Apply to be a litigation friend
You can apply to be someone’s litigation friend by either:
- providing a copy of the court order that appointed you as the person’s deputy if it gives you permission to act as their litigation friend
- filling in a certificate of suitability if you’re not the person’s deputy
You must send (‘file’) your court order or certificate of suitability with the court before you can act on the person’s behalf.
The person’s solicitor usually does this, but you can do it yourself if there’s no solicitor yet. Contact the court to find out where to deliver your documents. You’ll then have to find a solicitor to act for the other person.
Deputies: civil cases
If you’re the deputy of the claimant (the person bringing the case to court) and your deputy’s court order gives you permission to be litigation friend, you must file your court order together with the claim form that starts the court case.
Certificate of suitability
Download and fill in the relevant form to apply in the:
Deliver in person (‘serve’) a completed copy of the relevant form to the:
- parent, guardian or carer, if you’re applying to be a child’s litigation friend
- deputy, attorney with a lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney, or carer of the adult you want to be litigation friend for
- the adult, known as the ‘protected party’, you want to be litigation friend for
If you’re applying to act for an adult, explain on the certificate of suitability form why you think they need someone to make decisions about the case on their behalf.
Certificate of service
When you’ve served the certificate of suitability, download and fill in the relevant certificate of service for a:
- civil case
- family case
- Court of Protection case depending on whether you’re serving the other person or someone else
What to do with the forms
Deliver or send the certificate of suitability and certificate of service to the court at the same time.
If you’re applying to be litigation friend for the person making the claim in a civil case, your forms must be delivered with the claim form.