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s37 reports, questions regarding third party involvment

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  • s37 reports, questions regarding third party involvment

    Hi

    I have been asked a question this week ican not find an answer to.

    Parents seporated years ago, custardy dispute, s37 report produced third party mentioned

    In this report, a thrid party ( not partner or living with iether parent ) is mentioned extensivly, and they think that a number of scadalus false and misleasding statments made in the report that are false, and that if this person knew about these alligatrion they would act to stop them being said. They told me, this person has no criminal record or involvment with criminality

    Hows does a third party deal with false alligations made in a report thats not disclsable, arnt they supposed to be informed if they to be included in a report. There wandering if there solsitor is allowed in inform the person that statments have been made against them.

    if you need me to explain more let me know,but due to it being an s37, they can not disclose the contect to anyone apart from the solsitor

    crazy council ( as in local council,NELC ) as a member of the public, i don't get mad, i get even
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi Crazy Council,

    My main concern would be how has a third party had sight of the report? The report shouldn't have been disclosed to anyone one other than the parties to the proceedings, although the Court can be asked to disclose judgments in care proceedings to Police or CPS to assist with enquiries.

    I have been searching around anyway on the assumption that the 3rd party doesn't know it is one of the parties who is questioning the assertion made in the report and suspect it would have to be for a party to the proceedings to flag the falsehood made in the s37 report. I've found a case that may assist. As s37 reports are generally only ordered in care proceedings (although they technically can be ordered in all manner of Children Act matters), the Courts have to be convinced that the information given is correct. Any previous criminal convictions should be backed up with police evidence eg previous convictions and allegations investigated in the past etc, for which a Court order would be required to obtain the info. I suspect if allegations that have been made in the report are unfounded and are then flagged as such by a party to the proceedings, the Court may order the necessary evidence to be provided. This will of course depend hugely on the types of allegation and the reasons for ordering such a report in the first place.

    The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, observed in
    Re A (Application for Care and Placement Orders: Local Authority Failings)
    that if a local authority is unwilling or unable to produce witnesses who can speak of significant matters first-hand, it may ‘find itself in great, or indeed insuperable, difficulties if a parent not merely puts the matter in issue but goes into the witness-box to deny it'.

    I wouldn't suggest that this means calling the 3rd party but if there is no supporting evidence such as police printouts etc then the Court may take a similar view to above.

    If this is hearsay evidence then although it can be admissible in these sorts of proceedings there are considerations the Court must turn their mind to:-
    Section 4 of the Civil Evidence Act 1995 (CEA 1995) gives non-exhaustive guidance on the factors to consider when estimating the weight to attach to hearsay evidence, ie whether:
    1. it would have been reasonable and practicable to produce the maker of the statement as a witness
    2. the original statement was made contemporaneously with the matter(s) stated
    3. it involves multiple hearsay
    4. any person involved has a motive to conceal or misrepresent matters
    5. the original statement was an edited account or made in collaboration with another or for a particular purpose
    6. the circumstances where the evidence is adduced suggest an attempt to prevent proper evaluation of its weight
    In addition the Children (Admissibility of Hearsay Evidence) Order 1993 applies and provides that 'evidence given in connection with the upbringing, maintenance or welfare of a child shall be admissible notwithstanding any rule of law relating to hearsay'.

    I would suggest that if there is a question over content of the report then whoever is disputing the evidence needs to ensure this is known. Contacting the LA and flagging the concern about the report, maybe dealing in witness statements if this is an option. They need to inform their solicitor and/or the child's guardian so that the relevant people are aware of the issue and can advise on the best way to deal, to enable the Court to make an informed decision or make a further order.

    As far as convictions and previous convictions are concerned evidence of a person’s previous convictions, are admissible in family proceedings to prove that they committed that offence, if that is relevant to any issue in the proceedings. Spent convictions and any reported issues (that may not even have been pursued) are potentially relevant and are also admissible in any proceedings under Children Act 1989.

    Hope this helps.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi,

      Your correct i The parties involved are in dispute. The third party doesnt know. They asked if the was any way to legally inform them that alligations had been made by a public worker, not the parties. ( not weird type alligations )

      Again your spot on what you say in relation to factual errors in the reports,( have had to deal with an s37 for one of my daughters before ) they can be challanged and by the parties. In this instance, the Judge has told the Social workers to re-do the report and remove all irrelevent and unconnected items.

      there just awaiting a responce from Cafcass in relation to the third person they have asked them to check if theres a route to at least inform the person, now its being removed from the report.

      I will update this is the cafcass responce is any use or if there solsitors comes up with anything



      crazy council ( as in local council,NELC ) as a member of the public, i don't get mad, i get even

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry, grandmothers and eggs come to mind. Sounds like all's being done that can be. If the 3rd party has any fall out from anything said in the report it would imo only be because the Court has authorised their judgment to be released which refers to the content in it. If the Court hasn't I'm not sure that there is any issue unless social services are looking into issues with the 3rd party anyway.

        Even then if any issue is unrelated to the current child proceedings they couldn't use the content of the report without a Court order anyway.

        I know people can get really frustrated in care proceeding type situations and will look for anything to rail against, understandably. I can't see that this could affect the 3rd party and if it affects the outcome of the proceedings there really would need to be evidence of the allegations I believe.

        Be interesting to hear what happens.
        I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

        Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

        If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi

          I just had a chat and they said the judge orderd the report re-done, and some other conditions in relation to facts. they have asked cafcass if they think they cafcass should inform the person. They said there solsitor is going to give them details tomorrow of what the judge ment. Be interesting what cafcass say, if they have a duty. this person should not have been on the report, and was nothing to do with the s37.

          your right they are pushing something thats not important, but they think that the record have got mixed up
          crazy council ( as in local council,NELC ) as a member of the public, i don't get mad, i get even

          Comment

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