Council “violated” human rights in Family Court failure


A local council which “misled” a Family Court and consequently put a baby into care has been fined by the High Court.

Kirklees Council social workers told the Family Court that the father had “expressed unorthodox views about the need for sterilisation of bottles and the benefits of formula milk”, and had in the past been aggressive to others.

The Court further heard that the mother suffered from minor mental health problems and other difficulties, and medics had expressed worries about the couple’s ability to care for the baby.

The Council asked for the baby to be taken into emergency care, which was granted by the Court.

But in a later High Court hearing, it emerged that the baby was taken into care when neither the parents nor Cafcass was aware of the hearing.

Mr Justice Cobb said there was “no doubt in my mind” that the council had misled the Family Court and violated the family’s human rights.

He ordered Kirklees council to pay the family £11,250 in damages, as well as a proportion of the £120,000 legal costs.

A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “The court and parties accepted that the council was correct to issue these proceedings, but mistakes were made which resulted in the court awarding the family compensation.

“The local authority has been ordered to pay a contribution of the publicly-funded costs of the claimants, which cover specific periods of the case. This is due to the way the claimants’ litigation was conducted.”

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