Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 30 Jul 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the contents of a report. This is because it is reasonable for the complainant to raise their objections in court.
- The complainant, who I will call Mr C, complains about the contents of reports about his children. Mr C says the reports contain allegations made by his ex-partner which are untrue.
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)
- We have the power to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we think the issues could reasonably be, or have been, raised within a court of law. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by Mr C and the Council.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- The complainant now has an opportunity to comment on my draft decision. I will consider their comments before making a final decision.
- The Council has produced a report about his children which is going to be considered in an upcoming court hearing about custody and access to his children. Mr C says the report is biased and inaccurate.
- I will not investigate this complaint because Mr C will have the opportunity to challenge the contents of the report in court and I consider it reasonable for him to do so.
- Subject to any comments Mr C might make, my view is we should not investigate this complaint. This is because he has the opportunity to challenge the contents of the report in court.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman