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 complainant, who I will refer to as Mr A, complains about the content of a Section 7 report produced by a social worker.
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)
- 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  EHWCC 2847 (Admin))
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered what Mr A has said in support of his complaint.
What I found
- 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.
- The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr A’s complaint. We cannot investigate the content of Section 7 reports. This is a matter for the court.
- The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint. This is because it concerns the content of a court report.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman