The CA determined that the court has jurisdiction to make sequential s.37 directions and with them Sequential ICOs in certain appropriate circumstances but that in the instant case the court had on one occasion exceeded its jurisdiction where the LA had filed a comprehensive s.37 report and did not seek an ICO or to issue proceedings. However the parents’ wider appeal against the final orders made in 2012 was dismissed.
In a case well-known for earlier decisions (including HL decisions) regarding children of lesbian parents, which had resulted in a shared residence order with the children living with their biological mother in Cornwall, contact had been problematic over a number of years. The CA allowed an appeal by the non-biological mother against the replacement of the shared residence order with a sole residence order and remitted the matter for re-trial by the western circuit liaison judge.The CA noted the difficulties caused by lack of public funding.
The CA refused an application to adjourn a permission to appeal hearing relating to an application to re-open a fact finding where NAI had been found. The CA was at pains to distinguish the case from Wray and emphasised the lack of any supporting expert evidence for the parents’ theory as to how the injuries could have been caused.
The CA upheld a judgment making a final care order with a plan of adoption in a close-run care case where no actual harm to the subject child was alleged but the Mother and Father had extremely troubled histories and were dishonest and uncooperative with professionals. Lewison LJ comes close to but does not dissent.