Do you have concerns about someone's personal welfare, their financial affairs, or property? Check how to apply for a one-off decision from the Court of Protection in the United Kingdom.
PROTECTION ORDER: Reasonable grounds for making an application to the Court of Protection would be if (both):
As a rule, you should try to find an agreement to avoid having to go to court. But, you can apply to the court if it fails and a major disagreement requires a serious decision.
Note: You can read more about the general rules and code of practice giving guidance for decisions made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
In some cases, you may need to apply to search the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) registers. That is how you find out if someone has an attorney or deputy acting for them.
The process differs if you think the person may be in immediate danger. For example, if they require emergency medical treatment and cannot give their consent. In this case, you can make an urgent or emergency application to the Court of Protection instead.
Different rules apply if the person needs long-term help with decisions about their personal welfare and financial affairs. So, you can apply to become someone's deputy if that person 'lacks mental capacity'.
You will need to download and fill in several different forms, including:
Note: The other person's doctor (or a medical professional) should fill in the relevant parts. You must send the original document and one copy as well.
In certain cases, you might also need to download and fill in several other forms, such as:
Note: The fee to apply for a one-off decision from the Court of Protection is £385.
You can use Form COP44A to apply for help with Court of Protection fees. It only applies to people on low income or those getting certain benefits. Fees will vary depending on the actual circumstances of your case.
Remember to send a cheque with your completed forms and make it payable to 'HM Courts and Tribunals Service'.
Court of Protection
PO Box 70185
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
London WC1A 9JA
The next step is for you to tell other people that you have applied for a protection order. The people that you must inform include:
You will receive a stamped copy of your application forms from the Court of Protection. They will also show the issue date and a separate letter explains the next step.
Note: You will need to serve papers (tell certain people) about the application within fourteen (14) days of the issue date.
Once you get this far, either you (or your representative) must visit the subject of the application. You will need to tell them:
You must also provide the person with:
If the person chooses to get some advice and legal assistance they can contact the Court of Protection.
Court of Protection
Telephone: 0300 456 4600
Landline and mobile calls comparison.
You must also tell anyone named on the application that you have issued it. You should send them:
Note: There are several different ways that you can tell them such as by post, fax, email, or in person.
After sending the forms you must then confirm that you told all the people involved within seven (7) days. You should download and fill in both of these certificates of service:
Follow that by sending both 'certificates of service' to the Court of Protection together and at the same time (see address above).
The Court of Protection will make contact after you 'served notice'. The court will provide you with any updated information, such as whether:
If there will be a court hearing you must attend it. You must also inform the subject about the hearing:
You can use the same notice about proceedings (Form COP14). Give it to the person related to the decision. They can contact the Court of Protection for further advice if needed (see above).
You must send another certificate of service (COP20A) to the Court of Protection within seven (7) days of telling the person. If the court makes a final decision at a hearing there will be a £500 fee to pay.
As a rule, you will get a decision at the hearing (or afterwards by postal methods). If there is no hearing you will get the decision by post.
You can apply to the court for a reconsideration if they made the decision without a hearing. Use Form COP9 within 21 days of the decision date.
You can ask for permission to appeal if there was a hearing. Use Form COP35: Appellant's notice (also called a 'notice of appeal'). The fee is £385 but you can apply for help to pay the fee (see above).
Applying for a One Off Decision from the Court of Protection