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Surrey County Council (18 019 367)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 29 Mar 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr A’s complaint about the content of a report produced by a social worker. We cannot investigate complaints about court reports.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I will refer to as Mr A, complains about the content of a Section 7 report produced by a social worker.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. 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)
  3. The Courts have said that we cannot investigate a complaint about any action by a council, concerning a matter which is itself out of our jurisdiction. (R (on the application of M) v Commissioner for Local Administration [2006] EHWCC 2847 (Admin))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Mr A has said in support of his complaint.

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What I found

  1. Mr A’s children are the subject of private legal proceedings. Mr A says the court has ordered the Council to produce a Section 7 report. He complains about the content of the court report, which he regards as prejudicial to his children’s welfare.
  2. The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr A’s complaint. We cannot investigate the content of Section 7 reports. This is a matter for the court.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint. This is because it concerns the content of a court report.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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