Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 14 Jun 2022
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about Ms X’s children being in an unsafe placement. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. There is an absolute bar that prevents us investigating matters that are or have been subject to court action.
- Ms X said the Council wrongly refused to consider her complaints about her children not being in a place of safety.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- 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)
- We have the power to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we think the issues could reasonably be, or have been, raised within a court of law. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by the complainant.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- We will not investigate Ms X’s complaint because the residence of her children was decided by a court, and the issues she complains of could now reasonably be raised in current court proceedings.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman