Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 22 Mar 2017
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman has no power to investigate Ms M’s complaint about the court’s decision to remove her children from her care.
- The complainant, whom I shall call Ms M, complains that the Council has wrongly removed her children from her care.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
- 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)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered information supplied by Ms M.
What I found
- Ms M’s children were removed from her care in 2015 by court order. Ms M says that she has evidence the information considered by the court was inaccurate. She wants the children to be returned to her care.
- Because the information Ms M complains about formed part of the court proceedings and could be challenged in court, the Ombudsman cannot investigate the complaint (see paragraph 3). Neither can the Ombudsman challenge or overturn a decision made by a court.
- I have decided that the Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint because it is about a decision made by a court and relates to the information which was used in the court proceedings. It is outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman