Activism

If you are a tenant based in Portsmouth and need to appear in (civil) court for housing-related matters, I can accompany you, if you’d like that.

Because having to go to a court on your own can be daunting enough on its own. (Besides the reason why you’re being asked to show up in court.)

It starts with lots of people – some journalists and some CAB advisers included – associating “court” with “crime”. This alone can FREAK people OUT and is not helpful.

It may partly stem from the use of the word “defendant” in civil proceedings. The word “respondent” might be more appropriate.

Online, I have even seen someone worry about acquiring a criminal record and about no longer being able to leave the country to go on a holiday, in relation to a low-level civil matter.

Next, there’s the metal detectors you have to go through when you enter the building, followed by having to find your way around (which can include having to find the right building).

The atmosphere in court buildings can be quite intimidating, too. Most court staff is very friendly and helpful. Some people who work there are openly haughty, however.

  • I worked at a top law firm for a few years, side by side with him, her, him and others, working at all hours, sometimes on weekends too. So I am comfortable around members of the legal profession and I know that they’re as human as anybody else.
  • I’ve been in court for myself several times in England, as a litigant in person (= without a lawyer representing me) in civil matters.
    • On one or two occasions, it coincided with a lot of stress caused by something else that was going on in my life at the time, something that terrified me.
    • On another occasion, I ended up dealing with three lawyers who represented two different insurance companies.

Even if you know the law, somewhat or well, it’s usually easier to act for another person than for yourself and it can help to have someone by your side.

Ask around for me in Portsmouth or leave me a note via the contact page if you’re interested.

I’ve been based in Portsmouth since the start of 2009, and I’ve been in the UK since the end of 2004.

I also do a tiny little bit of wildlife rehab and a tiny little bit of shore clean-ups.