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.

Kent County Council (20 012 021)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 23 Mar 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the contents of a report the Council produced in court, or the issue of the complainant’s contact with his daughter. This is because these matters have been subject to court proceedings.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I shall refer to as Mr X, complains about the contents of a report that the Council’s children’s services produced in court. Mr X also complains about the lack of contact he has with one of his children.

Back to top

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)

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered Mr X’s complaint and the Council’s response. I have invited Mr X to comment on a draft version of this decision.

Back to top

What I found

  1. Mr X applied to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order. Before deciding the case, the Court asked the Council to complete a report, which the Council later produced in court.
  2. Mr X disagreed about the contents of the report and complained to the Council. Mr X also complained about the lack of contact that he was having with one of his children.
  3. The Council said Mr X had the opportunity to dispute its contents in court, and that the matter of contact between he and his child had also been considered in court.


  1. I cannot investigate Ms X’s complaint about the contents of the Council’s report, or matters relating to the level of contact he has with one of his children.
  2. This is because both these issues have been considered in court, and the law does not allow us to investigate anything which forms part of legal proceedings.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. We cannot investigate this complaint. This is because the matters he is complaining about have been subject to court proceedings.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page