(Family Division, Charles J, 10 December 2012)
The mother and father, who were originally from Pakistan, lived in the USA with their child. Upon separation the mother, in contravention of an agreement not to remove the child from the jurisdiction, left the country.
The father's application for a location order was granted. That order was renewed on three further occasions without any additional evidence being filed. The basis upon which the order was made was an assertion that a Facebook entry indicated that the mother had a sister in this jurisdiction whom she may visit.
The first knowledge the mother had of the orders was when she visited the UK without the child and had her passport removed. The father subsequently sought to withdraw the proceedings with no order for costs. The mother refused to accept that proposition.
The judge found that the court had failed to consider whether jurisdiction for making a location order had existed or whether it was appropriate in the circumstances to make an order which effectively restricted the mother's liberty and freedom of movement.
The father's solicitors had failed to comply with the principles and procedures governing the making of without notice applications and therefore the basis of a wasted costs order on the grounds of negligence was made out.