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Fracking - Criminal Proceedings & Sentencing for Protestors

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On 31 st October the first anti-fracking protesters to be sentenced to imprisonment had their manifestly excessive custodial sentences quashed by the Court of Appeal and replaced with conditional discharges. Following a 4 week trial at Preston Crown Court...

Having another baby if you have had previous children removed from your care

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Research completed by Lancaster University has shown that one in four mothers who have a child removed through the Family Court is likely to be subject to Care Proceedings again with regards to future children. The time gap between these sets of...

Parental Alienation

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Parental alienation is a term used when one parent attempts to turn the couple’s children against the other parent. It is one of the biggest issues raised in proceedings concerning child contact following the separation of parents. The purpose of...

What is Japanese Knotweed?

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Japanese knotweed can be found almost all over the country. The uncontrolled and invasive nature quickly allowed it to become a pest in the UK. In the winter the plant dies back to ground level but by early summer the bamboo-like stems emerge deep...

Domestic Abuse and Children

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Domestic abuse ruins the lives of its victims with more than 2 million people subjected to this terrible crime each year. However, NSPCC statistics show that as many as 1 in 5 children in the UK are also witness to or exposed to this horrible crime during...

I want to change my child's surname what shall I do?

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Changing a child’s surname may not be as easy as you think and will depend on many variables. However, our specialist team at Emery Johnson Astills can help you.  A child’s name  must be registered within six weeks of the...

Budget 2018

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Stamp Duty Abolished for all first-time buyers of shared ownership properties worth up to £500, 000 and Help to Buy Scheme extended to 2023! Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced plans to correct an anomaly from his previous budget by cutting stamp...

I'm suffering domestic abuse. Can I go into a refuge?

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MPs are calling for stronger action to tackle Domestic Abuse. A figure revealed by MPs from the Home Affairs Select Committee has shown that almost 200 victims of Domestic Abuse are turned away from emergency refuges every day due to desperate lack of bed...

The Law on failing to provide a Sample

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You may be asked to provide a breath sample at the roadside if you are suspected of driving with excess alcohol in your body. If you provide a positive sample, you are likely to be arrested and taken to the police station. Why do I have to do it again at...

How can I prove I am no longer using substances?

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Hair strand testing is often used in care proceedings where there are concerns that parents are or have been using illegal substances. Hair strand testing is used in both public and private children proceedings. Hair strand testing can be paid for...

Leicester Half Marathon Relay - 14th October 2018

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The Half Marathon Relay was held in Leicester alongside the Leicester Half and Full marathon. This year it took place on 14 th October and Emery Johnson Astills had the greatest pride in entering three teams to run this year! For the last five years...

I'm being stalked and harassed by my ex-partner, what can I do?

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Stalking and harassment has been prevalent in the news in recent times. These days there is much greater awareness of these issues and yet, here at Emery Johnson Astills , sadly we often receive calls from people informing us that their ex-partners are...

"Who's the daddy?" - How to establish paternity in Care Proceedings?

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When the Local Authority have concerns about the welfare of a child, they will usually have ongoing involvement and conversations with the parents of the child. In making a plan to keep the child safe, the social worker will make enquiries with any estranged...

Restrictive covenant not discharged purely to 'clean up' a title (Re Evans)

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When purchasing a home, you should be aware of restrictive covenants affecting the property, to avoid costly mistakes. At Emery Johnson Astills, we will ensure that you know exactly what you can and cannot do with your property taking into consideration...

No Fault Divorce - what is the issue?

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The current divorce law is set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. For a couple to divorce one party must show that their marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’ and that one of five grounds are satisfied. The five grounds for divorce...

Breach of Post-Sentence Supervision

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What is post-sentence supervision? Post-sentence supervision is a requirement which is applied to all offenders who receive a sentence of less than 2 years imprisonment. It was designed to provide a second supervision period to assist in rehabilitation of...

Civil Partnerships

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Yesterday, the Prime Minster announced that heterosexual couples will now be allowed to enter into Civil Partnerships instead of getting married.  The change will now mean that for the first time ever both same sex partners and mixed sex partners will...

Assault on Emergency Workers Bill

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Until now the only specific offence has been that of assaulting a police officer. This is a summary only offence which carries a maximum of 6 months imprisonment. A new law has been passed which will create a new category of common assault - assaulting an...

What are the duties of the Local Authority in relation to children?

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The Local Authority has many responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities are voluntary in nature and some of them are mandatory and are contained in the Children Act 1989, which is an important piece of legislation. This article will focus on the ...

What is County Lines Exploitation, is it the same as Modern Slavery?

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County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”. They are likely to...

Possession of an offensive weapon

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Carrying an offensive weapon is a serious offence. The unlawful provision and possession of weapons encourages violence and can cause serious injury and death. In addition to this possession of weapons also assists in the facilitation of other criminal...

What are Section 47 Enquiries?

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These enquiries refer to section 47 of the Children Act 1989.  Section 47 of the Act covers a Local Authority’s, or Social Services, duty to carry out an investigation or assessment when they are informed that a child, who lives in their area,...

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the donor) to appoint attorneys to make decisions on your behalf.  Most people appoint trusted friends or relatives.  Some decide to appoint professional attorneys and, in this...

What is reasonable contact with a child in care?

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Under Section 34(1) of the Children Act 1989, where a child is in the care of a Local Authority, the Local Authority must allow ‘reasonable contact’ between a child in its care and their parents, guardian and others with parental...

Great North Run 2018

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Gemma Curtis, a solicitor in our care team entered the Great North Run 2018 and ran for Emery Johnson Astills’ chosen charity – Bodie Hodges Foundation. The Great North Run is the biggest half marathon in the world and attracts nearly 60,000...

Property Fraud and Identification Checks

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Buying and/or selling a house can be a stressful period in your life with constant pressure to exchange contracts as quickly as possible. What happens if you discover the seller was a fraudster after contracts were exchanged and the transaction completed?...

What is a Lancashire Finding in Care Proceedings

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Where a child has suffered an injury and the cause of this injury is unknown, the Family Court may decide that a Fact Finding Hearing is necessary to hear the evidence available. The Court will hear evidence from all parties involved in the case and in some...

Role of CAFCASS in Private Law Proceedings

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CAFCASS stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. CAFCASS represent children in Family Court cases in England. Their role is to put children’s wishes and feelings forward and make sure that decisions are made that are in the...

Gemma Curtis is putting on her running shoes for the biggest half marathon in the UK!

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    Gemma Curtis, a Solicitor from our Care Team, is running the Great North Run on 9 th September 2018. Gemma is doing this to raise money for the Bodie Hodges Foundation, which is the chosen charity of Emery Johnson Astills. The Great...

Acid Attacks Increasing. What is the Law?

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Publicity surrounding reports of incidents involving the use of acid or other corrosive substances have increased recently, with questions being asked as to how offenders who threaten or attack people with such substances are dealt with by the Courts. Here...

Great Scottish Swim 2018

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On Saturday 25 th August 2018 Emma Stanbanks, Senior Associate and Joint Head of the Care Team took part in the Great Scottish Swim in aid of our charity of the year, the Bodie Hodges Foundation. Emma braved the bracing 15.6-degree water to swim a mile in...

Bank Holiday Drinking? Reminder to Drivers....

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It is easy to get caught up in the bank holiday spirit, but, did you know that you may possibly still be over the drink drive limit the following day? Offences we deal with include being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through...

The 'Common Law Marriage Myth' and the Law

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The number of unmarried cohabiting couples has almost doubled from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million in 2017. A recent survey showed as many as two in three cohabiting couples are unaware that there is no such thing as a ‘Common law Marriage’ in...

Is sending one text or message from your phone worth your licence?

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It is illegal to use your phone while driving on the roads in the UK. This applies to anything a driver does with the phone; including making a call, sending a message or changing music.  Despite the illegality of using a phone behind the...

Children in the Care System

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According to a recent study published by Anne Longfield (the Children’s Commissioner for England), many children in the care system are receiving consistent, safe and stable care which is extremely positive and encouraging to hear. However, there are...

Making a Will

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It is important to make a Will to ensure that your estate passes as you wish when you die. Your estate includes your house, money in bank accounts and even your jewellery. If you do not make a Will, the rules of intestacy will apply which means that your...

My Social Worker wants me to sign a Written Agreement, what does this mean?

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A Written Agreement is a tool that is often used by Children’s Social Care (Local Authorities) when working with children and families.  They can be used when children are subject to Child in Need Plans, Child Protection Plans or when they are...

Can you go to prison for using a Drone?

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The UK has seen a rise on the use of Drones for both fun and commercial use. However as a result of new laws being brought in, people found flying drones above 400ft and within a kilometre of airport boundaries, could find themselves being charged with a...

Survivors of domestic violence and paid leave

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New Zealand has taken a big step forward by being the second country in the world to grant victims of domestic abuse an additional ten days paid leave from work each year. The first country was the Philippines. Women’s Aid have, through their work,...

Monkey dust: Terrifying Drug now on UK streets for £2

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A new psychoactive substance has sparked a crisis in a UK city - where the drug is bought for as little as £2 a hit. The synthetic drug, dubbed 'monkey dust', is sending increasing numbers of people into violent and psychotic episodes in the...

What is a Family Assistance Order?

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A Family Assistance Order (FAO) is a short-term order which the Court can grant under Section 16 of the Children Act 1989 requiring a CAFCASS officer or an officer from the Local Authority to advise, assist and (where appropriate) befriend any person in the...

British Court recognises Sharia Law

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The High Court has made a ruling recognising Sharia Law for the first time in a British Court. This could change the way Islamic marriage and divorce works in the UK. Mr Khan and Mrs Akhtar’s marriage ceremony was conducted in a ceremony called a...

What searches are needed if I am buying a property?

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Pre Contract searches reveal additional information about the property you plan to purchase. The caveat emptor rule “buyer beware” puts the onus on the buyer to check the property for any physical defects and to make sure that the legal title is...

Authorities should advise survivors of domestic abuse

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Charlotte Rooks, a survivor of horrific domestic abuse, has recently discovered via social media of her abuser’s impending release from prison.  She was reported to be angry and upset and remains terrified of the perpetrator. Ms Rooks was beaten...

Prisons are not working.....

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“The reformed prisons of the 1800’s with their new emphasis on rehabilitation were invented to destroy the criminal personality and to generate new life and a new law abiding identity. Predicated upon violence the prisons proved successful in...

What is a Special Guardianship Order?

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A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is a private law order which legally appoints an individual(s) as a child’s guardian. A SGO is application made under the Children Act 1989 and allows the child to remain and live with the appointed individual until...

New Supreme Court Ruling - Owens v Owens

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Mr and Mrs Owens married in 1978 and separated in 2015. Mrs Owens wanted a divorce. Upon separating, Mrs Owens petitioned for divorce on the basis that the marriage had irretrievably broken down as a result of Mr Owen’s ‘unreasonable...

Alternative Options to Court in Family Matters

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Here at Emery Johnson Astills we understand that going through a divorce or separation can be an emotional and difficult time. It is generally better for everybody involved if arrangements between you can be agreed, this is in relation to both finances and...

What is an injunction?

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Anti-Social Behaviour: Civil Injunctions Civil injunctions are governed by the Anti-Social behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, and are available in the Crown Court and High Court in relation to adults, and in relation to persons under 18 they are...

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