(Court of Appeal, McFarlane LJ, Sir Stanley Burnton, 9 July 2013)
The father appealed a decision prohibiting direct contact with the two children, aged 8 and 6, and making a s 91(14) order of 5 years' duration. The father, who was a litigant in person, was ordered to pay the mother's costs following s 8 proceedings. The father was granted permission to appeal in relation to the costs issue only.
In the original judgment a number of adverse findings had been made against the father including that he had made a serious and groundless allegations against the mother which were fabricated.
The appeal was dismissed. The judge made a costs order after finding that the father's application had been unnecessary and used as a vehicle for getting at the mother despite noting that the father was of limited means. As a matter of law the judge was justified in exercising her discretion to make an order for costs and in ordering a detailed costs assessment the judge had offered protection for the father in facing an unreasonable costs bill.