Service of documents and providing notice can be complex when dealing with Court of Protection proceedings. Whom do you notify? What forms do you use? What is the actual process of notification?
Court of Protection notifications
Who to notify
When you apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as someone’s Deputy, you are required to nominate at least three people, who have an interest in their welfare, to be notified of the application. The aim of this is to help safeguard the person and ensure that any decision made is in their best interests.
The Court requires that a minimum of three people are notified. These people are often the person’s family and friends but may include their neighbours, doctor, social worker or other health, care and legal professionals.
There is a presumption in favour of notifying a parent, child, spouse, civil partner or partner due to the close relationship they have with the person. What happens, however, where issues within the family unit make it detrimental to notify them of an application?
For example, is it reasonable to notify one of the above if the person has had no contact with them for many years, or they have been found to be abusing the person at some point in the past? In such circumstances it may be that another relative should be notified instead, maybe an Aunt or Uncle, who may well have a greater interest in the person’s life. This can, however, complicate the process.
If you are not notifying a close family member for any reason you should explain in detail why in your initial application before this is submitted to the Court. Even then, the Court may request more information as to why it is in the person’s best interests to dispense with notifying a close relative.
Once the Court has formally accepted your application they will issue it to you. You then have 14 days from the date on which the application is issued to serve notice on the people you have nominated and the person to whom the application relates.
It is important that where practicable the person is notified of the application being made and what impact it will have on them. This is done through the use of the COP14 form which needs to be handed to the person and explained to them, ideally by the person making the application.
Service on other people that have been nominated to be notified of the application is achieved by using the COP15 form which explains who has applied to the Court and what order they are asking the Court to make
Each person that is notified also needs to be given a COP5 form which explains their options in relation to raising an objection or joining the proceedings if they wish to do so.
Once you have sent the forms out to the person and the people nominated in your application you will then have to fill in two further forms:
- A COP20A – Explaining how and when the person was notified and any views they had in response to the application and notification.
- A COP20B – Explaining which people you served notice on as well as when and how this was done.
How Nelsons can help
If you have any questions in relation to Court of Protection notifications or any related subjects, then please contact Tanya or another member of our team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form.