(In Open Court)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
In the Matter of D (dob 2 August 1996)Between:
|- and -
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Munby :
"He is entitled to. I can understand why he expresses that view. He has every right to express that view. In a sense it is shaming to have to say it, but I personally agree with his view. It is very, very disheartening. I am sorry there is nothing more I can do."
I also said this:
"I think there are lessons to be learned from this and I think this is, if for father a heartbreaking occasion, an opportunity [that] in the wider public interest requires to be seized. He has nothing, so far as I can see, to reproach himself with. The system has failed him. I feel desperately, desperately sorry for him. I am very sad that the system is as it is. That is why, as I have said, I am going to give a judgment dealing with the wider aspects of this."
"In my judgment, the workings of the family justice system and, very importantly, the views about the system of the mothers and fathers caught up in it, are, as Balcombe LJ put it in Re W (Wardship: Discharge: Publicity)  2 FLR 466 at p 474, "matters of public interest which can and should be discussed publicly". Many of the issues litigated in the family justice system require open and public debate in the media."
And I draw attention to what the President said in the administrative directions that she issued on 28 January 2004 in the wake of the Angela Cannings case (see Re B at para ):
"It is also worth giving consideration to increasing the frequency with which anonymised family court judgments in general are made public. According to current convention, judgments are usually made public where they involve some important principle of law which in the opinion of the judge makes the case of interest to the law reporters. In view of the current climate and increasing complaints of 'secrecy' in the family justice system, a broader approach to making judgments public may be desirable."
I respectfully, and emphatically, agree.
"The courts recognise the critical importance of the role of both parents in the lives of their children. The courts are not anti-father and pro-mother or vice versa. The court's task, imposed by Parliament in section 1 of the Children Act 1989 in every case is to treat the welfare of the child or children concerned as paramount, and to safeguard and promote the welfare of every child to the best of its ability.
Unless there are cogent reasons against it, the children of separated parents are entitled to know and have the love and society of both their parents. In particular, the courts recognise the vital importance of the role of non-resident fathers in the lives of their children, and only make orders terminating contact when there is no alternative."
As the President said in Re S at para , "mothers and fathers have equal rights before the court." That, of course, is true, and it is a message that needs to be repeated and understood. But what is also true is that there are far more non-resident fathers than non-resident mothers. As the President acknowledged in Re S at para ,
"In practice, after separation, the majority of children remain with the mother who is, for that reason, the more likely parent to seek a residence order. The father is, for the same reason, the more likely parent to seek a contact order."
So that when the system fails and fail it does it is disproportionately fathers and not mothers who find themselves, as well as the children, the victims of that failure.
"The court system for dealing with contact disputes has serious faults, which were identified and addressed in Chapter 10 of the report of the Children Act Sub-Committee (CASC) of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Board entitled Making Contact Work. In particular, the court process is stressful for both parents and children, it is expensive for those who are not publicly funded; it is slow and adversarial. It tends to entrench parental attitudes rather than encouraging them to change. It is ill adapted to dealing with the difficult human dilemmas involved, notably when it comes to the enforcement of its orders.
Parents must, however, take their share of responsibility for the state of affairs they have created. Blaming the system, as the father does in this case, is no answer. He must shoulder his share of the responsibility for the state of affairs he has helped to bring about. All the evidence is that he has proved incapable of doing so."
He elaborated these points at paras -:
"In Paragraphs 10.35 to 10.43 of Making Contact Work, CASC set out trenchant criticisms of the court process. I resile from none of them, although both through the Protocol for Judicial Case Management in Public Law Children Act Cases and in the application of its principles to contact and residence disputes the question of judicial continuity has been vigorously addressed. But I adhere in particular to the conclusions contained in paragraphs 10.37 and 10.39, namely: -
10.37 The court procedures are too slow. There is insufficient court time and a lack of resources: cases take too long to come to court. There are substantial delays which are detrimental to children and their parents.
10.39 The litigation process is adversarial and counter-productive. It entrenches attitudes rather than encouraging them to modify. It tends to focus on the arguments of the parents, not the needs of the child. It puts particular pressure on the divided loyalties of children.
In so far as the father's complaints echo the conclusions of Making Contact Work I am, of course, sympathetic to them. But it is not enough to blame the system, particularly where a substantial share of the responsibility for contact breakdown lies at the door of the parent who complains that the system is the cause of all his ills parents must take their share of responsibility for the state of affairs they have created."
The President made much the same point in Re S at para .
"has been consistent and sincere in his wish for contact with [D] in spite of frustrations which have in the past on occasion adversely affected his judgment in general he is a genuine and sincere father who loves [D], and has her interests very much at heart. He seeks contact because he loves [D], and he knows that this is in her best interest. In my judgment he is right."
"Psychologically, [father] presented as a balanced, fairly well-integrated man who could acknowledge both his own deficits as well as reflect on his past behaviour and consider errors, misjudgements and misdemeanours. His view of others was equally balanced; he had no difficulty in adopting another's perspective and could easily acknowledge alternative viewpoints and alternative hypotheses. If his view was challenged, he was able to reflect on the premise and then give a considered response. Overall, his presentation did not indicate a defensiveness. In general, he presented as an emotionally warm and caring man.
It is noted that [father] is sensitive, responsive and creative in his play with [D]; [D] was completely absorbed and happily engrossed in play with her father I found [father]'s interactions with [D] to be indicative of a warm caring relationship where there was clear evidence on his part of emotional sensitivity, reciprocity with [D], and appropriate attunement. This indicates a secure parent-child relationship, and that [D] has indeed already formed a strong, significant attachment to her father which will endure despite contact irregularities.
His sensitive care of [D] and the high quality of his interactions with [D] at contact, particularly given long periods of separation and the high conflict context of these contact sessions, lend weight to a view that [father]'s contact with [D] is impressive in it qualities and is clearly rewarding for this child."
" mother was obstructive towards contact and gave numerous unreasonable excuses why it was not appropriate to make [D] available for contact mother constantly disobeyed contact orders from the court The mother has in the past disobeyed many court orders and her objections to contact appear intractable. It was only following the drastic step of being sent to prison that she complied Sadly, [mother's] view about [father] is intractable "
"That was sabotage, even if sabotage by deliberate and meaningful silence rather than by expressed words. Moreover I have no doubt that [D]'s behaviour on this occasion was brought about by mother. [D] had clearly enjoyed contact on the two previous weekends. Why on earth should she not want to see her father again? It can only have been because of what mother was saying or doing. In the nature of things I cannot know what goes on between mother and [D] when they are at home together. But it is obvious that mother, even if she was not actively poisoning [D]'s mind against her father, was wholly unable to conceal from [D] her own antipathy to father and her own resistance to the very idea of contact. For this grave breach of her duty not so much to the father and to the court: much more to [D] mother bears a heavy responsibility."
"This is not a case of 'six of one: half a dozen of the other'. I am not of course suggesting that father is either faultless or blameless; but the fact, as I have already said, is that in this case it is mother who is overwhelmingly responsible for the predicament in which [D] and her father now find themselves. I simply refuse to accept that there is any equivalence legal, moral, parental, or in any other respect between a father who is "entrenched and rigid" in his desire to have the contact which everyone other than the mother thinks he should have with his daughter and a mother who is "entrenched and rigid" in her opposition to that contact. What is this father supposed to do? Just walk away from the problem walk away from his daughter in the faint hope that perhaps if he does not press for contact something will happen? Surely not! Is he to be criticised for continuing to invoke what thus far has proved to be the wholly inadequate assistance of the court? Certainly not! He would, in my judgment, be fully justified if he believed as a responsible and loving father that the time for appeasing mother has come to an end."
i) First, there is the sheer length of the proceedings: five years.
ii) Secondly, there is the large number of hearings and the astonishing number of different judges who have been involved. There were 43 hearings conducted by 16 different judges: nine hearings were before five different District Judges, 25 hearings were before no fewer than seven different Circuit Judges, and a further nine hearings were before four different High Court Judges. It is true that one Circuit Judge conducted nine hearings, another Circuit Judge five hearings, and another Circuit Judge four hearings, as I did also. But as against that modest degree of judicial continuity it has to be noted that two judges conducted only three hearings, five judges only two hearings and a further five judges only one hearing each.
iii) Thirdly there is the vast bulk of the evidence filed down the years. The parents' evidence (including exhibits) filed during the period down to the hearing before the Circuit Judge on 31 August 2001 ran to some 165 pages; since then there has been more than 400 further pages. The expert evidence runs to 388 pages. A total of more than 950 pages! This almost ceaseless proliferation of paper is in large measure the product of delay: every time the case is adjourned, further reports and more evidence are required to ensure that the court is kept up-to-date.
iv) Fourthly, there is the matter to which the father drew attention in his application dated 9 November 1999, as well he might: the fact that the case had been listed for a final hearing in respect of residence on 30 June, 12 July, 27 September and 28 October 1999 but, as he complained, "on each occasion it has been adjourned by the Court." He pointed out, with what might be thought studied moderation, that he was being afforded very limited contact with his daughter and that this was "prejudicial to my continued parenting of my daughter." Little good this seems to have done him. Final hearings listed on 19 January, 29 June and 5 July 2000 and on the first available date after 16 March 2001 were all adjourned. The final hearing which had initially been fixed for 30 June 1999 did not in the event take place until 28 August 2001. It led to the judgment delivered on 31 August 2001 from which I have already quoted.
v) Fifthly, and linked with the previous point, there is the great delay before the court got round to making findings in relation to the mother's various allegations against the father. Allegations that turned out to be wholly groundless, and which could and should have been resolved at a very much earlier stage, were not judicially determined until August 2001. Allegations of domestic violence that surfaced in October 2000, and which I strongly suspect were either groundless or greatly exaggerated, have never been the subject of any judicial determination.
vi) Sixthly, there is the great delay in seeking assistance from any expert other than the Court Welfare Officer. True a Consultant Clinical Psychologist produced, in accordance with directions given on 15 December 2000, a report a very valuable report on 2 February 2001. But only on 31 August 2001 was the step taken of involving an independent social worker with the remit of facilitating the implementation of overnight contact. That was after the final hearing had taken place, well over two years after the contact arrangements had plainly run into difficulties and sixteen months after the suspended committal order.
vii) Seventhly, there is the even longer delay that took place before an order was made on 26 March 2002 for the appointment of a children's guardian.
viii) Finally, although this point is in fact absolutely central to the father's complaints, there is the characteristic judicial response when difficulties with contact emerged: reduce the amount of contact and replace unsupervised with supervised contact. The original consent order made on 27 November 1998 provided for the father to have over seven hours unsupervised contact each weekend. Difficulties emerge: in plain language, the mother obstructs contact. On 7 June 1999 the contact is reduced to two hours at a contact centre. On 19 January 2000, and again on 12 April 2000, orders are made providing for unsupervised contact for three hours. Mother obstructs contact. On 26 April 2000 a suspended committal order is made. On 12 May 2000 the contact is again reduced to two hours at a contact centre.
i) the appalling delays of the court system, exacerbated by the absence of any meaningful judicial continuity, seemingly endless directions hearings, the lack of any overall timetable, and the failure of the court to adhere to such timetable as has been set;
ii) the court's failure to get to grips with the mother's (groundless) allegations; and
iii) the court's failure to get to grips with the mother's defiance of its orders, the court's failure to enforce its own orders.
"I welcomed an independent investigation [by a child psychologist] because for so many years many Judges have heard aspects of the situation but at no time has anyone sought to verify the truth of the situation Each time the matter is heard relevant past facts do not get presented and the Court's limited time is taken up with the initiating of procedural matters rather than a consideration of the facts of the case."
i) The all too frequent response to any significant problem with contact: list the matter for further directions; reduce contact in the meantime; obtain expert reports; direct the filing of further evidence all of which produces only further delay which, in turn, exacerbates the difficulties and leads eventually to a situation which may be irretrievable.
ii) The fact that too often in such cases we only wake up to the fact that the case is intractable when it is too late for any effective intervention.
"the mutual enjoyment by parent and child of each other's company constitutes a fundamental element of family life, even if the relationship between the parents has broken down, and domestic measures hindering such enjoyment amount to an interference with the right protected by Article 8 of the Convention."
Article 8, of course, protects not merely the father's right to contact with his daughter but also her right to contact with her father.
"in cases concerning a person's relationship with his or her child, there is a duty to exercise exceptional diligence in view of the risk that the passage of time may result in a de facto determination of the matter."
As the Court said in Glaser v United Kingdom at para :
"It is essential that custody and contact cases be dealt with speedily."
And as the Court said in Sylvester v Austria at para :
"the court reiterates that effective respect for family life requires that future relations between parent and child not be determined by the mere effluxion of time."
"a right for the parent to have measures taken with a view to his or her being reunited with the child and an obligation for the national authorities to take such action."
The Court has repeatedly stressed that, as part of their "obligation to take measures to facilitate contact by a non-custodial parent", national authorities "must do their utmost to facilitate" co-operation between the parents: see Hokkanen v Finland at para , Ignaccolo-Zenide v Romania at para , Nuutinen v Finland at para , Glaser v United Kingdom at para , Hansen v Turkey at para  and Kosmopoulou v Greece at para .
" the right to a court would be illusory if a Contracting State's domestic legal system allowed a final, binding judicial decision to remain inoperative to the detriment of one party. It would be inconceivable that Article 6(1) should describe in detail procedural guarantees afforded to litigants proceedings that are fair, public and expeditious without protecting the implementation of judicial decisions; to construe Article 6 as being concerned exclusively with access to a court and the conduct of proceedings would be likely to lead to situations incompatible with the principle of the rule of law which the Contracting States undertook to respect when they ratified the Convention. Execution of a judgment given by any court must therefore be regarded as an integral part of the "trial" for the purposes of Article 6.
 the right to a court as guaranteed by Article 6 also protects the implementation of final, binding judicial decisions, which, in States that accept the rule of law, cannot remain inoperative to the detriment of one party. Accordingly, the execution of a judicial decision cannot be unduly delayed."
"Although coercive measures towards children are far from desirable in such sensitive matters, sanctions should not be ruled out where the parent living with the children acts unlawfully."
The Court reiterated this in Hansen v Turkey at para :
"Although measures against children obliging them to re-unite with one or other parent are not desirable in this sensitive area, such action must not be ruled out in the event of non-compliance or unlawful behaviour by the parent with whom the children live."
"any obligation to apply coercion can only be limited since the interests, rights and freedoms of all concerned must be taken into account, and more particularly the best interests of the child and [his or her] rights under Article 8 of the Convention."
This was elaborated in Kosmopoulou v Greece at para :
"the national authorities' obligation to take measures to facilitate reunion is not absolute, since the reunion of a parent with children who have lived for some time with the other parent may not be able to take place immediately and may require preparatory measures to be taken. The nature and extent of such preparation will depend on the circumstances of each case, but the understanding and co-operation of all concerned is always an important ingredient. Whilst national authorities must do their utmost to facilitate such co-operation, any obligation to apply coercion in this area must be limited since the interests as well as the rights and freedoms of all concerned must be taken into account, and more particularly the best interests of the child and his or her rights under Article 8 of the Convention. Where contact with the parent might appear to threaten those interests or interfere with those rights, it is for the national authorities to strike a fair balance between them."
" In cases concerning the enforcement of decisions in the realm of family law, the court has repeatedly found that what is decisive is whether the national authorities have taken all the necessary steps to facilitate execution as can reasonably be demanded in the special circumstances of each case. In examining whether non-enforcement of a court order mounted to a lack of respect for the applicants' family life the court must strike a fair balance between the interests of all persons concerned and the general interest in ensuring respect for the rule of law.
 In cases of this kind the adequacy of a measure is to be judged by the swiftness of its implementation, as the passage of time can have irremediable consequences for relations between the child and the parent who does not live with him or her."
This was repeated in Kosmopoulou v Greece at para :
"In examining whether the non-enforcement of the access arrangements amounted to a lack of respect for the applicant's family life the Court must strike a balance between the various interests involved, namely the interests of the applicant's daughter, those of the applicant herself and the general interest in ensuring respect for the rule of law."
It reflects what the Court had earlier said in Glaser v United Kingdom at para :
"The key consideration is whether [the national] authorities have taken all necessary steps to facilitate contact as can reasonably be demanded in the special circumstances of each case. Other important factors in proceedings concerning children are that time takes on a particular significance as there is always a danger that any procedural delay will result in the de facto determination of the issue before the court, and that the decision-making procedure provides requisite protection of parental interests."
"an applicant's omission cannot absolve the authorities from their obligations in the matter of execution, since it is they who exercise public authority."
"I reject [counsel's] dismissive submission that the Strasbourg cases add nothing to the domestic jurisprudence. Those cases as they stand suggest that the methods and levels of investigation that our courts have conventionally adopted when trying out issues of alienation may not meet the standards that Arts 6 and 8 require. There are policy issues here that the Government and the judiciary may need to consider collaboratively."
The general force of this observation is in no way diminished by the fact that two of the Strasbourg cases referred to by Thorpe LJ (the decisions of the Fourth Section of the Court in Sahin v Germany (2001) 36 EHRR 765,  1 FLR 119, and Sommerfeld v Germany (2001) 36 EHRR 565,  1 FLR 119) have in effect been reversed by the recent Grand Chamber decision in Sahin v Germany, Sommerfeld v Germany  2 FLR 671. The particular point being made by Thorpe LJ may yet have to be reconsidered in the light of this subsequent development in Strasbourg, but the general point remains. We can no longer simply complacently assume that our conventional domestic approach to such cases meets the standards required by Article 6 and Article 8.
i) that the system is, for all practical purposes, still almost exclusively court based; and
ii) that the court's procedures are not working, and not working as speedily and efficiently, as they could be and therefore as they should be.
Let me deal with these two points in turn.
i) On issue of proceedings the parents are diverted into a non-court process involving (a) court-issued information, (b) parent education and (c) contact-focussed mandatory mediation.
ii) Residual cases where agreement has not been reached re-enter the court system and are streamed into two categories: (a) non-serious cases admitting of rapid disposal and (b) serious cases which are given increased attention.
One of the advantages of such a system is that the number of cases requiring significant judicial input can be substantially reduced, enabling more court time to be devoted to those cases which will, moreover, have been identified at an early stage requiring greater judicial input. At the end of the seminar, and referring to NATC's proposals, Bracewell J said that "a pilot scheme has my strong support this is the way forward." I wholeheartedly agree. There is, I believe, much we can learn from our trans-Atlantic cousins.
"Recent proposals, supported by the Government, have been made to promote pilot projects for early intervention which it is hoped will encourage parents to resolve their differences over their children before any court hearing. Such initiatives are much to be welcomed."
That was said before the Government announced its most recent proposals. Some will be disappointed and I can understand why that the Government's very recently announced pilot scheme proposals only encourage the use of mediation and do not make it mandatory.
"Disputes between separated parents over contact to their children are amongst the most difficult and sensitive cases which judges and magistrates have to hear. Nobody should pretend that they are easy, or that there is any one size fits all solution."
Thus Wall J was careful to emphasise in Re M that use of the section 37 procedure is not a panacea (see at para ) and to make the same point in A v A when he made clear at para  that shared residence orders, although they have their place and may be an invaluable tool in the right case, are likewise not a panacea. As he observed in Re M at para , "each case is different, and what fits one may not fit another."
i) The simpler and more straightforward cases should be put on a fast track, where the overall court timetable is measured in weeks rather than months. In dealing with fast-track cases, even if they have entered the system in the County Court, greater use should be made of the skill and expertise of the lay justices and District Judges (Magistrates) who sit in the Family Proceedings Courts. The FPCs are an invaluable and, at least in private law cases, a seriously under-used resource.
ii) The more serious and complex cases should be allocated to what for want of a better expression, and borrowing from the CPR, I will call the multi-track, where the overall timetable, even if it cannot be measured in weeks must at least be measured in months rather than years.
It could perhaps be the responsibility of the District Judge in the County Court to allocate every private law case to the appropriate track and, where appropriate, transfer fast track cases down to the FPC.
i) Judicial continuity: Every private law case of any complexity must be allocated to a single or at most two judges.
ii) Timetabling: The allocated judge must set an overall timetable for the case at the earliest practicable stage. The simpler cases should be timetabled to last weeks rather than months. Even serious and complex cases should be timetabled so that they are concluded within a period measured in months rather than years.
iii) Strategy: Proper judicial control and judicial case management requires what Wall J referred to in Re M at para  as "consistency of judicial approach" within the context of a judicially set "strategy for the case". This must form what he described at para  as "part of a wider plan for [the] children, which needs to be thought through."
"In an intractable contact dispute, where the residential parent is putting forward an allegedly factual basis for contact not taking place, there is no substitute for findings by the court as to whether or not there is any substance to the allegations."
The court should grasp the nettle. Such allegations should be speedily investigated and resolved, not left to fester unresolved and a continuing source of friction and dispute. Court time must be found and found without delay for fact finding hearings. Judges must resist the temptation to delay the evil day in the hope that perhaps the problem will go away. Judges must also resist the temptation to put contact 'on hold', or to direct that it is to be supervised, pending investigation of the allegations. And allegations which could have been made at an earlier stage should be viewed with appropriate scepticism. Once findings have been made, everybody must thereafter approach the case on the basis of the facts as judicially found. As Wall J said in Re M at para , "these are not questions which can be reopened." He went on to point out that if a parent persists in assertions contrary to such judicial findings, that is plain evidence of a refusal to recognise reality and what is in the interests of the children.
"It is most important that the attempt to promote contact between a child and the non-resident parent should not be abandoned until it is clear that the child will not benefit from continuing the attempt"
having previously commented at para  that:
"One aspect of proportionality which has to be weighed in the balance is the length to which a court should go to force contact on an unwilling child and on the apprehensive primary carer. At this point the factor of proportionality becomes all-important since there is a limit beyond which the court should not strive to promote contact and the court has the overriding obligation to put the welfare of the child at the forefront and above the rights of either parent."
|Date||Judge||Applications and Orders||Rep's|
|11.11.1998||M's divorce petition|
|12.11.1998||M's applications for residence and injunctions|
|1||27.11.1998||DJ A||Consent order:
M: interim residence
F: contact each Saturday 10am-5.45pm
|14.1.1999||F's application for residence|
List for final hearing on 30.6.1999 (t/e 1 day)
|1.4.1999||F's application for penal notice to be attached to order of 27.11.1998|
List for directions on 29.4.1999
Vacate hearing on 30.6.1999
List for hearing of F's application for penal notice on 7.6.1999 (t/e 1 hour)
|5||7.6.1999||HHJ F||Consent order:
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre
Adjourn to 12.7.1999 (t/e ½ day)
M: interim residence
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre + 2 periods of observed contact to be supervised by CWO
|7||12.7.1999||HHJ G||Consent order:
Adjourn to 27.9.1999 (t/e 3 hours)
M: interim residence
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre + 2 periods of observed contact to be supervised by CWO (with penal notice)
|18.8.1999||F's application for committal|
Dispense with personal service of the committal application
Committal application withdrawn
F: observed contact to be supervised by CWO on 17.9.1999
List for hearing on 28.10.1999 (t/e 3 hours)
Adjourn for final hearing on 19.1.2000 (t/e 1 day)
|9.11.1999||F's application for interim contact|
F: contact for 2 hours at contact centre on 4 occasions 11.12.1999- 15.1.2000 (with penal notice)
Adjourn F's application
List for review on 12.3.2000 (t/e 2/3 hours)
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre until 12.2.2000; then unsupervised weekly contact for 3 hours
Matter to remain in list for 12.4.2000
List for final hearing on 29.6.2000 (t/e 2 days)
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre for 3 weeks; then unsupervised weekly contact for 3 hours (with penal notice)
|22.4.2000||F's application for committal|
M committed for 7 days (suspended)
|9.5.20000||F's applications for transfer to High Court, appointment of OS to act for child and committal|
List for final hearing on 5.7.2000 (t/e 2 days)
Committal application adjourned to 5.7.2000
Invite OS to act
Revoke contact order of 12.4.2000
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre (with penal notice)
|28.6.2000||Official Solicitor declines to act|
List for directions on 3.7.2000
Hearing on 5.7.2000 to proceed
Applications adjourned pending receipt of expert report from clinical psychologist
List for directions on 3.11.2000 (t/e 30 mins)
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre (no penal notice)
|25.9.2000||F's application for SIOs (change of name, school and religion)|
|25.9.2000||Notice: hearing listed on 3.11.200 relisted for 7.11.2000|
|16.10.2000||M's application for non-molestation order|
|17.10.2000||F's application for committal|
Committal application withdrawn
Adjourn to 15.12.2000 (t/e 30 mins) (i) the directions hearing on 7.11.2000 (ii) M's application for non-molestation order and (iii) F's application for SIOs
Expert's report to be filed by 1.12.2000
|30.10.2000||F's application for return of his passport|
Adjourn F's passport application to 15.12.2000
|7.12.2000||M's applications for order that there be no contact pending final hearing and non-molestation order|
|23||15.12.2000||HHJ G||Order (1):
Dismiss application for penal notice to be attached to order of 5.7.2000
Adjourn applications for (i) non-molestation order (ii) return of passport and (iii) suspension of contact to 4.1.2001
List for final hearing (t/e 3 days) on first available date after 16.3.2001
Expert's report to be filed by 16.2.2001
Non-molestation order against F until 4.1.2001
|24||4.1.2001||DJ B||Order (1):
F's passport released
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre (with penal notice)
Non-molestation order against F until 4.7.2001
|19.1.2001||F's applications for committal, interim residence, PSO and penal notice|
|25||20.2.2001||HHJ L||Order (1):
M committed for 14 days
Section 37 report within 8 weeks
List for interim contact hearing on 6.3.2001 (LA to attend)
F: weekly contact for 2 hours at contact centre (with penal notice)
Adjourn committal application to 19.3.2001
List final hearing on 29.8.2001 (t/e 2½ days)
Extend time for section 37 report to 1.5.2001
F: weekly contact for 7 hours starting 17.3.2001 (with penal notice)
Reserve to HHJ L
|27.4.2001||F's application for committal|
Dismiss all committal applications
List for hearing on issue of staying contact on 29.6.2001 before HHJ L (t/e 2 hours)
F: weekly contact for 7 hours (with penal notice)
F: contact for 4 hours on 2.8.2001 (D's birthday) (with penal notice)
F: weekly contact for 7 hours for 3 weeks; then from 21.9.2001 weekly contact from 5pm Friday to 5pm Saturday (no penal notice)
ISW (Mrs B) to facilitate implementation of overnight contact
Directions as to D's name and school
List for review on 13.12.2001 (t/e 1 hour)
Reserve to HHJ L
|5.10.2001||F's application for committal|
Substituted service of committal application
|9.10.2001||M's application for order that F deposit his passport with court|
Adjourning committal application with liberty to restore
|16.11.2001||F's application for defined contact|
F: contact for 7 hours on 1.12.2001 and from 5pm on 7.12.2001 to 5pm on 8.12.2001 (with penal notice)
Disclosure of M's address to process server
|10.12.2001||F's applications for residence and committal|
Transfer matter to High Court
List for urgent directions
List for interim contact hearing and hearing of committal application on 26.3.2002 (t/e 1 day)
Directions for expert evidence
F: indirect contact by weekly cards, letters and small presents
List final hearing on residence 9.7.2002 (t/e 1 day)
Directions for expert evidence
CAFCASS to nominate a children's guardian
F: contact as per schedule (2 or 3 hours on specified days from 2.4.2002 to 6.7.2002)
|Order appointing guardian|
List for directions on 17.10.2002 (t/e 30 mins)
List for final hearing on 15.1.2002 (t/e 3 days)
Directions for expert evidence (including for psychiatric examination of M)
F: indirect contact fortnightly as per schedule
F: indirect contact fortnightly as per schedule
Adjourn F's applications for residence and contact
List for review and further directions on 17.3.2003 (t/e 2 hours) and 29.4.2003 (t/e 1 day)
Family Assistance Order to guardian
Programme of work with M to be carried out by ISW and guardian
F: indirect contact as per schedule to be facilitated and assessed by the ISW and guardian; direct visiting contact as advised or recommended by ISW and guardian
Reserve to Munby J
List for review on 29.4.2003 (t/e 2 hours) and 14.7.2003 (t/e ½ day): guardian to indicate by 17.4.2003 if hearing on 29.4.2003 required
Further programme of work with M to be carried out by guardian and/or ISW
Order of 27.1.2003 to continue
Vacate hearing on 14.7.2003
List for final hearing on 10.11.2003 (t/e 2 days)
Order of 27.1.2003 to continue (F acknowledging that there will be no contact until final hearing)
F: leave to withdraw application for residence
F: indirect contact on eight occasions each year as per schedule