Her Honour Judge Lynn Roberts has endorsed and supports Anglia Ruskin University Law Clinic’s new web site Essex Family Courts Help and Information.
I am the Designated Family Judge for Essex and Suffolk which means that I am the Judge responsible for how family law is administered locally, and I implement guidance from the President of the Family Division.
This website launches at a very difficult time for everyone and I very much hope that it will provide you with some advice and assistance. I am very grateful to Anglia Ruskin University for all their work in setting it up.
We are endeavouring to do all our family cases remotely by audio or video means. We are trying to avoid anyone attending our courts and indeed, only the County/Family court and the magistrates court in Chelmsford are open locally. In exceptional cases, there may be a need for an attended hearing.
Solicitors and Barristers are still working hard and can provide you with advice, assistance and representation, and can represent you in court hearings. Legal Aid may be available, otherwise you may need to pay for this assistance in the usual way.
You can also represent yourself and there is assistance from Support Through Court (formerly the Personal Support Unit) which is currently operating via a national helpline on 03000 810 006.
ARU Law Clinic is pleased to be able to continue to provide family law advice by email or by conference call – for more information or to set up a ‘virtual’ appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are suffering from domestic abuse, it is still possible to seek a non-molestation order and/or an occupation order from the court and we will aim to hear your application on the telephone. In some cases, in the current circumstances, you may want to seek the immediate assistance of the police.
The President of the Family Division has issued guidance which is available in full here about the operation of Child Arrangements Orders during the pandemic and I recommend that you read it carefully.
I hope to be able to provide regular updates on this new website.
Family Judge for Essex and Suffolk