Local Authority Law

A Local Authority v X & Anor (Children) [2013] EWHC 3274 (Fam)

Judge ruling that the mother who married in Pakistan being underage had her marriage declared void. This in turn resulted in the husband, whose whereabouts were unknown,  to have his status declared lowered from a married father to that of an unmarried father.


P (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1475

Application by M’s partner for permission to appeal a finding that it was more likely than not that M’s daughter had suffered a non-accidental injury and that the perpetrator was her partner. This finding was made even though the judge said that the medical evidence was equivocal. The appeal was granted because the medical evidence was equivocal which was an argument with a real prospect of success but also that the judgment is preventing him from having access to his three older children. The appeal judge requested pro bono assistance for the father.



This is a Human rights case where the authorities in Germany had prematurely denied the parents access to their children after they had been taken from the parents because of allegations that the children had been beaten by both parents.

The children had been caught cheating in school exams. The children, when confronted, stated that their parents beat them if they didn’t get good grades. The children were immediately taken into care. The parents were for a couple of years prevented from seeing the children. Eventually, the parents won the right to see their children in the care home. When the children saw their parents, they broke down and admitted they had lied about the beatings. They were then returned to the parents.

The court found that the court had acted lawfully in taking the children to investigate the allegations but had acted unlawfully in preventing the parents from having any access to the children during this time.


London Borough of Ealing v Connors [2013] EWHC 3493 (Fam)

Mother refuses to inform the court of the whereabouts of her children in care proceedings. Court is forced to jailed the mother for contempt of court. Suspended sentence considered and rejected.


Re W (Fact Finding- Hearsay Evidence) [2013] EWCA Civ 1374

Case where a lower court judge makes a finding of sexual abuse against a father and the mother failing to protect a child. This was done on the basis of social services notes of hearsay evidence. Although the daughter who allegedly made the alleged allegations was summonsed by the court to give evidence she did not appear. This denied the parents the opportunity to cross examine the witness against them. Despite this the lower court judge made findings against the parents based solely on Social Services notes.

The Court of Appeal, supported by much case law on the issue of hearsay evidence in children cases, found that the judge had erred in her treatment of the evidence. Those authorities emphasised the need for courts to consider measures that could be taken to assist witnesses to present evidence in court and have that evidence tested.


In the Matter of A (A Child) [2012] UKSC 60

Case where allegations of child abuse was made by a third party now an adult to the local authority. The court ordered the details and name of the third party to be revealed so that the father could have a fair trial. The council refused to reveal the details and made an appeal to the supreme court to protect the alleged victim who was declared psychiatrically unfit to testify.

Appeal was refused but in the mean time the social services had revealed the identity and details to the mother and the Guardian Ad Litem, but not to the father. And the father had his contact to his daughter reduced.

It was ruled that there were ways of protecting the alleged victim from appearing directly in court and her evidence in some form or other could be presented to the court to give the father an opportunity to defend himself and for the judge to make an assessment as to the relevance and weight of the allegations.


M (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1580

Case where a child sustained bruising to the arms and legs, so was examined by several experts. Because of the unusual locations of the injuries, the experts could not give an explanation as to the cause of the bruising. The judge ruled that because the experts could not give an explanation as to the cause of the injuries, reasonable or unreasonable, he ruled that one of the parents had inflicted the injuries. But not which one. He further added that the other parent had failed to protect the child.

The appeal court overturned the judge’s decision. They concluded that because no explanation of the injuries could be determined it does not follow that the injuries were non accidental.


Re M (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 1710

Case where a child was taken hospital by mother because of a small bump to the head. However, when the child was examined it was discovered that the child’s skull was fractured. There were also a couple of broken ribs.  The expert’s at court could not give an explanation as to the cause of the skull fracture, given that there was no internal brain injury and the external bump was only slight. The child was not in pain and quite happy. A person sustaining such a skull fracture would either be dead or in intensive care. The experts found this inexplicable and very, very unusual. They at first suspected brittle bone disease. But on ex-ray the child’s bones looked normal. They were absolutely confounded.

The parents statements were found to be unreliable. The judge ruled that there statements were not wholly truthful.

The appeal court overturned the lower judges judgment. They came to the conclusion that there may be an as yet unfound medical condition that caused such injuries. They also concluded that the reason the parents accounts couldn’t explain the injuries was again because the cause of the injury was inexplicable. The case was sent back down to the lower courts for a retrial before a different judge. And it was urged that the experts should make extensive search of the medical literature to find a reasonable explanation for the injuries.


Bridgend County Borough Council v GM & Anor [2012] EWHC 3118 (Fam)

Case where care proceedings were instigated against a mother, who was a drug addict supported by prostitution. Eleven days after becoming aware of the proceedings, the mother and father abscond with the child to Alicante, Spain. The mother started a new life in Spain. To the mother’s consternation, the Spanish Social Services also instigated care proceedings. The mother and father again moved to a different part of Spain. Again the child is found and immediately taken into care. The father returned to England. The mother remained in Spain. The Spanish authorities return the child to the UK.

Under the Hague convention the government where the child is habitually resident has jurisdiction to instigate court proceedings. However, in error, the UK High Court had instigated proceedings the day before the child was returned. Nonetheless, the judge had ruled that the mother and therefore the child, were habitually resident in the UK, because the reason the mother had traveled to Spain was to evade the authorities in the UK. The judge finally ruled that the proceedings had to be re-instigated.



  1. Ms Jose

    Dear Sir/Madame(s)

    I have been through a 9month ordeal with a UK local authority. I belive I have been unfairl assesed and equaly unjustly judged.

    Please do let me know any information you would need in order to assist our family.

    Please could this e-mail be forwarded to a Mckenzie friend experienced/available if at all possible.

    We could consider a judicial review perhaps. But most definitely an appeal. This is in regards to a civil family matter for which I would be allocated non means tested legal assistance. I have had a trial final hearing of which I could email/post the final placement order. I also have the judgement in hard copy and can forward the threshold document.

    Please do let me know if

    1. You have the capacity for an appeal application within 10days from today.

    2. If you recommend a particular solicitor I should instruct. To enable your fee cover.

    I believe this to be an easy case to challenge and there was not great reason for social service intervention in the very onset and for the duration. I did not accept the threshold and have been contesting it throughout. However the great error of this test application is that my position apparently was conveyed as me accepting the threshold. I did not and have not throughout.

    I look forward to your prompt response

    Kind Regards

    Ms Joseph


    There has been an adoption order. I would like set aside. Challanged & possible judicial review of the local Authorities decision.

    I have had no support from the social service during these proceedings if they believe so then what was it?

    A lot more can be done if anybody is willing to engage with this mother. Many attempts to call. EE telephone records retrieved prove, this mother continuously tried to engage the service to support and communicate with myself and my family unit.

    Our family could have simply benefited from regular social work and family support worker visits , enhanced parenting support and health visiting service, universal GP service and play sessions / parenting support from local children’s centre. All within my means of attending and being housed would not miss health visit appointments as did in previous 2013 care proceedings.

    This would have been intrusive enough to mitigate risk and ensure consistency to a good enough standard of care.

    I have been able to organise myself enough to attend every meeting and every children’s centre visit to date. For 9 months.

    I carry out basic routines and care tasks competently. Can most certainly meet day to day needs.

    The court in my case should have

    – With the submission made on behalf of the L/A and guardian

    Directed the local authority to identify the services it would provide to meet the risk further no risk was even evaluated by the court under both a care order or in the alternative supervision order

    At the very least.

    Could I meet this Monday with a solicitor who has participated in family care proceeding appeals. Allow them my papers as I have limited time to appeal.

    My barrister Jackson said I accepted threshold, when I did not convey this at all I oppose the threshold. The case was heard under influence that I accepted the threshold, the whole thesis of my argument is that threshold is not met. Also let the experienced solicitor know I have contact with the foreign secretary of human rights who too is involved, this could assist. As we aim to exhaust the UK courts if necessary.

    I had an inconsistent, incomplete, disorganised parenting assessment. Of which I engaged.

    There was something to address in regards getting to the right court for damages which I am told should be filed or approached simultaneously, I have not absorbed the process for this as yet.

    The court never was presented with a balance sheet. The court was not presented with or never acknowledged or requested this, nor the evidence about the detriments & benefits of the statutory intervention and was thus enable to analyse what at all was proportionate. This conclusion was rushed un holistic and flawed.

    Since the lack of evidence was a consequence of the local authorities stance , the remedy of the court would have then been to direct evidence that was missing to be filed.

    I have been advised for numerous reasons and have my bundle back in my possession. That an appeal would be fulfilled also due to the lack of reasoning had vitiated the exercise of determining the proportionality of the order made. If the appeal could be made the order would be wished to be set aside to allow for a ico substitute to allow the matter return to a higher judge to decide more sensible proportionality and why with having regard for his/her welfare evaluation.

    Could you looked into this view my papers or allocate to the experienced solicitor & council with capacity at this point in time.

    Please forward my e-mail and mobile phone number and make the experienced solicitor / barrister within this firm know I am seeking a through eye to look over my papers and to ask me anything necessary to gain full scope of the parenting assessment and care proceedings trial. I wish to Gain legal finance & begin appeal.

    I have 12 working days to submit an appeal.


    I have sat through numerous assesment sessions. More than stipulated on the schedule and covered all the topics that have been requested of me & plus more. I made the child protective service I am available for more sessions and longer than an hour if this would be useful. I attend every session and give all the information and knowledge I hold on every topic time permitting and sometimes am told so much detail is not required.

    I also write up personal notes of all that we say and also have a list of every appointment, venue, duration and all that was relayed-discussed.

    I give the social worker a write up also to make sure she has a concise paper copy of some of what we covered per session.

    I am further concerned that I have heard some talk & been informed from the guardian them not being able to get any information from me, suggesting that something was vague. I wanted to know what she or they were referring too. I have been very elaborate and through of allowing the child protective service know my history, my identity, my family composition, my medical history, my support networks, my recreational activities and pursuits, my childhood joys, upbringing, my education and my future plans .

    I’ll do as I have been instructed to by professionals assisting my progression in this proceeding suggest I do. Contact the line manager to find out what is missing and if they feel they need any more sessions to gain the information they feel is or may still be missing to establish & confirm my parenting capabilities as I had not choosing to be evasive I am willing to engage throughout. I have been engaged. This is no longer my 1st proceeding or assessment as was in 2013-2014. I initially understood the intervention and concerns. Thinking thhey’d investigate find all is in perfect order and terminate the enquiry. However I feel it was unreasonable to conduct the entire assessment with my new born away from me when I established suitable accommodation and was in agreeance of their support of our family. Due to the social service we are living continuously in seperate abodes post birth. 7 Months on. I was hoemless in effect thoug had hosts. I also became a tennanct holder x2 weeks post birth however. No mother and baby unit was not made available as an option and my requests to have the care plan changed to assessment with my new born at home were ignored. Although the line manager met with me this wish I’d set out in writing to the IRO and line manager was never discussed with me. The Independant Reviewing Officer does not appear very indeependant of the service and does not acknowledge anything I say.

    I am aware of the process and have agreed to engage and co-operate I have attended every session bar one 28th April, which was re scheduled, and took over 3weeks for the social work practitioner to reschedule this date. I have attended every visit maintaining contact with my daughter at the children’s centre, my time keeping has improved since my previous assessment in 2013-2014.

    I wish some intervention to overlook what they are doing. I feel my family is being prejudiced and we are failing to gain the right to an private family life.

    I kindly look forward to you r response and I can surely assist in back ground information promptly.

    Kind Regards

    Ms Joseph

    1. Which part of the country are you in?

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