Deprivation of liberty and The Court of Protection
If you believe someone who lacks the capacity to make decisions has been deprived of their liberty without due legal process, an expert from our Mental Health & Capacity team can help you to take the appropriate route to appeal depending on their circumstances.
Miles & Partners is one of the few firms nationwide specialising in representing vulnerable people, their families and carers. Our experienced lawyers are accredited members of the Law Society’s Court of Protection (Welfare) Accreditation Scheme and the Law Society’s Mental Health Tribunal scheme. In Court of Protection cases they are often instructed by the Official Solicitor.
The Court of Protection team is recognised in the 2021 Legal 500, as ‘an expert team with a well-earned reputation in the field. Well organised, client focused and a pleasure to work with.’
In the Chambers UK 2021 Guide, the department was ranked in Band 2 and recognised as ‘a committed team who truly wish to help the most vulnerable in society.’ It was also noted that ‘they are very conscientious and thorough in their approach.’
We can advise on a range of issues relating to a vulnerable person’s liberty which might include:
Detention in a hospital or care home
Adults placed in a care home or hospital from which they are not able to leave are protected by Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). Challenges to the use of DoLS are heard by the Court of Protection – the legal body which decides where it is in the person’s best interests to live, if they lack the mental capacity to make their own decision.
Being placed in a care home can be a difficult transition. Your friend or loved one may have been placed somewhere that they do not like and they may express a desire to leave. We can provide advice and assistance to you or your loved one.
We are regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor who acts as litigation friend for individuals who have been placed in care homes or hospital. We are also instructed by family members who may have the best interests at heart of their relatives who are in care homes. We can bring your case to court to find out what is in their best interests.
Detention under the Mental Health Act
Adults detained under the Mental Health Act can appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal – see our page on representation at a mental health tribunal.
If a person without mental capacity is living in their own home or in a supported living placement in circumstances that deprive them of their liberty, it may be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for an order to protect their rights.
Funding for legal advice or representation
Miles & Partners has a Mental Health contract awarded by the Legal Aid Agency. Where the case is a challenge to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, legal aid is available to the person being deprived of their liberty or their Relevant Person’s Representative without an assessment of income and assets. Where the deprivation of liberty takes place in the person’s own home or a supported living placement legal aid may be available if the assessment of income and assets is passed.
Once we understand your circumstances, we will advise what funding might be available and discuss which payment options might work best for you if legal aid is not possible.
For legal advice
If you or someone you care for requires advice or assistance in any of these matters, please contact us and ask to speak to a member of our Mental Health & Capacity team.