How do you explain the following: I needed to file an urgent appeal following a district judge’s decision in a family court (the matter involved two children). I took the application to court to be at the clerk’s room at 10am, where I was told by the clerk: ‘You must make an appointment.’ I said that was the purpose of my visit but was told: ‘If you want to make an appointment you have to telephone Bury St Edmunds.’

I asked why and was told: ‘They are the rules.’ The clerk pointed to a telephone number on the wall some 15 steps away.

I phoned and was asked about the purpose of my call. I explained that I had an extremely urgent appeal application and had been told to make an appointment to make an appointment. After further questioning, I was told the matter must be referred to the family court in which I was standing. The call was then transferred and, guess what, the same clerk came on to the phone and asked whether I would like to make an appointment to file an application. She was no more than 15 paces from where we had spoken 15 minutes previously.

It is a sad state of affairs when inappropriate procedures are enforced which serve no purpose, except perhaps to satisfy administrators they are doing something. Am I alone with this experience (just one of many I could mention)?

DR Sheridan, senior partner, DR Sheridan LLP, Bushey, Herts