Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (19 018 196)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 31 Mar 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman has no legal power to investigate Miss X’s complaint that a Council social worker lied in court documents, provided false information and withheld information about both a court matter and police investigation. This is because the complaint relates to legal proceedings and a police investigation. Such matters are outside the Ombudsman’s legal remit.

The complaint

  1. Miss X complains a Council social worker lied in court reports, provided false evidence and withheld other evidence from the court.
  2. Miss X complains the Council social worker withheld information about alleged criminal matters.

Back to top

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)
  2. We cannot investigate a complaint about an ongoing police investigation. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5, paragraph 2, as amended)

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered Miss X’s complaint to the Ombudsman and the information she provided. I have written to Miss X with my draft decision and given her an opportunity to comment.

Back to top

What I found

  1. Miss X went to court over a child contact matter in August 2019.
  2. As part of the court proceedings the Council provided documents and information collated by a council social worker.
  3. We cannot investigate Miss X’s complaint because it concerns information and evidence put before a court. Although councils may provide information to a court, the decision to accept or consider this information is for the courts.
  4. We cannot investigate how the Council conducts itself during the court proceedings.

Police Investigation

  1. Miss X says the council social worker has withheld information about alleged crimes and made false allegations of fraud about her.
  2. There is an ongoing police investigation into these issues.
  3. The Ombudsman cannot investigate a complaint about an ongoing police investigation.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. My decision is that the Ombudsman should not investigate Miss X’s complaint that a Council social worker lied in court documents, provided false information and withheld information about both a court matter and police investigation. This is because the complaint relates to legal proceedings and a police investigation. Such matters are outside the Ombudsman’s legal remit.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page