Fair point - could try that on Monday. It wouldn't be the end of the world for it to sit for a few months except there are bequeaths to two local charities, one of which could well survive if we can pay out without delay and not if we don't.
I don't see why not. If you are a litigant in person and you are using the recording for personal use then it seems fine to me. Of course the court would prefer to have the transcript but you should have the recording there just in case.
Using the recording for "personal use" in my view, means anything which is not published. Certainly if you are using it to defend yourself in a court then I would say it is definitely okay. If you are producing the recording to show that the defendant said X – when in fact they are saying they didn't then it seems to me to be very reasonable to use a recording to show that they are actually not telling the truth.
I think it would be a good idea to want the defendant in advance that you have the recording and that you have the transcript and that in court you will be referring to the statement that "X X X was the case blah blah".
I think it's important to be as transparent as possible. I certainly don't think that you should ambush the defendant with this in court. In fact before the hearing I would make it clear on your skeleton argument that you have this transcript and that you will be relying on it – and you can then give the words which were spoken. Also, in the court bundle which you should provide ahead of the hearing, you should provide the transcript and make it clear that it is a transcript of a recording. If the defendant then goes on to deny that he or she said those words, then I think that you are entitled to ask to play the recording. However, you would have to ask the judge's permission. In my young be an idea to provide the defendant a copy of the recording ahead of time so they can consider their reply rather than walk into a trap. If the words that they said are sufficiently important then it might even bring an early end to the dispute because the defendant might realise that they will have to put their hands up.
Have I missed something on the .gov sites? I can't see anywhere it says they've suspended services, only gone down the rabbit hole of HMRC saying I should submit a paper application and then phoning the probate office to pay and getting the recorded message that phone lines are closed. I can send the application in with a cheque but if the service is suspended I'm risking the loss of important documents.
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