Norfolk County Council (23 005 767)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 13 Sep 2023

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about how the Council dealt with Mr X’’s complaint about what the Council wrote in reports about him and his family. The matters he complained of to the Council are not separable from matters that have or could reasonably have been heard recently in court.

The complaint

  1. Mr X said the Council failed to deal properly with his complaint and to answer his questions. He said the Council failed to support him as a father and caused him excessive stress. He said the Council had released contradictory reports containing statements without any supporting evidence that could potentially ruin his life as well as that 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)
  3. We cannot investigate a complaint if someone has started court action about the matter. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(c), as amended)
  4. We have the power to start or end an investigation into a complaint about actions the law allows us to investigate. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we think the issues could reasonably be, or have been mentioned as part of the legal proceedings regarding a closely related matter. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended, section 34(B))
  5. The Courts have said that we cannot investigate a complaint about any action by a council, concerning a matter which is itself out of our jurisdiction. (R (on the application of M) v Commissioner for Local Administration [2006] EHWCC 2847 (Admin))

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. We cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint because the matters complained of are not separable from matters that were or could reasonably have been heard in court during recent proceedings.
  2. We cannot investigate how the Council dealt with Mr X’s complaint as the matters he complained of are outside our legal powers.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page

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.

Privacy settings