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West Sussex County Council (19 019 039)

Category : Environment and regulation > Trading standards

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 23 Mar 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman has no jurisdiction to consider a complaint about criminal proceedings in a court of law.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I refer to here as Mr B, has complained the Council’s case against him in a successful criminal prosecution was misleading.

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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. It says we cannot investigate the commencement or conduct of criminal proceedings before any court of law; we have no discretion in this.

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Mr B said in his complaint and information available in the public domain.

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What I found

  1. The Council successfully prosecuted Mr B for trading standards offences.

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Final decision

  1. Mr B’s complaint is about criminal proceedings in a court of law and we have no jurisdiction to investigate it.

Investigator’s final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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