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In care proceedings the judge found that the 4-year-old child had been habitually resident in the UK throughout her life despite living a somewhat peripatetic existence.
Care proceedings were initiated in relation to the 4-year-old child, of the American mother and Moroccan father after she was taken to hospital, having lost consciousness and suffering a serious and potentially life threatening episode. The mother admitted using inappropriate and physical chastisement and she was arrested. She was charged and one of her bail conditions prevented her from having unsupervised contact with her daughter.
The child had been in foster care since 2013. Initially she was placed under a police protection order and subsequently under s 20 of the Children Act 1989.
The mother was assessed by multi-disciplinary team and was found to display features of narcissistic and borderline personality disorder with some traits of antisocial and dependent personality disorder. During proceedings the issue of jurisdiction arose and it fell to be determined where the child was habitually resident.
It was clear that the mother had lived a peripatetic existence in recent years but the UK was undoubtedly where she regarded her home and that was why she wished her daughter to be born her to gain British citizenship. During her time in Morocco she learnt no Arabic and did not improve her French. There was no sense of her integrating into life in Morocco. She had regularly returned to the UK and for most of the time the mother had been the child’s entire social and family environment. The child’s habitual residence was and had been throughout her life, like that of her mother, the UK. Neutral Citation Number:  EWHC 742 (Fam) Case No: ZC14C00005
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE FAMILY DIVISION
Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC2A 2LL
MR JUSTICE HAYDEN
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LONDON BOROUGH OF HACKNEY Applicant
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JC 1st Respondent -and- MR 2nd Respondent -and- LV 3rd Respondent -and- OV 4th Respondent -and- SR (by her Child’s Guardian) 5th Respondent
Finola Moore for the Local Authority Mr Henry Setright QC & Sally Bradley (instructed by Freemans) for the 1st Respondent Mr Frank Feehan QC & Mr Chris Barnes (instructed by Goodman Ray) for the 2nd Respondent Mr and Mrs OV in person Mr Edward Devereux for the child, SR, by her Children’s Guardian (instructed by Duncan Lewis)
Hearing dates: 26th, 27th, 28th & 29th January 2015