Spotlight
Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Spotlight
Latest articles
Resolution issues Brexit notes for family lawyers ahead of IP completion day
Family lawyer organisation, Resolution, has issued two joint notes to assist family lawyers in England and Wales ahead of the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period at 11 pm on 31 December...
Online filing is real-time on New Year's Eve: practice direction change to accommodate EU withdrawal arrangements
I have heard that there will be an amendment to the relevant practice directions to provide that online applications received on New Year’s Eve after 4:30 PM and before 11:00 PM will count as...
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v AB
The issue in this case concerned AB’s capacity to make specific decisions about treatment relating to her anorexia nervosa. She was 28 years old and had suffered with anorexia since the age of...
EU laws continue until at least 2038 and beyond
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020.  But in matters of law it fully leaves on 31 December 2020.  But EU laws will continue to apply, and be applied, in the English family courts from 1...
Remote hearings in family proceedings – how is justice perceived?
The motion for the recent Kingsley Napley debate:  “This House believes remote hearings are not remotely fair” was carried with a fairly balanced 56% in favour and 44% against....
View all articles
Authors

NEGLIGENCE: B v Reading Borough Council; Wokingham District Council; Chief Constable Thames Valley Police [2009] EWHC 998 (QB)

Sep 29, 2018, 17:20 PM
Slug : b-v-reading-borough-council-wokingham-district-council-chief-constable-thames-valley-police-2009-ewhc-998-qb
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Jun 24, 2009, 09:12 AM
Article ID : 89311

(Queen's Bench Division; Mackay J; 24 June 2009)

False allegations of sexual abuse against a father featured in both contact and care proceedings concerning a young child. Only after 5 years were the allegations finally rejected conclusively by the court. The final judgment in the care proceedings made significant criticisms of the social worker and police officer who had conducted the interviews of the 3-year old child. The father sought damages from the social worker and police officer, originally alleging negligence and vicarious liability on the part of the police and local authority; these proceedings took 11 years to come to trial. Eventually the negligence and vicarious liability claims were struck out, but the father was allowed to proceed with his claim for misfeasance in public office and/or conspiracy. A question arose at the hearing as to whether the father could rely upon the two judgments given in the care proceedings as evidence finally determinative of the facts stated within them, with particular reference to the comments made by the care judge about the social worker and police officer.

The care judge's central finding, which was that there had been no sexual abuse, was not at issue, but permission to rely upon the judgments in any other respect was refused: the comments made by the care judge concerning the conduct of the social worker and the police officer had not been a necessary part of the care judge's decision. The judge had not been asked to make a definitive judgment about whether the social worker and police officer had been professionally negligent and neither had been represented or been put on notice of the allegations within the care proceedings. While the interviews of the 3 year old child conducted by the social worker and the police officer had been very seriously flawed, not least because of the active participation of the mother, there had been no misfeasance or conspiracy: the essential ingredient of bad faith had not been established. Neither the social worker nor the police officer had believed that they were acting beyond their powers, nor had they at any stage been subjectively reckless, knowing that there was a serious risk that their actions would cause the father to suffer loss, but choosing to ignore that risk and to carry on. They had made a bad misjudgment, but it was sadly in the nature of risk assessment, which this process had been, in effect, that errors in both directions would be made.

Categories :
  • Archive
  • Judgments
Tags :
Authors
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from