The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development v Rebecca Johnson [2016] NZFC 2034

Published 31 July 2016

Appointment of litigation guardian — Family Courts Rules, rr 90A, 90B, 90(2) — minor in proceedings — next friend. The mother of the child in the proceedings was a minor. Pursuant to r 90 of the Family Courts Rules (the Rules) she could not take part in the proceedings without a next friend or litigation guardian, unless any exceptions applied under r 90(2). Rule 90A, that the minor was capable and willing to represent herself, did not apply; the minor’s wish was that her mother represent her as litigation guardian. After considering the minor’s position and reaching a positive view as to the grandmother’s ability to fairly and competently represent her, the grandmother was appointed litigation guardian by the Court. Counsel to Assist’s role extended to explaining the implications of appointment to the grandmother, and assisting with filing documents on time.**Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements.