Essex County Council (20 007 988)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 08 Dec 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint that the Council’s report and information to the family court is flawed. We cannot investigate actions which relate to court proceedings.

The complaint

  1. Mr X complains that the Council’s reports and information to court is not accurate and puts parents in a bad light. He says the court is considering whether to return the children to his care.

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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.

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What I found

  1. A court is considering the welfare and future plans for Mr X’s children. Mr X objects to the content of reports and how they are produced.

Analysis

  1. We cannot investigate this complaint because it is outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. We cannot investigate what happens in a court (see paragraph 2 above). This includes the Council’s evidence to court, the content of court reports and the social worker’s recommendations.
  2. If Mr X considers the Council’s position or report to court is flawed he will need to make his views and evidence known to the court.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint that the Council’s report and evidence to the family court is flawed. We cannot investigate actions which relate to court proceedings.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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