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Mistaken Identity

Ric Carlyon - Monday, August 11, 2014

In initial conversation with the couple in front of me during my session at the Service Desk it was obvious that English was their second language. The document they presented had already been processed as a Statutory Declaration by another J.P.

So, why had they come to the CAB to see another J.P. and what did they want me to do?

The gentleman pointed to Section 18 which in the document followed the Statutory Declaration and stood out as the only section not signed off. Section 18 asked “Is the applicant of sound mind?”

I told the couple that as a J. P. I was not qualified, nor prepared, to sign on the dotted line. Once this had sunk in disappointment was written large over both faces, but the woman dived into her bag, and produced a letter, a guide to help complete the form. She thrust it out, confident this would solve any problem and that, in a flash, I would be signing and stamping the document.

“Section 18….” the notes said “… must be completed by a registered medical practitioner who has known you for at least 6 months”

Right, I concluded, just a small misunderstanding because of the way spoken English sounds, and only one letter out! The applicant needs a G.P. rather than a J.P.!

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