Daily Archives: May 8, 2024

Passing The Baton: When legal advice goes awry

What is meant by “Passing The Baton”?
To Pass The Job And Responsibility On To Another.

I spent 1 year writing and publishing my first book to tell the true story of what happened in a relationship and post-separation. A former partner filed 7 criminal allegations against me. It was three weeks after I had appeared in a Civil Court in Cartagena for a Verbal Hearing on the precarious eviction. A free public defence lawyer had informed me that the Judge would order my eviction. I was shocked that the lawyer had not listened to anything I had told her, including that the statements in the court document presented to the Judge were misleading and some of it was not truthful.

Here is how the allegations appeared in the court documents

Fortunately, the Court dismissed five of the allegations after the first hearing. There are two allegations still in the court system.

Here are my experiences and part of the reason I published my book.

14th October

I received advice from a solicitor. The advice was to file a gender violence denuncia against the Ex. I asked the solicitor if he could write to his solicitor as I didn’t want to file a complaint. He refused saying I needed to file a denuncia and I would receive free legal help, then I would receive financial support and psychological assistance.

16th October

I backed out of going to the Police station with my Spanish friend who could translate for me.  I wrote to the Ex and his Solicitor because I didn’t want to go to court and prefer co-operation to litigation. Later I discovered that lots of women do not want to report domestic abuse, and even when Police can see there has been physical violence women have refused to press charges. I recommend the book “In Control Dangerous Relationships and How They End In Murder” by Jane Monkton Smith

Check out “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” by Dr. Ramani Durvasula

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I Go? uses checklists, clinical wisdom, and real stories from real people to prepare you for the real terrain of pathological narcissism.
It raises the red flags to watch for and provides a realistic roadmap for difficult situations to help you reclaim yourself, find healing, and live an authentic and empowered life. Whether you stay or go.

Available Via Amazon

19th October 

I received an email reply from the solicitor who wrote “Be sure about facts in your denounce. As it is possible to process with a denounce against someone it is possible to prosecute someone who made a false denounce.” Plus “there is a stream of colleagues that are keen in taking any problem for couples married or in partnership.” Really??? What type of colleagues does he know that will advise to file a criminal complaint that could end up with a woman being prosecuted for filing a false denounce.

He then proceeded to tell me I have no rights here in Spain and that it is different than the UK. He advised me to make a proposal. I had already given my financial proposal to the Ex on the 12th of September. The one he rejected and did not even discuss with me.

21st October 

I decided to go to the Police and file the denuncia. At the office of the Guardia in Cartagena, I was not understood

There were two hearings which took place on the 22nd of October and then on the 15th January. Appointed a free public lawyer who appeared 30 minutes before the court hearings each time. No questions were asked and no further evidence was requested. On March 9th 2021, I received the sentence of the Gender Violence court in a text message from the free lawyer.

The original solicitor read the sentence and told me the case was heard as one minor verbal abuse and not a longer case of bad behaviour. Case Dismissed. His advice was to appeal.

Passing The Baton Failures: The free lawyer’s advice

The CAVI gender violence charity and the free lawyer’s advice was, do not make further complaints, you will make him angry. He was already angry. Then told to negotiate, I had already tried to negotiate. I had no access to legal representation. 

The reason why I wrote and published my first book was to raise awareness of hidden forms of domestic abuse (emotional, psychological, sexual, financial) I am lucky to be able to tell my story, many women are not here to tell their stories. Many people tell me that I’m strong, maybe I am strong but I still crumble now and then. As an entrepreneurial type, I know that you need to be determined to succeed. I’m still here, determined to share my story and hopefully obtain Justice and influence change.

So how could things have been different? Passing the baton.

I feel that the Solicitor who provided the advice to file the gender violence could have provided me with a written instruction of why he was giving me the advice to go to the police.

Or he could have called the Guardia and informed them first and made the appointment.

Or he could have represented me and attended the Guardia Office when the statement was made.

In communicating the information to the Guardia Civil in Cartagena then any misunderstanding would have been avoided.  Besides the 016 national Gender Violence helpline instructs women to have a lawyer when making a complaint. I asked twice at the Guardia office and did not get the assistance of a lawyer.

Turning Trauma into Triumph: Help Us Fund Legal Representation for One Woman’s Post-Separation Battle for Justice

Silenced in a Civil Court Verbal Hearing - Reason I did not understand Spanish.