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TOPIC: Tribunal Appeal

Tribunal Appeal 8 years 4 months ago #17057

  • festajester
Hi All,

Would appreciate any advice, help!!!

Appeal lodged in October 2008. Due to hospital appointment appeal was adjourned and due to both my carer and I being disabled, requested a domicilliary hearing, repeated requests have been ignored. On 6.11.09. Tribunal was adjourned as Visting Officer representing Secretary of State, stated he only had 11 pages and was not prepared, yet both the Tribunal Judge and ourselves had case papers. Was asked by Judge if we wanted to proceed, however, to be fair to all parties, said it was ok to adjourn and again requested a domicilliary hearing, once again this request was ignored and not responded too!!

Tribunal Hearing date was set for 8.3.2010, however due to confusion in mediat that civil servants being on strike and not knowing if appeal was going ahead, at 8.45 a.m. contacted Tribunal Service and was referred to another part of Tribunal Service and the Clerk who was dealing with it, working on flexi-time was not available until 9.30 a.m. So messages were being sent back and forwards between 8.45 a.m. to 9.15 a.m. Although left phone number was not contacted and advised to ring back at 10.00 a.m. the time the appeal was to be heard, as to whether the Tribunal Judge would accept thatdue to the lateness in time and media coverage that civil servants were on strike, that we 'joe public' would not know, which departments would be effected, given the time and date of hearing, was left to last minute. As it is a logistics nightmare to arrange transport for two wheelchair users, two enablers in order to attend Tribunal, one of whom had been just contacted by JobCentreplus to attend for work placement etc... that both of us could not go to appeal. So after much ado at 10.20 a.m. was still waiting for a phone call as to whether appeal was going ahead or not, this was not forthcoming, so carer with assistance of enabler, went to Tribunal to discover that it had gone ahead anyways and informed the appeal was disallowed. Considering what we did in allowing it to be adjourned in consideration of Visting Officer, feel aggrieved, that owing to our circumstances, that we did not receive the same courtesy, taking into consideration it had taken 17 months approximately to get to appeal.

Any ideas how to proceed to get decision set-aside, would be most grateful!!!

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Re:Tribunal Appeal 8 years 4 months ago #17059

Hi festajester,

In the circumstances it would probably be sensible to write straight away to the tribunal office dealing with your claim asking for the decision to be set aside. Give the reasons as you have in your post.

But at the same time it would also be prudent to write a separate letter requesting a full statement of reasons for the decision so that you can seek to appeal to the upper tribunal if necessary.

Good luck,

Steve

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Re:Tribunal Appeal 8 years 4 months ago #17063

  • festajester
Hi Steve,

As always great advice!!!

Hard to reconcile the fact at 10.15 a.m. no decision had been made as to whether appeal was being adjourned or heard, taking into consideration approx. 600 pages in the bundle of papers, low and behold when we got there at 11.00 a.m., the decision had already been made and was typed up!!!! Bearing in mind this appeal was allotted 2 hours!!! Unbelievable!!!

Thanks

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Re:Tribunal Appeal 8 years 4 months ago #17065

  • pata1
Hi F,

I think you have good grounds to get a set aside, based upon all the training courses and DLA Tribunals I attended with my husband Jim during the 10 years he sat on tribunals, with me as his carer.

I can assure you this is not the way things are usually done, but as in all professions there are good and bad, and tribunal members are no exception.

I would also be inclined to make a complaint about the way you were treated to the Regional Judge for the region that your appeal was held, since from what you've written the tribunal, especially the Tribunal Judge has failed to meet the required standards which are laid down in 'The Benchbook', a copy of which is in the members area, and I advise you take a look at it since it's regarded as 'the bible' for tribunal members.

Also, not sure if you're aware, but all the panel members receive their case bundles about 3-4 weeks before the date of a hearing so that they have time to study all the papers before the hearing, although no actual decision can be made until all 3 panel members convene as a tribunal on the day of the hearing.

As for domiciliary hearings, unless you have a GP or a Consultant who is prepared to state categorically that you cannot attend a tribunal hearing, then it won't be granted. Jim only sat on 3 domiciliary hearings in 10 years.

For what it advises about domiciliary hearings see Chapter 16 in 'The Benchbook'. Regretfully, a refusal to grant a domiciliary hearing is not appealable.

Best of luck, and let us know how things go.

Best wishes.

Pat

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Last Edit: by pata1. Reason: Added further information.

Re:Tribunal Appeal 8 years 3 months ago #18484

  • festajester
Tribunal Judge has stated he is not prepared to set the decision aside. Have requested statement of reasons, it still has not been supplied. Can anyone answer me this, where can I find the Benchbook, can someone send me a link - Thanks.

As mentioned in earlier post regarding son having to attend an appointment in related to his Jobseekers allowance, does Tribunal Judge have jurisdiction to pose questions to son, afterall it is not his appeal, he is only an enabler and is not part of the Tribunal. Are DWP allowed to merge a document to appear as if it is one, when in reality it is two, which are years apart and not really relevant to the appeal???

Thanks in advance

P.S. Jim I hope you have had a speedy recovery!!!

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Re:Tribunal Appeal 8 years 3 months ago #18494

  • kathy1
Hi,

you will find the Bench Book under resources in the members section.

Kathy

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