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Cheshire East Council (16 017 217)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 23 Mar 2017

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about the Council’s information to a court which decided to send her children to live with their father. The Ombudsman cannot investigate a court case and the children no longer live in the Council’s area.

The complaint

  1. Mrs X complains the Council gave inaccurate information to a court which decided to place her children with their father.
  2. Mrs X complains the Council has not replied to her complaint about the actions of its officer in court.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. 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 have considered Mrs X’s comments and clarified the position with the Council.

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What I found

  1. Mrs X disagrees with the court’s decision that the children should live with their father. She disagrees with evidence provided to the court by the Council.
  2. Mrs X is concerned that the father is a risk to his children. The Council says she should raise any concern with the Council where the children now live. It says it cannot deal with the matter via its complaint procedure.

Analysis

  1. I will not investigate this complaint for the following reasons:
      1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate how the court dealt with the case or its decision (see paragraph 3). This includes the consideration of the Council’s evidence including any court report.
      2. The children do not live in the Council’s area and it is not responsible for their welfare. No purpose would be achieved by investigation.

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Final decision

  1. I will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about the Council’s information to a court which decided to send the children to live with the father. The Ombudsman cannot investigate a court case and the children no longer live in the Council’s area.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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