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Intervention orders

What are intervention orders?

An intervention order allows someone to make one-off or specific decisions, e.g. selling a house or deciding on the best medical treatment at a particular time.

They can also be useful where powers may be needed that weren’t included within a guardianship order, for example if an unforeseen situation were to arise.

Who can apply?

Anyone with an interest in the individual, e.g. parent/carer, local authority officer or other relevant professional.

What are the duties of an intervener?

To carry out a specific one-off act on behalf of the individual, taking into account the principles behind the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.

How do you apply?

  • Appoint a solicitor, with experience of the law as it applies to people with additional support needs.
  • Be clear about fees before the solicitors begin to act for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be prepared to shop around as the process can be costly.
  • You can find a solicitor who can apply for Legal Aid. This is likely to be awarded regardless of any savings, if you are applying for welfare powers.
  • With the solicitor, identify the professionals who will submit reports to support your application to the Sheriff Court. You will need two medical reports certifying the person’s incapacity. You will also need further professional reports, depending on the powers requested. These could include input from a local authority mental health officer, and/or professionals qualified to comment on financial aspects that may be part of the application. The reports must have been prepared no more than 30 days before applying, including any interviews or examinations that may be necessary. In practice, there may be some flexibility around the 30-day rule, but this is at the Sheriff’s discretion.
  • If deadlines aren’t met, the process may have to begin again.
  • Submit the application. It needs a court hearing before the Sheriff, who decides if an intervention order is the best way to meet the person’s needs, if the proposed interveners are suitable, and how long any order should last.

When should you apply?

As soon as the need is identified. As with guardianship, it can take some time to prepare the application and get the right reports in place.

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