Scope of inherent jurisdiction. [Summary required.]
The following is an extract from Judiciary of England and Wales, 'Court of Protection Report 2010' (July 2011).
22. A Local Authority v DL and Others  EWHC 2675 (Fam) (Sir Nicholas Wall, the President of the Family Division, 14 October 2010). www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2010/2675.html Although this is technically not a Court of Protection case, it involves interesting issues relating to the protection of vulnerable adults. Mr L is 85. Mrs L is 90. Neither of them lacks capacity. They live with their son DL, who is in his 50s. There are documented incidents of abuse of his parents by DL since 2005, and consistent reports that he is seeking to coerce his father into transferring ownership of the house into his name, and to have his mother placed in a care home against her wishes.
The local authority wished to take steps to protect Mr and Mrs L from DL considered and rejected:
In his judgment, the President considered two bases upon which he had jurisdiction to make a non-molestation injunction against DL:
The court has a jurisdictional basis to intervene under its inherent jurisdiction. Following the decisions of Mr Justice Munby in Re SA (Vulnerable Adult with capacity: Marriage)  EWHC 2942 and Re MM: Local Authority X v MM and KM  EWHC 2003 (Fam), it has an inherent jurisdiction over vulnerable adults who, although not lacking capacity, are reasonably believed to be (i) under constraint, or (ii) subject to coercion or undue influence, or (iii) for some other reason deprived of the ability to make a free choice. Although this was sufficient to dispose of the application, the facts also warranted action under section 222 of the LGA 1972.
A Local Authority v DL and others (vulnerable adults: non molestation injunction)  All ER (D) 280 (Oct)
In re L (Vulnerable Adults with Capacity: Court's Jurisdiction)  Fam 189
This case doesn't fit well into any of the current case-law categories (which will be re-organised at some stage).