Following your interview at the Judicial Greffe an e-mail report will be sent to the Solicitor General by the Registrar or Assistant Registrar for use by the Court.
The medical officer in charge of the Interdict’s health will have already filed an official Mental Incapacity Report (MIR) to the Solicitor General stating the nature of the Interdict’s incapacity, their ability or otherwise to manage their own affairs and the prognosis for recovery.
The MIR will also indicate whether or not the Interdict may be served notice of the pending Curatorship.
A date will then be fixed by the Court for a Curatorship Hearing to appoint a Curator, taking into consideration whether the Interdict may or may not be served notice and whether you have any vacations planned.
The Hearing will take place at 09.30hrs on a Friday morning and is not open to the general public.
You will be contacted by the Solicitor General’s Secretary to confirm a date for the Hearing which will be held in the Robing Room next to the Royal Court, Royal Court House, St Helier. This may be followed up by a summons from the Viscount’s Department.
Once the summons has been served, or you have been telephoned, you must appear; failure to do so could mean that you are held in contempt of Court. If a matter of an urgent nature prevents you from attending you must inform the Solicitor General’s Secretary at the Law Officers’ Department as a matter of urgency, tel. 441200.
The Court sits on a Friday morning in Chambers and we recommend that you allow 1 hour of your time between 09.00am and 10.00am in case the Court sitting is delayed or queries arise in respect of the Hearing you are there for.
Usually you do not need to prepare anything in advance of the Hearing which normally lasts 5-10 minutes.
Present in Chambers will be a Judge (the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or a Lt Bailiff), two Jurats, a Crown Advocate, who will present the case to the Court, and a Greffier, whose responsibility it is to manage and record the Court sitting.
Unless there is some disagreement with regard to the need or otherwise for a Curator and/or the Court deems it necessary for the medical officer to give evidence in person there will be no requirement for that medical officer to attend at the Hearing.
When you arrive at the Royal Court Building please advise one of the Ushers that you are attending for a Curatorship Hearing and ask to be guided to the appropriate waiting area.
The Greffier on duty will greet you and if you have any queries they will be able to assist you. When your case is called the Greffier will escort you into the Hearing and out again at the end.
You can bring someone with you for moral support although it is at the Court’s discretion as to whether or not that person is permitted to sit with you in the Hearing. The Greffier will ask the Court for you.
What happens in Court?
During the Hearing the Crown Advocate will present the case to the Court (papers including the MIR will have been distributed to the Court in advance). If the Court has any question it will be directed through the Judge to the appropriate person.
Once the Court is satisfied that a Curator is required you will be asked to stand and raise your right hand and the Judge will read the Oath to you. You will either swear or affirm the Oath (having already indicated your preference at your interview).
If the case is contentious the Hearing will in all probability be adjourned so that further evidence can be gathered and witnesses summonsed. A date for a Special Hearing will be fixed and will most likely be set for a day other than a Friday.
The most likely cause for an adjournment to the appointment of a Curator is where there is an objection to the Curatorship by the proposed Interdict or a third party.
However, if all goes according to plan an Act of Court recording your appointment as Curator will usually be issued within 2-3 working days and it is this Act of Court that you must show to fund holders, service providers and any other relevant authority. You will need to collect and sign for the Act of Court at the Judicial Greffe reception.
There is no charge for the original Act of Court but each authenticated copy costs £31.00 in Court Stamps. If you require official copies of the Act of Court please ask the Greffier.
If you intend to make a representation to the Court immediately after your appointment it will be necessary for you to have prepared all the required documentation and to have submitted it to Probate Section of the Judicial Greffe, together with the appropriate fees, within the prescribed time scale (by 12noon on the Thursday preceding the Friday morning you are due to attend Court).
In advance of your attendance the Probate Section will check that everything meets the Court’s requirements, that the Court is briefed as to your intention to make a representation and that papers have been distributed to the Court before the Friday morning hearing.
The most likely cause for an adjournment to consent to a representation is where the Curator has provided insufficient information to the Court.
You are respectfully reminded that the Court expects a reasonable standard of dress appropriate for a Court environment and reflective of the important proceedings you are there for. Please do not arrive in casual clothes such as jeans and a t-shirt. Gentlemen should wear a collar and tie and jacket. If you are inappropriately dressed it is quite possible that the Judge will refuse to proceed with the Hearing.
Although the Probate Department can advise you on the Judicial aspects and day-to-day management of a Curatorship you may need to contact your legal advisor or other suitable professional if a problem arises, for example, where there was a conflict of interest between the Curator and the Interdict.