The Court of Protection: What Does it Do

The Court of Protection (CoP) makes decisions and appoints people known as “deputies” to act on behalf of people who are unable to make choices about their personal health, finance, or welfare and have not made valid Enduring or Lasting Powers of Attorney in advance. Deputies may be family members but are very often solicitors or Social Services.

It is a much better plan to avoid the cost and delay of the Court of Protection: it certainly has its’ uses, but can be incredibly frustrating – just Google it. That is the aim of this whole site to persuade everyone over 18 how vitally important Lasting Powers of Attorney are. So instead of learning what happens when things go wrong, why not ensure it doesn’t happen to you – call us now on 01323 384003  or (3-5) 741200 or use our enquiry form.

An Overview:

The CoP appointed deputy makes decisions for the person until they die or gets better and is able to make decisions for themselves once again.   The patient could be well enough to make some decisions but not others, though not all deputies appear to recognise that.   But it is a hard line to tread. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 defines the decision-making process and governs who is considered not to have the ability to make their own decisions and how they should be helped.  It also makes it clear that the ability to make a decision may change depending on the day and the decision and that attorneys should attempt to involve the patient in the decision-making process if at all possible. The CoP clearly won’t appoint someone as deputy if they are able to make their own decisions. They should make a Lasting Power of Attorney.

” She was treated like a killer’: Son’s anger at secret imprisonment of his sister in row over care of their father

Ivan Maddocks said his family feel powerless after their experiences of the court system. His sister Wanda is the first person known to be imprisoned by the CoP.” Daily Mail.

Who will the Court of Protection appoint as a deputy?

Ideally, it should be a relative or close friend if the Court considers the person applying to be suitable. In the event that several people wish to be appointed, or argue that the applicants are unsuited, then things can get very complex and expensive. It is also more likely that the Court Protection will appoint a professional deputy if the family is argumentative. And Social Services are always likely to be quick off the mark as they then get paid for their time. Deputies must be over 18 and they cannot be bankrupts (much better to make your own choice of who will look after you in advance with Lasting Powers of Attorney!)

Types of Court of Protection deputy.

Deputies can be either lay deputies (normally family) or professionals – usually solicitors whose fees are payable from the assets of the person whose life they are responsible for managing. Lay deputies are usually entitled to minimal out-of-pocket expenses, which will be dwarfed by the cost of a professional deputy.   That said, there are substantial costs even for lay deputies to recover from the estate they are managing, including supervision and insurance costs.

• Property and financial affairs deputies.

• Health and Welfare deputies.

The deputyship may be shared by more than 1 person. The CoP seems to be much less keen to appoint Health and Welfare deputies, which means health and welfare decisions need to be made by the Court when required.

Neil has an IQ of 125 and runs his own business. So why won’t a secret court let him spend his own money?

Neil Barker, pictured with girlfriend Valeria, received £1.8m compensation after a motorbike crash in 2003. But the Court of Protection said he lacked the mental capacity to handle his finances”. Daily Mail.

Deputy Responsibilities:

A Court of Protection Deputy must always:

1) only make decisions in the other person’s best interests.

2) Only make the decisions the court says they can make.

3) Apply a high standard of care when making decisions.

Limitations to a Deputy’s authority:

If the person could make the decision by themselves, indeed, a deputy should attempt to help the person reach a decision if that is at all possible. A Deputy may not: • restrain the person, except to stop them coming to harm. • Stop life-sustaining medical treatment, e.g. turn off a life-support machine. • Make a will for them, or change their existing will. • Make substantial gifts out of the person’s money. • Put money or property into the deputy’s own name.

Reports to and supervision by the Court of Protection.

The court requires regular reports to the Office of the Public Guardian so they can see you are acting in the person’s best interest. The CoP also records the decisions made by the deputy, especially significant ones such as proportionately large investments or changes in care or living arrangements. The deputy must also retain copies of any documents relevant to decisions you’ve made, for example, bank statements, receipts, recommendations from financial advisers as well as letters and reports on health and social services matters. The deputy normally has to complete a report once a year and they also have to maintain special insurance. It is clear that the task of a deputy is pretty time consuming and consequently expensive if performed professionally. It has to be said that the Court of Protection is not universally popular and doesn’t receive the greatest press. But for every case that hits the headlines, we’re sure there are plenty that work well for the person in need of help.

Press Coverage:

MORE DAILY MAIL ARTICLES. The secret court of living hell: Straw promises to review Court Protection after MoS exposes shocking flaws. Justice Secretary Jack Straw has pledged to re-examine the workings of the secretive Court of Protection after a Mail on Sunday investigation exposed huge flaws.

Open up secret courts demands Justice Minister: Chris Grayling orders review of shadowy Court Protection. The Justice Secretary last night asked one of the country’s most senior judges to consider steps to increase the transparency of the shadowy Court Protection.

Agony of woman jailed in secret: Daughter locked up for trying to save father from care home tells of terrifying police swoop EXCLUSIVE: Wanda Maddocks has told how she spent six weeks in the same prison as Maxine Carr for trying to remove her father John from a home where his family thought he was in danger of dying.

Court of Protection under investigation Justice secretary Jack Straw pledged to re-examine the workings of the secretive Court Protection after a Mail on Sunday investigation

Secret Court Protection rips off elderly The controversial Court Protection takes four months to give the elderly their money – and then charges them £400 for the privilege.

Court Protection which controls the finances of some of Britain’s most vulnerable people has been heavily criticised, but what is it?

Senior Judges appointed to simplify’ Court of Protection. The court, which bars the media and the public from its deliberations and rarely publishes its judgments, has faced nearly 4,000 complaints since it was set up two years ago.

Secret court in control of a £ 2 billion fortune: It holds the assets of 16,000 vulnerable people – but pays them paltry interest. The Court Protection, which secretly controls £2 billion of assets of thousands of elderly and mentally impaired people, has been criticised by MP John Hemming (pictured) as ‘bordering on malpractice’. High Court judge makes legal history after sanctioning sterilisation of a disabled man, 36, because it is in his ‘best interests.’ Mrs Justice Eleanor King (pictured), sitting in the Court of Protection, agreed the man, referred to as ‘DE’ from the Midlands, who already has a three-year-old, should have a vasectomy.

‘I know in my heart of hearts she would not want to live like that’: Tearful sister asks High Court judge to turn off life support of her brain-damaged sibling. The woman told Mr Justice Baker, pictured, at a hearing at the Court Protection in London, that she wanted a ‘peaceful end’ to her ‘minimally-conscious’ sister’s ‘pointless existence’.

Royal protection officer ‘conned his colleagues to fund £3m life of luxury.’ A Royal protection officer splashed out on a fleet of luxury cars after swindling friends and fellow police officers out of £ 3 million, a court heard yesterday.

‘Woman on a tram’ to spend Christmas behind bars ‘for her own protection’ after court views video of alleged racist rant. Magistrates in Croydon took the decision to refuse Emma West’s bail application after they heard that her address had been circulated on Facebook and Twitter.

Secret court seizes £3.2bn from elderly… and even forces furious families to pay to access own bank account. In its first 18 months the Court of Protection has provoked 3,000 complaints, with families made to pay to access their own bank accounts and officials raiding the homes of the elderly.

Secret court is told to open its doors after probe by the MoS The Court Protection – which controls the finances of some of Britain’s most vulnerable people – has been ordered to open its proceedings to media scrutiny.

Jailed in secret – A new injustice: Brother of woman locked up for trying to save father from a care home was handed punishment by the same court. Ivan Maddocks was given a two-month term – in his case suspended – for his defiance of the orders of the CoP.

Parents of Down’s syndrome woman, 21, can NOT have her sterilised, rules judge. In a landmark ruling at the CoP in London, a judge concluded that sterilisation would be ‘disproportionate’ and could be an abuse of the woman’s human rights.

Wife of Muslim man in a vegetative state pleads for him to be kept alive so he can have a ‘good death’ in line with his faith. She has told the CoP in London, pictured, that her 55-year-old husband responds to being touched and reacts when his family is around.

Secret court takes four months to give elderly their own money, and then charges £400 for the privilege. The secretive and controversial CoP is taking an average of four months to release people’s cash, while charging them £400 to apply for it.

court of protection