You can choose to take someone with you to wait with you at court, but they can only go into the hearing if they are a solicitor or the judge has specifically allowed them to attend.
If you do not have a Solicitor, you may be allowed to have someone to help you in court for the hearing by taking notes and giving advice, but they cannot:
- Speak for you;
- Interfere with proceedings;
- Sign documents on your behalf;
This person is known as a ‘Litigation friend’ or ‘McKenzie friend’.
The Judge will decide whether you can have a McKenzie friend with you in court.
If you are representing yourself, you can still get legal advice to help you with your case.
A domestic abuse service, such as IDAS, may be able to arrange for someone go with you to court and wait with you. With the permission of the Judge they may be able to attend the hearing with you. This would need to be arranged in advance.
Don’t bring children with you to court, unless you have been told specifically to do so. Hearings can go on for longer than planned; make arrangements for children to be cared for safely with plenty of time either side of your hearing.