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Coventry City Council (21 018 182)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 28 Apr 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate Mrs X’s complaint that the Council’s court report in a private family law case was flawed. We cannot lawfully investigate what happens at court including the content of a court report.

The complaint

  1. Mrs X complains the Council provide a report to court, in 2021, which was flawed and failed to consider relevant information. She disagrees with the opinions of the Council’s officer. Mrs X says the Council’s actions affected the whole family and caused stress and financial loss.

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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)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered Mrs X’s information and comments and spoke to her by telephone.

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My assessment

  1. We cannot investigate this complaint because it is outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction (see paragraphs 2 and 3 above). We cannot investigate what happens in court including the Council’s social worker’s assessment, opinions, and court report.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mrs X’s complaint that the Council’s court report and recommendations in a private family law case was flawed. We cannot lawfully investigate what happens at court including the content of a court report.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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