Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK

- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -

Litigant in person - Letter to the Court

IN THE ____________ COURT   No of Matter: _____

To: The Clerk to the Court 

Dear Sir,
                        A FRIEND IN COURT

I continue to act in person in all aspects of this matter.

At the hearing before ___________________ on ________, 
it is my intention to act in person and be accompanied by a friend.  

Litigants in person are entitled to the presence of a friend 
(sometimes known as a McKenzie person) arising from the following: 

     - Rules of the Supreme Court, Order 35 rule 7/1.
     - County Courts Act 1984, Section 60 (notes)
     - McKenzie v McKenzie [1970] 3 WLR 472

In order to avoid unnecessary delay on the day of the hearing,
please will you place this letter before the judge and advise me 
if there is any objection to my proposed course of action.

Yours faithfully,

(Litigant in person)


The Court of Appeal ruling on McKenzie, which endorsed the precedent 
for a friend in court, did in fact relate to a divorce action heard in 
chambers, where the judge had wrongly debarred the "friend" of a litigant.

The McKenzie ruling upheld that of Lord Tenterden in Collier v Hicks 
      [7 June 1831]  which stated that :

  "Any person, whether he be a professional man or not, may
    attend as a friend of either party, may take notes, 
    may quietly make suggestions, and give advice .."       

David Cannon
Originally published - 1989

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