GM & Anor v Local Authority & Ors [2009] EWCA Civ 1405 (21 December 2009)

CHILDREN — Care proceedings — Evidence — No obvious cause for injuries suffered by children — Specialists agreeing that tests as to mutation of genes not warranted — Mother applying for permission to instruct second expert — Whether clinicians treating children precluded from becoming jointly instructed witnesses

Report: WLR Daily

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J (Children) 2009 EWCA Civ 1350 (26 October 2009)

Appeal concerning proper approach re. application for costs by one parent against the other at the end of a bespoke fact-finding hearing within contact proceedings. Appeal allowed and Respondent ordered to pay two thirds of the costs of the hearing before the District Judge.

Full report: Family Law Week

B v I Case No: FD09F05012 (23 November 2009)

Judgment arising from an application to find that a marriage conducted in Bangladesh was not capable of being recognised in the United Kingdom. A declaration in these terms was made.

Full report: Family Law Week

W v W [2009] EWHC 3288 (Fam) (10 December 2009)

Application by sister to be joined as a defendant in Hague Proceedings concerning her brother. Application granted.

Full report: Family Law Week

R (A Child), Re [2009] EWHC B38 (Fam) (06 November 2009)

Eleven year old boy R lived with his mother all his life. Father applied for a transfer of residence, claiming that the mother had prevented R from having proper contact with his father, and that the mother had alienated R from his father. Application granted.

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In re S-B (Children) (Care Proceedings: Standard of Proof) [2009] UKSC 17 (14 December 2009)

CHILDREN — Care proceedings — Threshold conditions — Whether children likely to suffer significant harm — Whether likelihood of harm attributable to care likely to be given to children if care order not made — Uncertainty as to which parent responsible for significant harm suffered in past — Whether threshold condition that children likely to suffer significant harm satisfied — Whether standard of proof balance of probabilities — Children Act 1989, s 31(2)

Report: WLR Daily

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H (Children) [2009] EWCA Civ 1293 (24 November 2009)

Parents with a history of drug abuse appealed against a county court order refusing their application to revoke placement orders in respect of their two sons. Appeal refused –the county court judge had acted within the limits of the very broad discretion he had in such a case as this.

Full report: Family Law Week

Cart (R on the application of) v Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission 2009 EWHC 3052 (Admin) (1 December 2009)

A preliminary issue as to whether the judicial review jurisdiction of the High Court extended to decisions of the Upper Tribunal concerning the decision of the UT to refuse permission to appeal to itself, against a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (“FTT”) relating to child maintenance payable by the claimant. Application dismissed.

Full report: Family Law Week

W & M (Children) [2009] EWCA Civ 1278 (22 October 2009)

Application for permission to appeal, with appeal to follow, refusal to allow a s38(6) residential assessment in care proceedings. Application granted but appeal dismissed.

Full report: Family Law Week

Zaunegger v Germany (Application No 22028/04) (ECHR; 3 December 2009)

Unmarried father denied joint custody of child under German law, unless the mother agreed. Held, this amounted to a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, Art 14 taken with Art 8.

Report: Family Law Newswatch

Francis v Francis [2009] EWHC 2485 (Fam) (17 July 2009)

French pre-nuptial contract - circumstances held to be fundamentally different from those in Radmacher v Granatino - the pre-nuptial contract in this case had been merely an administrative inconvenience, imposed by the state, with which the couple were obliged to comply in order to marry.

Report: Family Law Newswatch

O & Anor v Orkney Island Council [2009] EWHC 3173 (Fam) (07 December 2009)

Child born in Orkney with heart condition - parents unable to care for him - now cared for by relatives in Cambridgeshire, who applied for a special guardianship order, having given notice to the Cambridgeshire County Council ('CCC') - any local authority who receives such notice has a duty to prepare a prescribed report for the Court, and the court may not make a Special Guardianship Order unless it has received a report - CCC objected that the child was being 'looked after' by Orkney Island Council ('OIC') and it was they who should provide the report or pay for CCC to do so - OIC disclaimed all responsibility. Held, the duty to prepare the report lies on CCC.

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Local Authority v M & M & Ors [2009] EWHC 3172 (Fam) (07 December 2009)

Care proceedings - father currently serving prison sentence - allegations of violence and threats by father and his family against mother - mother trying to hide from father and his family - father unaware of care proceedings - application by mother and guardian that father be discharged as a party so that the proceedings continue without any involvement on his part - application granted.

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De L v H [2009] EWHC 3074 (Fam) (03 December 2009)

Application by Portuguese mother for return of child - child objected to return - application refused.

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Smith v Smith [2009] EWCA Civ 1297 (02 December 2009)

Appeal by wife against a s.14 TLATA order made under two months prior to the hearing of a defended suit for divorce brought by the husband against the wife that, as joint owners of the matrimonial home in which the wife continued to reside, they should forthwith sell it with vacant possession. Appeal dismissed.

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I (A Child), Re [2009] UKSC 10 (01 December 2009)

Contact application by mother - child resident in Pakistan - held that the court did not have jurisdiction - mother appealed - appeal allowed: the parties' right to "opt in" to the jurisdiction of an EU country which would not otherwise have jurisdiction to determine a child's future, contained in article 12 of Brussels II Revised, can apply to a child who is habitually resident outside the European Union, provided the criteria set out in article 12 had been satisfied.

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