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Drilldown: Cases

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Cases > Subject : Bias or Criminal law capacity cases or Deprivation of liberty or Disability discrimination or Other capacity cases

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Page name Sentence Summary
Atudorei v Romania 50131/08 (2014) ECHR 947

DOL damages

Breach of Articles 5 and 8, but not Article 8, relating to hospital admission.

CB v Medway Council (2019) EWCOP 5

Unfair summary disposal of DOL/residence case

"The simple issue is whether the Judge had sufficient information before her to discount, at this stage, any real possibility of CB returning to her home, supported by the extensive and expensive care package that is being mooted. The language of the Judgment itself, to my mind, answers this question in phrases such as “I very much doubt…. I am very sceptical…. The practicalities are…. likely to be extremely difficult….” I share the Judge’s scepticism and I also very much doubt that even with an extensive package of support a return home will be in CB’s best interest. I note too that Dr Ajiteru expressed himself in cautious terms (see para 10 above). However, scepticism and “doubt” is not sufficient to discount a proper enquiry in to such a fundamental issue of individual liberty. ... It is easy to see why the Judge took the course she did and I have a good deal of sympathy with her. She will have recognised, as do I, that the effluxion of time has had its own impact on the viability of the options in this case. However, what is involved here is nothing less than CB’s liberty. Curtailing, restricting or depriving any adult of such a fundamental freedom will always require cogent evidence and proper enquiry. I cannot envisage any circumstances where it would be right to determine such issues on the basis of speculation and general experience in other cases."

CS v FB (2020) EWHC 1474 (Fam)

Capacity in family case

The judge in this international children law case made an interim declaration that the mother lacked capacity to litigate, to enable the Official Solicitor to be appointed as litigation friend and, with the benefit of legal aid, to investigate for final determination the mother's capacity to conduct these proceedings.

DA v DJ (2017) EWHC 3904 (Fam)

Interim declarations under s48 MCA 2005

In this case Parker J followed the approach of HHJ Marshall QC in Re F [2009] EWHC B30 (Fam)M rather than the approach of Hayden J in Wandsworth LBC v A McC [2017] EWHC 2435 (Fam)B in relation to the correct approach to the threshold test for making an interim order under MCA 2005 s48 (which requires that there is "reason to believe that P lacks capacity in relation to the matter"). There is no need for the the purpose and extent of the capacity assessment to be explained to the person concerned, and the evidence does not need to go so far as to rebut the presumption of capacity.

DB (as executor of the estate of OE) v SSWP (2018) UKUT 46 (AAC)

Social security appointeeship

"The main grievance of Mr B, who brings this appeal in his capacity as executor of his late Aunt Miss E’s estate, is the Secretary of State’s decision to make Birmingham City Council Miss E’s social security appointee. When the council were made Miss E’s appointee, Mr B held an enduring power of attorney authorising him to deal with her financial affairs. Appointment decisions do not attract a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. Neither that tribunal, nor the Upper Tribunal, has jurisdiction to entertain an ‘appeal’ against an appointment decision. However, I do have some concerns about the way in which the council’s appointment application was handled. I decide to express some views on that subject. My purpose in simply to provide some assistance to the DWP and local authorities in their efforts to operate the appointee system effectively and properly."

DXW v PXL (2019) EWHC 2579 (QB)

Claimant not told value of settlement

"In the Application Notice seeking approval of the settlement, the Claimant also sought what has been called an "EXB Order" after the judgment of Foskett J in EXB v FDZ and others [2018] EWHC 3456 (QB)M. In that case, Foskett J made what was a novel form of order to the effect that it was not in the best interests of the claimant to know the amount of a settlement of his personal injuries action in circumstances where the court had also determined that the claimant lacked capacity to decide whether or not he should know the amount of the settlement."

ET v JP (2018) EWHC 685 (Ch)

Variation of Trusts Act

"This judgment deals with one point which arose in the course of an application for the court's approval to a variation of a trust pursuant to the Variation of Trusts Act 1958. ... The way in which section 1 of the 1958 Act operates can be summarised as follows: (1) In the case of an adult beneficiary who has capacity within section 2(1) of the 2005 Act, the adult can decide for himself whether to agree to a proposed variation of a trust and the court has no power to give approval on his behalf; (2) In the case of an adult beneficiary who does not have capacity within section 2(1) of the 2005 Act to agree to the variation of a trust, the court has power to give approval on his behalf but the question as to whether the variation is for his benefit is decided by the Court of Protection rather than by the High Court; (3) In the case of a minor beneficiary, the minor does not have capacity (by reason of being a minor) to decide for himself whether to agree a proposed variation of a trust and the court has power to give approval on his behalf. The question then arises: what is the position of a minor beneficiary who, by reason of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain would not have capacity for the purposes of section 2(1) of the 2005 Act to make decisions for himself in relation to certain matters? Is such a minor within section 1(3) of the 1958 Act so that the question as to whether a variation of a trust would be for his benefit is to be determined by the Court of Protection rather than by the High Court? If that question had to be referred to the Court of Protection and that court determined that the variation was for the benefit of the minor, the matter would then have to return to the High Court for it to give its approval to the variation under section 1 of the 1958 Act."

EXB v FDZ (2018) EWHC 3456 (QB)

"This case came before me on 23 April 2018 for the purpose of considering whether to approve the proposed settlement of a personal injuries action reached between the Claimant's Litigation Friend (his mother) and the Third and Fourth Defendants. The settlement required the approval of the court pursuant to CPR Part 21.10 because the Claimant was (and remains) a protected party. I gave my approval to the settlement. [I]t was thought by those who knew him best ... that it would be in the Claimant's best interests not to be told the amount at which the settlement had been achieved. ... The primary question, however, is whether I can conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that the Claimant cannot make for himself the decision about whether he should be told the value of the award. As Ms Butler-Cole says, this is difficult in the present case because 'by definition, the Claimant cannot be presented with the information relevant to the decision in order to assess his capacity, as that would make the entire exercise redundant.' Nonetheless, the Claimant has expressed his views on the matter without the exact figure being known to him and there is evidence (particularly in his comment after he left the videoconference room after giving his evidence) that his ability to make this decision is variable and that he could not necessarily sustain over any meaningful period the making of such a decision given his inability to control his impulses and weigh up all the relevant considerations. In those circumstances a declaration as to incapacity in relation to this specific decision is justified. ... This case is the first I can recall when an issue such as that which has arisen has occurred. ... I will send a copy of this judgment to the Deputy Head of Civil Justice and to the Vice-President of the Court of Protection so that they can consider whether any consultation on this issue is required and whether any action needs to be taken as a result." The draft order included the following declarations: "(1) The Claimant lacks the capacity to decide whether or not he should know the amount of the Settlement. (2) It is in the Claimant's best interests that he does not know the amount of the Settlement. (3) It shall be unlawful for any person (whether the Claimant's deputy or any other person who has knowledge of the amount of the Settlement) to convey by any means to the Claimant information about the amount of the Settlement, save that this declaration does not make unlawful the conveyance of descriptive information to the Claimant to the effect that the Settlement is sufficient to meet his reasonable needs for life."

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust v R (2020) EWCOP 4

Contingent/anticipatory declarations - MCA/inherent jurisdiction - Caesarean section

R had capacity to make decisions as to her ante-natal and obstetric care but there was a risk that she would lose capacity during labour and refuse a Caesarean section. (1) MCA 2005 s16 (Powers to make decisions and appoint deputies: general) applies only to those who currently lack capacity. (2) MCA 2005 s15 (Power to make declarations) is not so limited and so can authorise contingent declarations. (3) Deprivation of liberty cannot be authorised by s15 but the inherent jurisdiction may be utilised to fill that lacuna which would otherwise render the s15 power nugatory.

Hertfordshire CC v K (2020) EWHC 139 (Fam)

Inherent jurisdiction and DOL

"In this matter, the question before the court is whether it should grant a deprivation of liberty order (hereafter a DOL order) under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of AK, born in 2003 and now aged 16."

JG v Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (2019) UKUT 187 (AAC)

Non-legal research by judge

Judicial summary from gov.uk website: "Mental Health First-tier Tribunal - Judicial Bias - Apparent bias - Breach of Natural Justice - Procedural Irregularity. Where a First-tier Tribunal judge undertook non-legal research by accessing a court of appeal judgment in respect of the appellant, did this lead to a presumption of bias and automatic disqualification? Did it lead to a conclusion of a real possibility of bias? Whether so doing amounts to a procedural irregularity leading to a breach of natural justice in that it rendered the hearing unfair. In the circumstances appertaining there can be no presumption of bias leading to automatic disqualification. On the facts of the case there was no real possibility of bias. Undertaking the non-legal research was a procedural irregularity but on the facts the hearing was not unfair."

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v FG (2019) EWCOP 7

Medical treatment case

"[T]he King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust seeks an order in the following terms in relation to FG: (a) a declaration that FG lacks capacity to make decisions regarding the medical treatment for his physical health conditions; (b) that it is lawful and in FG's best interests for him to undergo an operation to repair his right shoulder fracture/dislocation; and (c) that it is in his best interests to receive any sedation and anaesthesia his clinicians think necessary to allow the operation to be done. The matter has come in front of me today as urgent applications judge."

London Borough of Hackney v SJF (2019) EWCOP 8

Residence, contact, tenancy

"SJF is a 56 year old woman with a complicated matrix of physical and mental health issues. Apart from frequent hospital admissions, she is presently living in a residential placement. She wants to go home to live in her rented flat with her son. The Court is asked to determine: (a) Whether she has capacity to make decisions about where she lives, how she is cared for, the contact she has with others (notably her son) and whether to terminate and enter into tenancy agreements; and (b) If she lacks capacity in the relevant domains, where she should live, whether her contact with her son should be restricted and whether tenancy agreements should be terminated/entered into."

London Borough of Tower Hamlets v A (2020) EWCOP 21

Residence and care capacity

(1) Residence and care decisions are usually considered as individual domains of capacity, in keeping with the MCA's "issue-specific" approach; residence and care decisions involve overlapping information and are not made in separate "silos"; overlap does not mean that a residence decision incorporates a care decision: it is not necessary to make a capacitous decision about care in order to make a capacitous decision about residence. What was required for A to make a capacitous decision about where she lives is a broad understanding of the sort of care which would be provided in each of the two places of residence potentially available to her. Although it was agreed that A lacked capacity to decide how she was cared for, it was decided that she had capacity to decide whether to continue to live in residential care or return to live in her own flat with a care package. (2) Legal Aid would have ended had the DOLS standard authorisation ended: in a postscript the judge decided that, as A had no choice until the home care package was available, "the determination that A lacks capacity to determine the care that she should receive necessarily means that she lacks capacity within the meaning of paragraph 15 of Schedule A1 (that "[t]he relevant person meets the mental capacity requirement if he lacks capacity in relation to the question whether or not he should be accommodated in the relevant hospital or care home for the purpose of being given the relevant care or treatment").

LV v UK 50718/16 (2019) MHLO 32 (ECHR)

MHT/Parole Board delay

LV, a s47/49 patient, had argued that there had been a delay, in breach of Article 5(4), in securing her release, in particular because of the two-stage process involving both the Mental Health Tribunal and Parole Board. She accepted the government's offer of £2,500 in settlement of her claim.

P v A Local Authority (2015) EWCOP 89

Discharge from DOLS

"This is an application by P (the Applicant) acting through his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor, for an order under section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) discharging the standard authorisation made on 24 June 2015 which authorises a deprivation of liberty in his current accommodation (the placement)."

Patel v Arriva Midlands Ltd (2019) EWHC 1216 (QB)

Capacity and ability to communicate

"Dr Fleminger's assessment was: 'Whether or not he can understand what information he is given and use and weigh this information in the balance to make decision, he is unable to communicate any decision he has made. Whether or not he regains capacity in the future depends on the outcome of his conversion disorder'. I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Dr Fleminger's capacity assessment was made on the basis of incorrect information gleaned from the Claimant's presentation and from what he was told by Chirag Patel of the Claimant's disabilities, namely that the Claimant was unable to communicate any decision he has made. ... In addition ... I do accept Dr Schady's opinion [that there is no conversion disorder]. Once again that leaves the Claimant with a presumption of capacity. ... To summarise: (i) The Claimant is presumed to have capacity. (ii) The court finds that the Claimant has been fundamentally dishonest in respect of his claim, and his litigation friend Chirag Patel has participated in this dishonesty. (iii) The entirety of the claim is dismissed, the court being satisfied that no substantial injustice would be caused in so doing. The court assesses damages for the 'honest part' of the claim at £5750."

PBM v TGT (2019) EWCOP 6

Marriage, prenuptial agreement, information about extent of assets, etc

"... I identified the issues that would need to be considered at the final hearing. These were: (a) PBM's capacity to: (i) marry; (ii) make a will; (iii) enter into a prenuptial agreement; (iv) manage his property and affairs (or part thereof); (v) make decisions as to the arrangements for his care; and (vi) make decisions in relation to contact with others. (b) If PBM lacks capacity to manage his property and affairs: (i) whether (if he has capacity to enter into an antenuptial agreement and/or make a will) he should be provided with information about the extent of his assets; (ii) whether it is in his best interest for the court to direct any changes or further safeguards in relation to the current arrangement for their management; (iii) what steps should be taken to assist PBM in developing skills which may assist him in gaining capacity in that regard. (c) If PBM lacks capacity as to his care arrangements, whether it is in his best interest for further directions to be given by the court in relation thereto."

R (Hall) v SSJ (2018) EWHC 1905 (Admin)

Autism in prison

Unsuccessful judicial review by prisoner claiming breach of Equality Act 2010 reasonable adjustments duty.

R (Jalloh) v SSHD (2020) UKSC 4

DOL and common law

"The right to physical liberty was highly prized and protected by the common law long before the United Kingdom became party to the European Convention on Human Rights. A person who was unlawfully imprisoned could, and can, secure his release through the writ of habeas corpus. He could, and can, also secure damages for the tort of false imprisonment. This case is about the meaning of imprisonment at common law and whether it should, or should not, now be aligned with the concept of deprivation of liberty in article 5 of the ECHR."

R (LV) v SSJ (2013) EWCA Civ 1086

MHT/PB delay

The applicant had been given an IPP sentence then transferred to hospital under s47/49. On 12/12/11 the MHT decided she met the criteria for conditional discharge. The dossier reached the Parole Board on 29/3/12, and the hearing was arranged for 12/3/13. She claimed a breach of Article 5(4) during: (a) the period before the dossier was ready, when no judicial body was responsible for supervising her progress and the potentiality for release, and (b) the subsequent long period until the Parole Board met. The Court of Appeal gave permission to apply for judicial review (being simpler than giving permission to appeal the High Court's refusal of permission to apply for judicial review).

R (LV) v SSJ (2014) EWHC 1495 (Admin)

MHT/PB delay

"In the light of authority, Mr Southey accepts that he cannot submit as a matter of principle that the system by which the Claimant's release was considered by two successive bodies, the Tribunal and the Parole Board, is in conflict with the Claimant's Article 5(4) rights. ... He goes on to argue that, on the facts as they are here, if there were to be two hearings before two bodies, the state had a legal obligation to ensure expedition throughout the overall process. He says there was no such expedition, since the review of the legality of the Claimant's detention took almost 22 months from the date when the Claimant applied to the Tribunal on 24 May 2011 to the decision of the Parole Board on 21 March 2013. Within that period, Mr Southey makes a series of specific complaints as to periods of delay. ... The claim for judicial review is dismissed as against both Defendants. ... Although it took a considerable time to be resolved, there was in my view no breach of the obligation on the part of the State to provide a 'speedy' resolution."

R v C (2008) EWCA Crim 1155

Capacity to consent to sexual activity

If the complainant consented to sexual activity against her inclination because she was frightened of the defendant, even if her fear was irrational and caused by her mental disorder, it did not follow that she lacked the capacity to choose whether to agree to sexual activity. [Overturned on appeal.]

R v C (2009) UKHL 42

Sexual consent

For the purposes of s30 Sexual Offences Act 2003: (1) lack of capacity to choose can be person or situation specific; (2) an irrational fear arising from mental disorder that prevents the exercise of choice could amount to a lack of capacity to choose; (3) inability to communicate could be as a result of a mental or physical disorder.

R v LV; R (LV) v SSJ (2015) EWCA Crim 45, (2015) EWCA Civ 56

Sentencing guidance; MHT/PB delay

"There are before the court: (1) Sitting as the Court of Appeal Criminal Division six cases where indeterminate sentences (either imprisonment for public protection (IPP) or a life sentence) had been passed between 1997 and 2008. Each specified a minimum term. In each case there was psychiatric evidence before the court with a view to a judge considering making a hospital order under MHA 1983 s37 as amended with a restriction under s41 of the same Act. The sentencing judge did not make such an order, but each was subsequently transferred to hospital under a transfer direction made by the Secretary of State under s47. (2) Sitting as the Court of Appeal Civil Division, a civil appeal in relation to a judicial review brought by the first of the appellants in the criminal appeals of the actions of the Secretary of State for Justice and the Parole Board relating to delay in the determination of her application for release from custody." In relation to the criminal aspect: in cases where medical evidence suggests mental disorder, the offending is partly or wholly attributable to that disorder, treatment is available and a hospital order may be appropriate, the court should consider (and, if appropriate, make) a s45A order before considering making a hospital order.

Re AB (Inherent Jurisdiction: Deprivation of Liberty) (2018) EWHC 3103 (Fam)

Inherent jurisdiction authorises DOL during conditional discharge

AB had capacity to consent to the care, support and accommodation arrangements which were provided as part of his conditional discharge but, following the MM case, there was an unlawful deprivation of liberty. The High Court extended the inherent jurisdiction to regularise the position of a capacitous detained mental health patient subject to restrictions as part of his conditional discharge which satisfied the objective elements of a deprivation of liberty (firstly, it was clear that there was no legislative provision governing this situation in that the Mental Health Act provided no remedy; secondly, it was in the interests of justice; and, thirdly, there were sound and strong public policy justifications). The court order: authorised the deprivation of liberty for 12 months; required the applicant to apply to court if the restrictions increase, and no less than one month before the expiry of the authorisation; and provided for a review on the papers unless a party requests or the court requires an oral hearing.

Re D (A Child): Liverpool City Council v AM (2018) EWCOP 31

Placement for child

"However, an extensive search for a therapeutic placement was undertaken throughout the UK with repeated emails being sent to multiple providers. Unfortunately, due to there being a limited number of placements available and demand being high, no offers of placements were made that were remotely suitable to D's identified needs. The Placements Team contacted commissioners in other Local Authorities, requesting any intelligence concerning potentially suitable placements. I have been told that they obtained a Residential Framework Placement list to ensure that they were contacting every possible provider. The case has been heard by HHJ De Haas QC, the Designated Family Judge for Liverpool and Merseyside whose robust and determined case management is clear from the papers. Having failed, entirely, to achieve a placement, over so many months Judge De Haas, yesterday, in desperation and no doubt exasperation, ordered the case to be transferred to me. I have interposed it into my list to be heard, as it has been throughout, in open Court with, I note, the press in attendance."

Re D: A v B (2020) EWCOP 1

Court of Protection permission

(1) The appropriate threshold for permission under MCA 2005 s50 is the same as that applicable in the field of judicial review: to gain permission the claimant or applicant has to demonstrate a good arguable case. (2) In the current case, the decision to be made was "whether a good arguable case has been shown that it is in [D's] best interests for there to be a full welfare investigation of the current contact arrangements" and the judge's conclusion was: "I cannot say that I am satisfied that the mother has shown a good arguable case that a substantive application would succeed if permission were granted."

Re FX (2017) EWCOP 36

Capacity - residence, care, contact and finances

"I am concerned with capacity issues in respect of FX. The proceedings are brought by FX through his litigation friend the Official Solicitor. ... The proceedings commenced by application dated 16 September 2016 as a challenge to a standard authorisation which authorised the deprivation of FX's liberty at Care Home A. ... During the course of these proceedings FX has asserted that he has capacity to make decisions in respect of residence, care, contact and finances. ... It is not argued by any party that he lacks capacity in respect of contact. There is no dispute that FX lacks capacity to litigate these proceedings. ... FX is 32 years of age. He has a diagnosis of Prader-Willi Syndrome PWS. ... I am satisfied that FX has capacity to make the relevant decisions in respect of residence and care [and finances: paras 41 and 47] as are required at this time. Should a situation arise where there are complex decisions to be made it may be necessary to reconsider issues of capacity in light of those decisions."

Re HC (A Minor: Deprivation of Liberty) (2018) EWHC 2961 (Fam)

DOL of child

"HC has just turned 13 years of age. I shall refer to his parents in this judgment as, respectively, M and F, and to his brother as B. HC currently lives in a residential unit in Yorkshire ("the unit"). By application dated 18th July 2018, the local authority responsible for HC's placement asks that the court determine whether HC's placement constitutes a deprivation of his liberty and, if this question is answered in the affirmative, for authorisation, by way of declaratory relief pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction. ... Although the LA brings the application, it does not assert a position one way or the other in relation to whether HC's placement at the unit constitutes a deprivation of his liberty. Exploring this rather unusual position with Ms Shaikh, I was told that the LA sought only to present the facts to the court and to leave it to me to adjudge whether the particular regime and its inherent restrictions constitutes a deprivation of liberty. In the event that I do so find, the LA seeks authorisation of the deprivation as being necessary and proportionate."

Re K (Forced Marriage: Passport Order) (2020) EWCA Civ 190

FMPOs and capacity

(1) The Family Court the court has jurisdiction to make a Forced Marriage Protection Order to protect an adult who does not lack mental capacity (and the statistics demonstrate that the courts regularly make FMPOs to protect capacitous adults). (2) An open-ended passport order or travel ban should only be imposed in the most exceptional of cases and where the court can look sufficiently far into the future to be satisfied that highly restrictive orders of that nature will be required indefinitely.

Re KT (2018) EWCOP 1

Role of COP Visitor in DOL cases

"These are four test cases that were stayed in accordance with my decision in Re JM [2016] EWCOP 15, [2016] MHLO 31. ... There are now over 300 such cases in which the MoJ and DoH (alone or together with the relevant applicant local authority or other public body) have not been able to identify a professional who the COP could appoint to act as P's Rule 3A representative. ... The first issue raised in these test cases is whether a welfare order approving a care plan advanced as being uncontroversial and which authorises any DOL caused by its implementation will have been made by a procedure that satisfies the minimum procedural requirements of Article 5 and common law fairness if P's participation in the proceedings is through the appointment of a general visitor to prepare a report under s. 49 of the MCA and that report supports the making of that welfare order. If the answer to that question is in the affirmative, the following issues arise, namely: (i) What approach should be taken by the COP to choosing this option or other options and in particular the appointment of a professional Rule 3A representative? (ii) What directions should be given to a visitor on what he should do and report on? (iii) Should the Crown be or remain as a Respondent? ... I have therefore concluded ... that periodic reviews by the COP with the benefit of information provided by a visitor meets the procedural requirements."

Re M: A v Z (2018) EWCOP 4

COP bias

"This matter concerns an appeal from the order of HHJ Roberts made on 18 July 2018 in Court of Protection (COP) proceedings concerning M. The appellants are M's mother and father in law who have the care of X, M's son age 12. ... Mr Simblet relies on four grounds of appeal: (1) There was apparent bias, in that the judge stated her intention in the exchange between the judge and the legal representatives, in the absence of the parties, to decide the application consistent with decisions made in different proceedings. (2) The judge wrongly felt constrained to reach a decision that would be consistent with a decision she had reached in different proceedings. (3) There was a material irregularity, in that the Judge took into account material from different proceedings, and the [paternal grandparents] within the COP proceedings were unable to properly know the case against them or that they had to meet. (4) In reaching her decision the judge failed to identify or give sufficient weight to factors that were relevant to M's best interests."

Re RD (Deprivation or Restriction of Liberty) (2018) EWFC 47

"The court is concerned in this application with the circumstances of RD. She is 14½ years old. She is currently the subject of an application for a care order under Part IV Children Act 1989, and is in the interim care of Northumberland County Council. ... RD has been placed by the Local Authority at a residential placement in Scotland, which I shall call Lennox House. ... The issue for my determination is whether the regime which applies to RD at Lennox House deprives her of her liberty in such a way as to engage her Article 5 ECHR rights. ... The implications of my determination are not insignificant. If I were to find as a fact that RD is deprived of her liberty in Article 5 terms, I would feel obliged to adjourn the Part IV proceedings, and would propose that the Local Authority present a petition to the nobile officium of the Court of Session seeking authorisation of that Court for RD's deprivation of liberty ... If I find that she is not deprived of her liberty, then there would be little impediment to my concluding the Part IV proceedings in this jurisdiction."

Re SW (No 2) (2017) EWCOP 30

Vexatious COP application

"This is another utterly misconceived application by a son (the son) in relation to his mother, SW. ... The son's application as it was presented to the District Judge was, in my judgment, totally without merit, misconceived and vexatious. His application under Rule 89 is equally devoid of merit. It must be dismissed, with the consequence that the District Judge's order striking out the original application remains in place."

Re Z (2019) EWCOP 55

Disclosure of documents

"This is an application by JK, who is a son of Z, for the disclosure to him of certain documents which have been filed by the other parties in the course of these proceedings and prior to the making of the [court's] order."

Royal Borough of Greenwich v CDM (2018) EWCOP 15

Fluctuating capacity

"In this case the patient is CDM, a lady aged 63 years. ... My Conclusions: (i) I conclude that CDM lacks capacity to conduct proceedings, as is agreed on behalf of CDM. (ii) I conclude that she does not have capacity to make decisions about her residence. ... (iii) By the end of the case the parties agreed that I should consider care and treatment separately. CDM carries out her own self-care, with encouragement, in the care home. I am not satisfied that she does not have the capacity so to do. There will be some occasions when she makes appropriate decisions, for example accepting insulin from the nurse, but there are many other occasions when she makes manifestly unwise decisions as a result of her personality disorder which impairs her ability to follow professional advice, whether in respect of her residence or treatment. I therefore accept Dr Series' evidence that when making appropriate decisions she has capacity but when making manifestly inappropriate decisions she lacks capacity. (iv) Property and affairs: I am troubled by the lack of evidence on this issue. ... I do not think I have any satisfactory evidence on which I can conclude that she lacks capacity in this area. (v) I conclude that she lacks capacity to surrender the tenancy of her property. This decision is intimately bound up with her ability to make decisions about residence. ... It follows and I so find that CDM lacks capacity in relation to the question whether or not she should be accommodated in CC (being the relevant hospital or care home) for the purpose of being given the relevant care or treatment. I therefore authorise her continued detention and deprivation of liberty in CC. ... This means that a further hearing will be required both to establish a mechanism under which the local authority can operate when capacity fluctuates and also to consider best interests."

SR v A Local Authority (2018) EWCOP 36

Contact

"At the hearing on 9th April 2018, A Local Authority applied orally for orders restricting SR's contact with her husband JR. A Local Authority sought orders preventing JR from taking SR out of the care home unless accompanied by a member of staff or a relative in the light of concerns on the part of A Local Authority about JR's expressed views in relation to euthanasia and other comments made by him from time to time. ... Whilst I accept that JR's comments have given rise to legitimate anxiety on the part of the professionals, I do not consider that there was adequate investigation into the reasons why JR has made such comments and what he understands by the notion of supporting euthanasia, which from his evidence related to the right to self-determination and dignity. ... However, he was consistent that he would never dream of hurting his wife. Is it safe for the court to take that assertion at face value in the light of his expressed views and comments, some of which have been unpalatable? I take note of the fact that following the first comments in August 2016, SR returned home to live with JR until 9th November 2016. Between 9th November 2016 and 27th May 2017, extensive unsupervised contact took place within the care home and outside the care home. To date, JR remains alone with SR for approximately two hours per evening in a closed room. SR has remained safe and subject of devoted affection and attention from her husband. I have reached the conclusion that the restriction sought by A Local Authority is neither justifiable, proportionate or necessary."

SSJ v MM (2018) UKSC 60

The patient had capacity to and was prepared to consent to a conditional discharge requiring that he live at a particular place, which he would not be free to leave, and from which he would not be allowed out without an escort. (1) The Supreme Court decided 4-1 that the MHA 1983 does not permit either the First-tier Tribunal or the Secretary of State to impose conditions amounting to detention or a deprivation of liberty upon a conditionally discharged restricted patient. (2) The dissenting decision was that the tribunal has the power to impose such conditions so long as the loss of liberty is not greater than that already authorised by the hospital and restriction orders, and that this power does not depend on the consent of the (capacitous) patient.

Staffordshire County Council (18 004 809) (2019) MHLO 41 (LGSCO)

Failure to carry out DOLS assessments

LGSCO decision: "The Council has acted with fault in deciding not to assess low and medium priority Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications. The Council is also taking too long to deal with urgent applications. This is causing a potential injustice to the thousands of people in its area who are being deprived of their liberty without the proper checks that the restrictions they are subject to are in their best interests." The final sentence of the conclusion states: "[I]t is not acceptable that the only way low and medium priority applications are resolved is because the people involved move away or die."

Sunderland City Council v AS (2020) EWCOP 13

Capacity - DOL

(1) The court decided that a CTO patient lacked capacity in all relevant areas (litigation, residence, care and contact). When giving oral evidence the jointly-instructed psychologist changed her mind on: litigation capacity (initially she thought AS had litigation capacity while not having subject matter capacity), residence (she placed insufficient weight on 'structure and routine', which is an integral part of the information relevant to a decision on residence in supported as opposed to independent living), and fluctuating capacity. The judge noted with approval the approach in NICE guidance on "Decision-making and mental capacity" to people with executive dysfunction. (2) The court authorised the deprivation of liberty (there was a high level of supervision throughout the day and night, in the accommodation and community).

WB v W District Council (2018) EWCA Civ 928

Homelessness

"This appeal is about when a person who is homeless and suffers from mental illness may apply for housing under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. ... The difficulty for the appellant in this case, WB, is that it has been held she does not have capacity to make the decisions necessary to complete the process of applying for accommodation as a homeless person. In 1993, the House of Lords held that a homeless person with mental disabilities, who could not understand the choices she had to make when offered accommodation, could not be treated as a person in priority need..."

Welsh Ministers v PJ (2018) UKSC 66

(1) There is no power to impose conditions in a CTO which have the effect of depriving a patient of his liberty. (2) The patient's situation may be relevant to the tribunal's discharge criteria, and the tribunal may explain the true legal effect of a CTO (for the RC to act on that information), but if a patient is being unlawfully detained then the remedy is either habeas corpus or judicial review.

Z v Kent County Council (2018) EWFC B65

Family Court considering MCA

This family court case - subtitled 'Revocation of placement order - Failure to assess Mother's capacity and Grandparents' - has a detailed consideration of the MCA 2005. Extract: "The law - capacity, presumption of capacity and determining protected party status. This issue is governed primarily by the Family Procedure Rules 2010 Part 15 and Practice Directions 15A and 15B, and by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Additionally, there is guidance provided by the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ publication 'The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations', and in April 2010 the Family Justice Council published guidance for proceedings and pre-proceedings called 'Parents who Lack Capacity to Conduct Public Law Proceedings' [updated in April 2018]."

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