Before a Judge dealing with a family case, a man walked across to his wife and punched her several times in the head. The shocking news comes from a report by the Ministry of Justice.
It is reported that the incident took place during family court proceedings at a court in Essex.
The man was restrained by court security and then arrested by the police. He will likely face criminal prosecution and proceedings for contempt of court.
Domestic violence of whatever nature and whatever location it takes place is unacceptable but it happening before a Judge is all the more unusual and surprising.
Where a party does not have legal representation, it is often referred to as a “litigant in person”. This man was a litigant in person. It is not to say the man would have behaved differently had he been represented by a solicitor, but it demonstrates the difficult job Judges have dealing with individuals in cases where lawyers are not there to help out.
Court proceedings and hearings can be a stressful time for all involved. Where litigants find themselves unable to fund legal representation, the stress of preparing and conducting the hearing can build up on them. Judges might well find themselves on the end of that vented stress and anger.
More Litigants In Person Before A Judge
More and more individuals are appearing before the courts without representation, due to a number of factors. The main reason is likely to be funding of legal advice and representation Legal aid was removed for most family cases in April 2013, so could have been a reason why the man in this case was not represented.
We don’t deal with family proceedings or personal injury cases on our site. In the types of case we do help with, the small claims limit was increased from £5,000 to £10,000 in April 2013. This increase will likely result in more unrepresented parties before a Judge in small claims disputes, as the parties are very unlikely to be able to recover their legal costs.