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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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can i give power of attorney to someone to act on my behalf

Customer Question

can i give power of attorney to someone to act on my behalf in family court matters?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
What court matters are you referring to?

Where are you located?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

nys resident

juvenile court Humphreys county TN, for release of records concerning my minor child,

My childs aunt was granted custody in 2005, and I want it to remain that way, but have learned my ex-wife, my daughters mother, is trying to get custody returned to her, she has been in several drug rehabs, and abandoned my daughter several years ago

I can not make the court date due to work, and want to appoint my girlfriend to represent me at the court date, and to make decisions for me, regarding my daughter

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

You cannot grant a POA to someone to actually testify on your behalf or to represent you in court unless they are a licensed attorney in that jurisdiction. Nobody can be appointed to offer testimony and I'm not certain what decisions your girlfriend could make since it is the court that makes the decisions.


If this is a matter of granting a POA to authorize someone to pick up or view medical records then that should not be a problem. Any proposed agreements on this case would have to be submitted to you before the court would accept them.


If the aunt has legal custody and wishes to continue she would have to be the primary witness at any hearing. I doubt the court would accept any testimony from your girlfriend, POA or not since she is not directly involved in the interests of your child.


It would appear that the mother's history is the most important aspect of why she should not have custody and I would think that the aunt could present that evidence to the court.If the medical records are needed I can't understand why the aunt cannot obtain them if she is the legal guardian of the child.


In any event, I can't see that a POA would be of any use in your situation.


Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes, I just want my girlfriend to be able to obtain the files in juvinel court about my daughter, will a poa work for that?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

You probably should contact the court and ask since there is no duty on the part of the court to accept a POA. What I don't understand is why the aunt, who you said has legal custody, can't simply get the records. That would be far easier. Also, I would think that you could send a written request for the records to the court. Every court has its own local rules and I cannot say for certain that this particular court is going to accept a POA from the non custodial parent to a girlfriend who has no legal interest in the case.


A power of attorney is generally used for handling the financial affairs of another and not for this type of situation. Courts will typically deal only with the parties or their attorneys so it is my opinion that they will not accept a POA in your case but it doesn't hurt to ask. If these were medical records from a hospital or doctor then it might be feasible but courts are fairly strict in their rules.


Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
we faxed them a written request for all records pertaining to my daughter, and the court, replied that I would have to attend the court date to recieve them, not medical records, but custodial records,
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

Then if the court said that you will have to appear or you will have to hire an attorney on your behalf. I still can't understand why the aunt can't get the records if she wants to retain custody and has legal custody now.



Dave Kennett and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thank you sir, for your help, I understand what you are saying and it makes sense,
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.
No problem and thanks for using our service - Dave