I did a case yesterday where the panel refused to consent to a withdrawal.
Clients circumstances changed on the day of the hearing. Supported accommodation assessed and accepted them at 11:30 and hearing was due to start at 14:15. Therefore no way of contacting tribunal service beforehand.
Accommodation needs a CTO so original plan to ask for an informal admission mo longer feasible. Client is happy with this.
I felt Judge was dealing with the case like talking to the professionals about risk rather than dealing with the preliminary matter.
Judge refused to accept withdrawal request and reluctantly adjourned the hearing as i argued not in the interest of justice to proceed.
Client has another 9 months of his eligibility period so wishes to retain his right of appeal should anything happen with the Supported accommodation etc.
Has anyone successfully appealed this and could give me any advice.
I would simply write and withdraw now it’s been adjourned…
That is odd as usually in that situation it would be hard to get an adjournment and the Panel would prefer you to withdraw. Surely it would be best to leave the application in and see how things progress as you always have the option to withdraw before the MHT convenes and if things go wrong you could still proceed with MHT. If he is discharged before MHT you also have the option to use the appeal against the CTO-getting a bonus CTO appeal if the client decides he doesn’t want to be on CTO.
I don’t understand the basis for the adjournment. Why adjourn the case off if it is not in the interest of justice to proceed, that makes no sense, have you got the adjournment decision. I think you need to wait until you have that document and can understand the reasons for the decision before considering an appeal.
From what you have said, I would have requested an adjournment rather than withdrawal, following the principles in AM v SLAM, I think that would have been a more sensible outcome, which you got. If they had refused the adjournment, you could have then sort to withdraw or proceeded and then appealed the decision. I suspect there will be some more case law on adjournments in the near future.
Taking the matter forward, I tend to agree with Karen, the adjournment may assist your client to get discharged.
I can see why the patient would prefer to withdraw (it would put the ball back in his court) but I think I agree with Ben and Karen that the adjournment might not be a bad thing in the end. Consent to withdrawal (or refusal of consent) is a judicial act and is appealable but, as Ben said, you should consider the panel’s written reasons before deciding what to do. There are some notes on MHLO’s Withdrawal (MHT) page that might be useful. I’ve only ever appealed a decision to consent to withdrawal, so different issues arose!