Saturday, 2 July 2011

Netmums Nightmare

I wish to complain.

Pauline is in Court facing loss of her home. She works for the Ministry of Justice, and is being made redundant tomorrow. She has 2 teen-agers, one 12 and one 16.  The youngest a girl, the oldest a boy. Netmums everywhere know this is a nightmare.

She has been to see 3 firms for advice. She finds them all cocooned. Before she can get advice she must have up to the date documentation within the last month. Although 9 out of 10 documents that she bears prove her income, she has no Child Benefit letter within the last month. She says, perfectly logically, that  she has the same number of children. She would have noticed if she had had another one, or  lost one of the little darlings.

Not good enough. Common sense does not  prevail.

All legal Aid Lawyers are locked down in terror, it seems. Unless we have 12 or 15 documents proving beyond doubt that when we present our bill in 6 months we will be paid in 12 , why waste the effort?


Because of this. I was on duty in court speaking to a real woman who has worked  from the moment that she left school. And has lost her so called comfy job. Who has 2 children. The Judge accepted that, and she will not lose her home.

We got a result, but the reality is that the Legal Aid system is broken already.  Our paymaster the Legal Services Commission is cowed and demoralised, and lawyers are frightened of exercising powers to grant Legal Aid in emergencies because in 2 or 3 months time they will be second guessed and the Legal Aid will be cancelled.

People who need emergency services they are legally entitled to are not receiving it, Pauline might have lost her home.

I wish to complain.

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