A Local Authority v BF [2018] EWCA Civ 2962

Inherent jurisdiction to authorise DOL of vulnerable adult An interim order made on 10/12/18 required BF to reside at a care home, over Christmas, and not at his own or his son's home, despite BF's having capacity to make decisions about his residence and wanting to return home. The order was expressed to last until a further hearing to take place no later than 31/1/19 (later fixed for 16/1/19) when the judge could hear full argument on what relief could be granted pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction. The local authority appealed on the basis that the order infringed Article 5. The appeal was dismissed: (1) BF is a vulnerable adult (old, blind, infirm, in a squalid and dangerous home, with undue influence present in relationship with son) who needs protection despite not lacking capacity. (2) The test of "unsound mind" is different from the test of capacity, and there is prima facie evidence that he may be of unsound mind. (3) In an emergency situation, someone may be deprived of their liberty in the absence of evidence of mental disorder without infringing Article 5 (Winterwerp); even if BF is found not to be of unsound mind, his vulnerability is such that he could not be returned home without careful planning, which is a crucial component of the protection afforded by the inherent jurisdiction. [This is a surprising decision on both the "unsoundness of mind" and "emergency situation" fronts. This permission judgment of 21/12/18 was published on 21/1/19; presumably the full judgment from the 10/12/18 and 16/1/19 hearings will be published soon.]

CASES DATABASE

Full judgment: BAILII

Subject(s):

  • Inherent jurisdiction cases🔍

Date: 21/12/18🔍

Court: Court of Appeal🔍

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Published: 22/1/19

Cached: 2019-04-19 08:53:19