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Can a parent Self Litigate on behalf of an adult child?

Illiterate adult son in legal battle for children his Solicitor has let him down badly

My son is approaching his final hearing in his battle to gain custody of his children from his abusive ex.

He is pretty much illiterate, does not speak well and as such, and as he was abused by his ex for years is not capable of Self Litigation.

Also his Solicitor has put him on the back foot all the way along,by failing to act in time, failing to guide him and advise him and now, when the hearing is upon us has failed to send out the subpoenas on time and did not even have the hearing down in his Court diary so has failed to act at this crucial time, amongst many other things.

Ihave been in business for many years and am more than capable of assisting my son legally, once I learn enough from your site.

My question is twofold:

1. Am I able to represent him in court?

2. What can he do about this mess the Solicitor has put him in?

I feelas if he is going up against an armywith nothing but a stick in his hand.

What can be done

The only option other than hiring a new solicitor is to have your son ask the court to appoint you as his "litigation guardian". The role is usually intended to be for people who have mental issues and therefore are unable to conduct their own case. Your son's illiteracy may be enough to convince the court he needs assistance..

Rethe solicitor, each state has a "Law Society" which reviews complaints against solicitors. Some states have a "Legal Practitioners" (or similar) review board or tribunal which would be responsible for disciplining solicitors who are not professional in their conduct.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
Thank you oneadadc. As the hearing is only days away it is too late to change Solicitors so my son is forced to continue, but he will either be changing after this hearing or we will try your suggestion.

 We are seriously considering reporting the Solicitor in question so your advice was appreciated.

 I will continue learning from your site with a view to progressing and joining the ranks of SRLs anyway, at least I'll be able to help my children that way. It makes you want to do Law and become a Solicitor yourself so you can help other poor souls in these appaling situations.

My heart goes out to everyone suffering in this way, as I know how much my family have suffered. Cheers.
Hi gobsmacked50, This may be of assistance

FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT RULES 2001 2001 No. 195- RULE 11.08

Person who needs a litigation guardian

(1)For these Rules, a person needs a litigation guardian in relation to a proceeding if the person does not understand the nature and possible consequences of the proceeding or is not capable of adequately conducting, or giving adequate instruction for the conduct of, the proceeding.

(2)Unless the Court otherwise orders, a minor in a proceeding (other than a proceeding under the Family Law Act) is taken to need a litigation guardian in relation to the proceeding.

here is the link to the above http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/num_reg/fmcr20012001n195334/s11.08.html

In addition to the above

The legal definition of disability is broad and includes:

  • Mental illness/psychiatric disabilities
  • Learning disabilities
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Medical conditions
  • Physical disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Sensory disabilities
  • Temporary disabilities, illnesses or injuries
I hope this is of some assistance

ILG
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