A quiet day – except that about 8 p.m. I get a telephone call from a friend about his daughter who had had a visit from the bailiff that morning for non payment of her (family) Council Tax. The bailiff did not gain access inside the house and promised to return on Monday – what to do and what advice do I have?
Two years ago I attended a course promoted by the Zaccheus 2000 Trust to enable us to become McKenzie’s Friends and to assist people who are
being unfairly oppressed for the non payment of debt. I offer to call on the family at noon on Saturday.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McKenzie_friend reports that a McKenzie friend assists a litigant in person in a common law court. This person does not need to be legally qualified. The crucial point is that litigants are entitled to have accompanying assistance, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Their role was set out most clearly in the eponymous 1970 case McKenzie v. McKenzie. Although in many cases a McKenzie friend may be an actual friend, it is often somebody with knowledge of the area. He or she may be liable for any misleading advice given to the litigant in person. The role is distinct from that of a next friend or of an amicus curiae.