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Surrey County Council (18 017 432)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 29 Mar 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s court report. We cannot investigate what happens in court and that is where Mr X can challenge the Council’s assessment.

The complaint

  1. Mr X complains that the Council’s court report is not accurate and caused him harm.

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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 Mr X’s information and comments. The Council has provided its letter, 11 March 2019, replying to Mr X following a meeting with him.

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What I found

  1. Mr X says the Council’s court report was not accurate and contained information that was ‘all made up’. He also wrote to the Council about inaccurate minutes of a meeting in January to discuss the issues.
  2. Mr X says the Council has damaged his name, caused him loss of earnings and inconvenience.
  3. Mr X says the Council has not replied to his complaint about the matter. On 11 March the Council wrote a detailed letter to Mr X about their discussion and the matter in dispute.

Analysis

  1. I will not investigate this complaint for the following reasons:
      1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate what happens in a court including evidence and the content of a court report (see paragraph 2 above).
      2. We will not normally investigate complaint handling where the main matter is not being investigated. The Council has written to Mr X and there is no injustice.
      3. If Mr X believes the Council holds inaccurate information he can go to the Information Commissioner. However, the information I have suggests the main issue is Mr X disagreement with the Council’s assessment of him and that is a matter for court.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s court report. We cannot investigate what happens in court and that is where Mr X can challenge the Council’s assessment.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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