Solicitors being appointed as rule 16.4 Guardian? and cutting out the social worker

mark davis made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

1) Please supply me with the number of Accredited Children Solicitors from the Law Society,that Cafcass have used as a rule 16.4 Guardian in 2015 and 2016 or how many times have cafcass recommend the court use a solicitor as a Rule 16.4 Guardian for the child rather than appoint an independent Social Worker? in the Midlands region? baring in mind these are solicitors not social workers the family justice review 2011 clearly states the child should have both a solicitor and a Guardian and this appears to be the law. which appear to not being followed, under what legal powers have cafcass got that says this is the law? to by pass appointing a social worker but instead use a solicitor as a rule 16.4 guardian? who follow totally different ethics and codes of conducts and being a solicitor and a social worker.

2) How many times has cafcass used Kerrigains family law and appointed Mr Joe Kerrigan in 2015 and 2016 as a rule 16.4 Guardian ? you have never replied to this point ?

Yours faithfully,

mark davis

Gadawodd Dave Darby anodiad ()

Following this....
#tommi

Gadawodd Dave Darby anodiad ()

In the hundreds of cases I have assisted in, I’ve yet to come across a solicitor being appointed as a 16.4 guardian. What I have found is that CAFCASS do have their favourite solicitors to use and usually CAFCASS will have their own "specialised" officers that are guardians. In this case, I feel, like the selection of when choosing an expert witness (and I use that term loosely as many psychologists are NOT accredited expert witness’ with the BPS…not forgetting that you should ONLY CHOSE AN ACCREDITED EXPERT WITNESS), that BOTH parties should present their 3 to 4 choices of solicitors to the Judge for consideration and not allow CAFCASS to have that sole choice.... let’s face it, it’s about the children and such appointment, can either destroy the child’s life or improve it. To find out CAFCASS' favourite solicitors, simply request that info via a FOI for expenditure as such...I have seen some serious favouritism….same with psychologists.
My comments are without prejudice.
#tommi #tommicaydendarby

Governance - Cafcass, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

Dear Mr Davis

As previously stated in CAF 15-149 and CAF 16-103, it is the court, not Cafcass, which appoints a children's guardian under rule 16.4. If it is a Cafcass officer who is appointed by the court, this will be a Cafcass Family Court Adviser who is a qualified social worker. Cafcass would not appoint a solicitor as a guardian; only the court could do that. If a Cafcass guardian is appointed, they are obliged by the Family Procedure Rules to also instruct a solicitor to represent the child in the proceedings; in these cases the solicitor acts as a solicitor, not a guardian. You have previously been provided with the solicitor firms, including Kerrigans, who have been appointed to act in this capacity (as a solicitor, not a guardian) by Cafcass in the Birmingham region between 2012 and 2015 (CAF 15-106).

Responses to your specific requests are refused under section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act. This exemption exists to protect public authorities’ resources from unreasonable requests and disproportionate use of the Freedom of Information Act.

14 Vexatious or repeated requests.
(2) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the request is vexatious.

Your requests are considered to be vexatious, as we believe that a response would cause an unjustified level of disruption to Cafcass. This decision is based on the perceived lack of serious purpose and value of the requests, and the fact that they form part of a series of frequent requests which has contributed to an aggregated burden on Cafcass. The context and history of the relationship between Cafcass and yourself can be taken into consideration in relation to this and future requests. Your repeated and numerous requests cause a strain on the resources of Cafcass, and a number of your requests repeat queries which have already been addressed. As these have previously been responded to, these further requests appear to lack serious purpose to obtain information. Providing responses to these requests imposes a disproportionate burden on Cafcass and wastes its time and resources, which is an abuse of the right of access to information.

If you are unhappy with the decisions made in relation to your request, you may ask for an internal review to be undertaken. If you are dissatisfied with the way the internal review is handled or with the final decision made at that review about the information released, you are free to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office: [email address]

Kind regards,

Governance Team | Cafcass
G [CAFCASS request email] |  www.cafcass.gov.uk 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service's handling of my FOI request 'Solicitors being appointed as rule 16.4 Guardian? and cutting out the social worker'.

On 03/02/14 Cafcass officers Ms Nicola Campbell Service Manager for Ms Valerie Williams and Mr Simon Powell who left cafcass i am told in June 2014 and is no longer employed at Cafcass i have been told. did attend the Birmingham County Court and liaise with 2 Barristers who were acting for my self and my child's Mother and it was agreed that Mr Kerrigan, Who you are aware should be appointed as a Rule 16.4 Guardian for my child as the court order of 03/02/14 does show it stated Rule 16.4 Guardian is Joseph Kerrigain and that cafcass felt they could no longer have any role in my case so it was ordered that cafcass would have further role in my case, this was all agreed with the x 3 cafcass officers who never entered the court room to which was was to be a 3rd final hearing as x 2 had not gone ahead as x 2 both parties attended court but on both occasions the cafcass officers on the day never appeared and failed to notify the court. there was clearly more work for cafcass to do as we had a child with on going issues that the court had not addressed as of yet as no Cafcass Officer had yet stood on oath in court or seen the judge when the parties where all at court, this was the purpose of the hearing on 03/02/14.

You have clearly stated above you have supplied me data that Mr Kerrigain has been used in 2012 -2015 as a solicitor, but you have not replied to how many times has Mr Kerrigain been used as a rule 16.4 Guardian as recommended by your staff to barristers acting for said named parties and you have only provided data for use a Solicitor on Mr Kerrigan of Kerrigan Family Law.

In a Letter sent to my MP cafcass in October 2014 it is noted that cafcass having sight of the court order of 07/05/14 which was after the hearing of 03/02/14 and in March 2014 Mr Simon Powell called my solicitors and was most concerned about the out come of my case and could he be updated on the next hearing of 10/03/14 despite cafcass being dismissed from my case on 03/02/14 after suggesting Mr Kerrigan was used as a Rule 16.4 Guardian and in which Mr Kerrigain had no legal aid for which is noted and took over 2 months to obtain then it is alleged he saw my child.

So my request how many times have cafcass suggested that the court use Mr Kerrigain and the court order did say that MS Jenny Walton was in attendance at court on 03/02/14 i can confirm Ms Walton did not attend court on 03/02/14 but MS Campbell her service Manager did attend as noted on the end of case summary that was not sent to me until 2015 and only as i made a subject access request on the 2nd request this was sent.

My Child was left to suffer and had on going issues and these were not addressed as data was shared with cafcass officers and complaints and it was ignored so this request is in the public interest given the cafcass made a recommendation that my contact should remain suspended after 5 years of being a father and there was no reason given other than my conduct and behavour what ever that means as i had been at court by 03/02/14 and been having over night contact for 3 and half years that only stopped at an ex parte hearing on 06/12/13. this was after i made a complaint to cafcass in November 2013 i add and shared my concerns to others at the local authority in Birmingham i was then cut off and my child was left to suffer so this matter is now very much in the public interest as there are a lot of people concerned on this issue that has not been replied to under my request? i have now not seen my child for over 3 years as of this matter. and it is clear my child has suffered and is s this question can be raised in court if cafcass refuse to reply to my request?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

mark davis

Gadawodd mark davis anodiad ()

It was also suggested by the x 3 cafcass officers, i should take a mental health test in which i refused to take part in as i was of sane mine and it was suggested my capacity was in question as of the x 3 officers who attended court and others i had made complaints about i had been at court for 17 months having been having contact from 03/09/12 until 06/12/13 which was going fine until i made a complaint and shared my concerns with the local authority on the named cafcass officers mentioned not carrying out there duties to the court or following court orders of the court. so cafcass are saying Mr Kerriain has only been used as solicitor but the courts order cafcass have had sight of show you he was used as rule 16.4 guardian who supported and made recommendations to the court my contact should remain suspended until have test carried out on me. thus ending my child right to family life and mine and my family's. as i refused on no evidence submitted to the court as no one ever stood on oath to be apart of such conduct i was aware was unlawful on the facts of my case which were none as the mother never filed one signed sworn statement all were signed by her solicitors firm name only. making them under the practice direction 27 not admissible. I note Mr Darby has never heard of a Solicitor ever being used a guardian.

Governance - Cafcass, Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service

Dear Mr Davis

Thank you for your email of 20 October.

Melanie Carew Head of Legal Services has carried out a review of the response dated 2 August 2016 and has confirmed the decision that the information provided was adequate and that the further request should be refused under section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as a vexatious request. This decision has been reached on the same basis which is a perceived lack of serious purpose and value.

Cafcass will not respond to any further requests on this topic. If you are dissatisfied with the way the internal review is handled or with the final decision made at that review about the information released, you are free to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office: [email address]

Yours

Governance Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd mark davis anodiad ()

Cafcass you have told me that you never appoint solicitors as a guardian, but this data taken from a public site states you do appoint solicitors to act as rule 16.4 Guardians?

Regularly local courts are appointing Solicitors to act as Guardians for children in complex residence and contact disputes pursuant to Rule 16.4 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. We are very proud of the fact that Judges and CAFCASS Officers regularly appoint Joe Kerrigan in this role