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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

06 FEB 2013

PRACTICE: Re SK (By His Litigation Friend the Official Solicitor) [2012] EWHC 1900 (COP), [2012] COPLR 712

(Court of Protection, Bodey J, 9 July 2012)

The man sustained serious brain and other physical injuries, when he was struck by a bus, necessitating extensive rehabilitation and care for the rest of his life. The man, through his brother, brought proceedings in the Queen's Bench Division for damages against the owner of the bus. Judgment was entered for damages to be assessed subject to a 40% reduction in respect of contributory negligence.

Prior to the conclusion of the civil proceedings the local authority brought proceedings in the Court of Protection after the man went through a ceremony of marriage and was removed from his residential placement. The man's brother and the defendant to the civil proceedings sought to be joined as parties in the Court of Protection. The Official Solicitor did not object to the application made by the brother but both objected to the joinder of the defendant.

The court allowed the brother's application but refused the application in respect of the defendant. There was nothing controversial about the brother's application which was within the scope of Practice Direction 9B to the Court of Protection Rules 2007. Rule 75 required sufficient interest in the proceedings. Joining the defendant to the proceedings would add nothing to the debate about the woman's interests. The exception was in relation to funding where his contribution may be of assistance but there was nothing in that respect which the Court of Protection could enforce without the willingness of the defendant's insurers.


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