Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing: June Teaser


Re F & G (Discharge of Special Guardianship Order) [2021] EWCA Civ 622 (30 April 2021) – A care order and a special guardianship order can exist in respect of the same child, if made in that order. A care order discharges a SGO, but not the other way around.

London Borough of Barnet v AG & ors [2021] EWHC 1253 (Fam) (13 May 2021), Family Division (Sir Andrew McFarlane P, Sir Duncan Ousely) – No incompatibility between European Convention and Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations over diplomatic immunity, in this case in relation to the treatment by a diplomat and his wife of their children.

Re TT (Children) [2021] EWCA Civ 742 (20 May 2021) – A mother’s application for discharge of care orders were refused; and Mostyn J’s decision in GM v Carmarthenshire County Council [2018] EWFC 36, [2018] 3 WLR 1126 is in correct.

Sparkes v London Pension Funds Authority & anor [2021] EWHC 1265 (QB) (14 May 2021), Murray J – (1) Application under CPR 1998, r 31.17 (mirror provision – in most respects – at FPR 2010, r 21.2) for production of material held by a non-party (NP; a prior owner of land in asbestos claim. Appeal allowed: Master had not understood the claimant’s application (see esp [52]). (2) On costs of NPs: the normal rule (per CPR 46.1) in relation to an application for non-party production (FPR 2010, r 21.2: eg police, or a cohabitant in financial relief proceedings) is that the court grants NP their costs. Murray J felt the NP had been unhelpful and should pay the applicant’s costs.

Re JK (A Child)(Domestic Abuse: Finding of Fact Hearing) [2021] EWHC 1367 (Fam) (21 May 2021), Poole J – In a child arrangements order hearing finding of coercive control following application of principles in Re H-N and Others (children) (domestic abuse: finding of fact hearings) [2021] EWCA 448 (Civ).

Re M (Children: Applications by email) [2021] EWCA Civ 806, (28 May 2021) – Mother’s successful appeal against a judge’s order in care proceedings, where the judge had only emails – but no evidence – from a children’s lawyer. Reminder of the rules in FPR 2010, Pt 18 for making such applications.

Non-party production of documents

One of the more controversial aspects of evidence in financial relief proceedings is likely to be that of evidence from, and disclosure by, a party’s cohabitant. If one spouse (R) is living with a new partner (P) (married or otherwise; though marriage may emphasise the durability of the new relationship), is evidence from P (1) relevant in the applicant spouse’s (A) financial relief proceedings; and if so (2) how can it be obtained. This article deals with the general question of evidence in family proceedings from a non-party (what, until Civil Procedure Rules 1998, r 31.17, used to be called a ‘third party’); and uses the cohabitant question as an illustration. The principles defined in the latter part of the article apply equally to obtaining material from other non-parties, such as an accountant or business partner in financial relief proceedings; obtaining information from health professionals or the police in care proceedings; or from other non-parties in family proceedings.

The Family Law Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.

David Burrows

Written by David Burrows

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