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Lancashire County Council (22 002 791)

Category : Children's care services > Child protection

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 09 Jun 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate Miss X’s complaint that the Council has failed to provide court ordered therapy for her daughter because it lies outside our jurisdiction. The law prevents us from investigating matters that are being, or have been, considered in court proceedings. We have no discretion to do so.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Miss X, complains the Council has failed to provide her daughter with court ordered therapy following 2019 court proceedings.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. We cannot investigate a complaint about the start of court action or what happened in court. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5/5A, paragraph 1/3, as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. Miss X complains the Council has not provided her daughter with court ordered therapy. Miss X says she has returned the matter to court to ensure her daughter receives the therapy she needs. This is ongoing.
  2. Miss X says her daughter has suffered over the past two and a half years as a result of not receiving therapy.
  3. The Council told Miss X it cannot consider her complaint because it is about a matter that has been considered in court. It advised Miss X to raise her concerns in the ongoing proceedings.
  4. We are also prevented from considering complaints about matters that have been subject to court proceedings.

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Final decision

  1. We cannot investigate Miss X’s complaint because it lies outside our jurisdiction. The law prevents us from considering complaints about matters that are being, or have been, considered and decided in court. We have no discretion to do so.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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