Annika’s Diary # 11

Since my last Training Contract Blog I have been working more closely with our Family Partner Anna Brunt.

I am still attending Court to represent clients in applications for Non Molestation Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders and Residence Orders. However, my experience at the County Court has increased, as I have been representing clients further along the line in their matters. I have assisted clients in obtaining Occupation Orders and Contact Orders. As I have attended Court to represent clients on return hearings with many different outcomes, as a result of this my drafting skills have also broadened. On some occasions the Respondent’s in the matter will attend the return hearing. With regards to Non Molestation Order applications, if the Respondent attends they have the choice to accept the Order or contest the Order. If the matter is contested I must draft an Order, which ensures that any relevant evidence is obtained, any further witness statements are obtained and any required documentation is drafted. All of the above must be completed and filed with the Court and on the Respondent’s legal representatives by a specific deadline. After these deadlines are adhered to the matter will be heard and parties and their legal representatives will attend a Finding of Fact Hearing. A Finding of Fact Hearing is a type of court hearing that considers the evidence surrounding allegations, and where a decision is reached as to whether alleged incidents did or did not happen. Most commonly, these allegations concern domestic abuse. Evidence is heard, which will normally include parties being cross-examined. After having heard the evidence, the judge will decide whether alleged incidents happened or not.

I have continued to attend the Police Station when we are on Police Station Duty. This has been both in and out of office hours. I attended a course in Birmingham as part of my Police station Accreditation. This course focused on attendance at the Police Station and problems and encounters that a Police Station Representative may experience and encounter. The course was very interesting and helpful. I am due to attend another course in Birmingham this month to help me prepare for the Critical Incidents Test, which I must pass before I become Police Station Accredited. I am continuing to compile my Portfolio, which will consist of 9 case reports on matters I have dealt with at the Police Station when I have attended.

I recently drafted an Affidavit of Single Status Declaration. This is an Affidavit that couples who wish to marry abroad must complete and obtain before they travel to the country where they have arranged to marry. An Affidavit of Single Status Declaration confirms an individuals name, address, passport number and the fact that they have not been married before, or if they have been married before, that they are now divorced or widowed.