social work seeking recognition as ‘specialists’ in adults / elder roles, actually destrot=ying our lives and that of our families. We may have been lifelong risk takers (unlike power, pension, security seeking social workers and their organisations), but we will be ‘protected’ whether we want it or not- but not afainbst the neglect and abuses rife in the ‘care system’ itself.

      Be scared be very very scared to be a child or to grow old with the social work industry spawning itself and ignorant ministers deeming their privileged famiiy can compare to those who inadvertently end up under social work’s ‘radar’- even if it was only to seek help. Life will never be the same and I speak from personal experience of people working at national level. My MP is a complete joke and over supportive of institutions- but the background of this MP explains much.

    • Just to be vbery very very very very clear – you name Vicky Haigh here, which you are legally entitled to do, since she is named in the committal judgment.

      However, I would not want anyone to then link what you say in the next sentence to the father in the Vicky Haigh case. You are clearly talking about another case entirely and I would not want anyone reading this to conflate the two cases by mistake.

      I know that wasn’t your intent, but given what happened in Vicky’s case, the clarity that you are NOT talking about Vicky’s former partner and the father of her children in the next sentence is very important.

      • Isn’t the all saving miracle word “alledged”? Trying not to be stupid yet pretending to be clever.. thanks for pointing it out SM. One gets easily sloppy once names become “public domain”, even though it is inapproproate. I understand the dilemma.

      • No, that word doesn’t save once the Court have heard the case. Once the Court has ruled on allegations they are no longer allegations – they are either facts, or they didn’t happen (Re B – it is a binary test, no such thing as unproven allegations – they are proven or they didn’t happen).

      • Feel free to delete any of my comments if you see it it is necessary for legal reasons dear SM. I am cool with that and primarily concerned for children and what if they happen to read things on the internet. I am outside the UK but generally trying to behave like a Mensch.

        I understand it is a general problem for parents such as V to understand that the finding “abuse by the other parent never happened”, is set in stone because it is in a final judgment/finding of fact. Even though in the parent’s logic, the abuse did happen and they can not let go of trying to proof it. But too late, or case got too twisted.. or..or..

        Very tragic, as there is no way out. Even if it comes out one day, that abuse did happen (for example, children tell their story to police one day) legally it has never happened/no history of abuse.

        Grateful for more cases in the future that deal with this dilemma, as it is all too common and a real twister for victims of abuse and of perpetrators who know how to play the legal system like a fiddle.

      • forcedadoption

        Parent’s belief that the decision of the court that abuse never happened is set in stone?No that is not the problem at all! The problem is that for daring to believe her daughter’s reports to police and doctors (who in turn all believed her) V and many mothers like her have been cut off from all contact with their children.Vicky was JAILED for 3 years for talking to her .She was jailed again for passing on to the vicar a birthday card from her daughter’s stepsisters !
        Baby p’s mother has received her surviving children whilst still serving her jail sentence for failing to stop her son being continuallt tortured and then murdered !
        Where is the logic in banning parents (mostly mothers) from all contact ,direct or indirect from their own children? This must breach every human right that the children ever had .Banned from seeing or even communicating with their loving mothers none of whom had ever been convicted of harming their children !Barbarity is too weak a term for our family court judges who impose or tolerate these crimes against humanity !!

      • I know that you believe this Ian, but the committal judgments are available for people to actually read.

      • forcedadoption

        How can anyone justify cutting all contact between mother and daughter with jail if she speaks to her or writes or goes within miles of her ?What’s not to believe? The judge breached the rights of the daughter to be heard in court (UN.Convention) and refused any person sympathetic to the mother to ask her wht she wanted.The judge did not mention the doctors and police who believed the girl when she made the allegations against her father but there was not enough evidence to prosecute.The mother never refused supervised contact ,she merely refused to sign a contact agreement in which she admitted coaching and could not do that.There is no evidence at all that she attempted to kidnap her daughter at the petrol station ;Taking a 7 year old from an olympic athlete and dragging her off on foot to where? She was never even charged with that.Jail for passing on a birthday card to a vicar that was written by her partner’s two little daughters,? Breaching a non molestation order ? To molest =to intentionally annoy (oxford dictionary).

      • forcedadoption

        Yes I believe it is wrong to jail any mother for speaking to her son or daughter.Yes I believe that when mothers support children who report to teachers or police that they have been sexually abused they should not be punished by being forbidden to contact their children.
        I believe such actions to be crimes against humanity and that the guilty judges should be locked up for a very very long time !Nothing in their judgements contradicts this belief;instead they reinforce it !

      • I agree with everything you are saying Ian, but the problem remains that this case – like so many others, yes, mainly mothers involved – got totally twisted (in my opinion and considerable experience). One has to experience such cases first hand to believe that such things are possible and absolutely nothing is done about it by the system itself, instead the system hardens up and punishes further, going beyond any scope of comprehension. It is a complete inversal of the truth.. happens all the time.

        And the question “what if.” remains, yes, and it is a good thing that question remains. I know, so often often it is not just a “what if..” but an absolute certaintity.

        I don’t know if an “expert” was involved in V’s case, but if so, one will find the reason for the hardline approach and zero contact/supervised most likely in his/her evidence. How reliable such an “evidence” is we know. Still, what can be done to correct? It is madness. Extraordinarily cruel a crime, and yet so common.

        SM, why not make a post on such cases to discuss separate…

      • forcedadoption

        Rote Mutter, Contrary to what other contributors say about me, I always start from the position taken by the local authority and that of the family court judge and ask
        “was the judge’s order justified? Usually the answer is still no !.In Vicky’s case, 3 years prison for speaking to the daughter she had previously not been able to see for 2 years?? There was a vague accusation of a planned meeting and kidnap , never pressed or substantiated ;just hinted at later to justify the prison sentence.Well the service station was local to her (not her ex) and Vicky was doing her shopping on foot ;There was no way she could know that her ex would drive in for petrol with her daughter in the car and even less chance of her being able to overpower her ex (an olympic athlete) ,disable his car to stop pursuit, ,and carry off her daughter on foot !Of course all she did was speak to her daughter and that is all she did before she was arrested and imprisoned for that heinous offence !
        Any UK mother reporting the father of her child for sexual abuse almost automatically loses both custody to the father and contact with the child !Our family courts are sadly protectors of paedophiles and they ban the mothers from contact to make sure the child does not make any further disclosures so no meetings or birtday cards ! Children who complain of sexual abuse are simply not believed and there would be at least partly a solution if police were obliged to take statements in such cases under pain of disciplinary sanctions if they did not.

      • Ashamed to be British

        Same applies to dads who report suspected sexual abuse I can assure you

      • forcedadoption

        agreed,but it’s the mothers that get the most publicity

  43. paragraph 185 plus with regard to Mr Booker,

    Ihttp://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2011/B8.html

    • not sure if people will find it with that link I just posted so,

      Re L (A Child: Media Reporting) [2011] EWHC B8 (Fam)

      http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed83258

      • forcedadoption

        Ah yes Ben this was when poor old judge Bellamy got erroneous information from my forced adoption website on Friday two days before the accurate Booker column was published on Sunday with my mistakes duly corrected ! Poor fellow had to withdraw and contented himself by reading a long extract from my site in court but not alas in an approving tone !This was many years ago and nowadays I only publish on my site after the Booker article has appeared in theSunday Telegraph.We often look at drafts together before publication.

  44. What is clear from all the contributions to this contentious post is that separating fact from fiction is a challenge and judges fall into this problem area. The low ‘probability’ threshold makes for many wrong and dangerous outcomes as a result.

    This is particularly serious as I know that social workers and health professionals write very inaccurate information in reports. A recent personal experience is of a consultant putting down my stated work background / profession totally incorrectly, (relevant in my case to level of knowledge I would have), and this information then repeatedly put into ongoing communications by other people.

    The information passed on by social workers (information I gave them from serious research I had undertaken on relevant databases) was so seriously wrongly reported it has had lasting serious damage. These records remain- I do challenge but these people are just not good enough to report accurately / factually. I have no doubt this is widespread. Corrections are rare and ‘gagging clauses’ rife in case reviews (applies to my local authority and others).

    Please do not underestimate the ‘Chinese whispers’ syndrome in this gravy train system. One mis report early on taints the whole of what goes on later. Sometimes it is a case of misrepresentation, or lack of understanding of what is being conveyed and why.

    The quote from JFKennedy is apt:
    The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

    • Ashamed to be British

      It is as widespread as infinity, any parent harrassed by them will tell you, they have lies in their files, somewhere along the line is a lie that creates a bigger one until it becomes a web, that can never be unravelled

      • I have received a PM from ML’s family. I have asked permission to make it public; until they give the nod…will not.

      • forcedadoption

        Now what could possibly bother me about social services and the family court system??
        1:-Forced adoption 2:-Taking children into care for future risk 3:-Gagging parents and jailing them if they protest in public. 4-:Gagging children by retricting conversation with parents at contact to nothing controversial, confiscating mobile phones,computers,and preventing access to any post office. 5:-Refusing parents leave to call witnesses 6:-Choosing experts and refusing parents any say in who is chosen or what questions are asked,with no second opinion allowed.7 :-Branding parents as child abusers on the balance of probabilities that are often founded on mere unproved allegations ,pure gossip or other hearsay . 8:-Lawyers who advise clients to” go along” with social services even when adoptions are planned 9:-Punishing parents and children by separating them even when no crimes have been committed.10:-Refusing entry to the court to grandparents,step-parents,and close relatives of the parents.11:-Children taken from parents for alleged “emotional abuse” or risk of it. 12:-Telling wives to split from their husbands(and vice versa) otherwise they will lose their children(when they intend to take the kids anyway).13:- One bruise,burn,or fracture,the parents are blamed, and the child is taken away;”one strike and you’re out!).If however children complain about sexual abuse and /or severe bruising in fostercare they are disbelieved(despite photos) and ignored as are their parents.
        A very fair” baker’sdozen” I reckon !

  45. Received from ‘Mother’s’ Family this morning: There is currently a search warrant and arrest warrant out for XXXX. the grounds are stealing of money, fraud and abuse. Warrant issued by VA State Police.

    • forcedadoption

      proof? And even if true do we know circumstances?

      • I have been given permission to post…Suess delete names as needed.

        melissa is not in a wheel chair and she is walking just fine she has been diagnosed as a pathetic liar and she is a con artist also she does not deserve to get the boy bac she in incapable of taking care of him. i hav a 15 page court report on her and she was doing nothing in spain but living in filth. sh cares more for dogs than she does for him. would you believe it she was feeding him pureed food and he did no know how to chew food when social services took him and he was nothing but skin and bones now he had gained weight and is doing good. they are trying to adopt him now and there will be no more court hearing. she has been in a mental hospital in the states. sabine needs to but out of this business. if i had the money i would come there and visit him but my money is tight and i can not afford it. hope you are well and thanks .

        i have a copy of this from the courts emailed to me. it is 15 pages long and if you will see she is lying about everything says her mother is dead and i am still alive and i do work also she got me to help her to get to roanoke va and i did then she turned against me and i had to move out of the place i was living and she stayed there she has conned the old man out of a new car and is taking him for every penny she can she will lie and cheat to get what she wants, i do not have anything to do with her now but she did have some one to help her even travelers aid offered to help her at dulas airport and she would not except it you can tell sabine she is a meddling bitch for me to i have a lot of emails from barnett social services and they let me know about zeb i have tried to get him my self but the us embassy would not help me. so i have agreed to let them adopt him there rather than let her have him. she is lying cheat and no one should trust anything she says. a physcopath . i would love to see zeb but i have no way to do so.

        i just found out melissa is being wanted by the police n roanoke va for theft she stole 150 dollars from the old man she was living with and he kicked her out do not know where she is now i guess nosey sabine would know.

        ..
        i know for sure she is not in a wheel chair and she took that old men for all she could get. and i am not a liar she has money to she stole money from the old man and he called the police and he kicked her out,

        I can’t think of better proof…I have retained all the email communications between ML and I and my recommendations which are normal protocol for repatriated American Citizens. I have abusive emails from ‘Sabine’.

        Having spent yesterday in the RCJ with a client who won with me as his McKF….I think *I know what I am doing and talking about!
        TC

      • I have never read such a strong argument for forced adoption as in this case. It is ML who should have been separated by her obviously abusive mother for her to have a chance to grow up with people who actually care for her and will not glee in “Schadenfreude” when things go from bad to worse to awful for her. I am disgusted by this “mother” and her interpretations of her daughter’s character and plight. Does this woman not think for one moment how she herself is responsible for her daughter’s tragic life?

        On a legal note – as far as I know defaming character statements by parents such as this are usually not liked at court. For good reason I believe.

      • That’s the last comment I’ll allow on the detail of this case though – it is feeling rather intrusive to these people’s privacy. If one reads the judgment, I am not sure how much blame and responsibility you can attribute to any actions of the mother involved (even if any of these assertions are true), it is fairly plain that she is unwell rather than wicked. I will take it as read that those posters who are defending the mother would refute these allegations. I don’t need to hear chapter and verse on the refutations please.

      • forcedadoption

        Forced Adoption here posted with a variety of people’s names, and defending the mother. I have no problem with him defending her, it was the volume of names that was the issue.

        POST REMOVED for using too many people’s names. If you want to put them on a site hosted in Monaco, that’s up to you, Ian, but my site is subject to UK laws. I did deliberate long and hard over Lisa’s use of “Melissa” in her own post, and in retrospect, I should have edited it out, so that response is partly my own fault.

        But seriously, we are now DONE on discussing the ins and outs of this poor woman’s case, it has become unpleasantly like trial by facebook and email allegations.

        Happy to continue with the cost order, the issue of McKenzie Friends being subject to costs order, the reporting and whether this bloody judgment will ever get published.

        (To be honest, if it doesn’t get published, it is not authority for anything, so there is no need for anyone to panic. A case being in the newspapers doesn’t create a legal precedent that other courts have to follow, it is a legal precedent if the judge publishes it as a law report)

  46. Suess….I agree with you. I only made the post as the Family wanted to ‘set the record straight’. If it is ‘an issue’ remove as you see fit…….

    I will share this however:
    I was sitting in the RCJ yesterday waiting for my client’s case to be heard. I overheard something awful. Next to me was a Barrister advising his client who was trying to stop being deported. On the other side was a Family who were LiP. They had a little boy about 7/8 with them. They obviously did not have a lot of money but the way they clung to that boy was obvious and clear. The Nigerian Man asked ‘Why are they here’? His Barrister said ‘They are in a different court. It is to decide if they can keep the child or not.’ Couple went in….came out without boy. My heart broke for them. They had fought so hard and managed to keep him at home until it got to RCJ……….I could not take pictures inside as that is an automatic 28 days ‘inside’; I could not chew Nicorette gum as that also gets you 28 days ‘inside’. What I witnessed…as soon as my client’s case was over, had to run to the loo to be sick. As my Mother always says, ‘The problem with UK SS is they can’t tell the difference between poverty and neglect…..they just don’t understand the fundamental difference.’

    Oh and this little boy was the spit of my boy at that age. He was a polite, well mannered child, quietly spoken, did not figget, etc. It was obvious the parents did the best they could to present themselves and the child as good decent people. And the Nigerian man lost…being deported.

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