Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 12 Apr 2018
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: we cannot investigate this complaint about the Council’s decision to remove Miss X’s children from her care as this has been considered in court.
- The complainant, who I have called Miss X, complained that Thurrock Council has 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 the information provided by Miss X and I have discussed the complaint with her. I invited Miss X to comment on a draft of this decision.
What I found
- Miss X has three children. The Council went to court and obtained care orders to remove them from her care.
- Miss X said the Council did not help her and did not give her an opportunity to prove her parenting skills. She said officers lied. She also said she had raised all these issues in court but the judge granted care orders anyway.
- Miss X is unhappy with the Council’s lack of support and the way it went about removing her children from her care. However, her concerns have been considered in court and the judge granted the Council care orders.
- The law does not allow us to investigate matters that have been considered in court. I explained this in paragraph 3. So we cannot investigate Miss X’s complaint for this reason.
- We cannot investigate this complaint. This is because the matters complained of have been considered in court.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman