Re M: Devon County Council v Teresa Kirk [2016] EWCOP 42, [2016] MHLO 50

"This is an application made by a Local Authority for committal for contempt of court... The backdrop to this application is a long-running case in the Court of Protection concerning MM. ... The court went on to make declarations. Firstly, that MM lacked capacity. Secondly, that it was in his best interests to live in England, in the area of the South West. Thirdly, that it was not in his best interests to continue to reside at the care home in Portugal; and further ordered at para.7 that, no later than 4pm on 27 June 2016, Mrs. Kirk shall provide to the Local Authority a signed copy of the written declaration of authority... The short point about that provision in the order is that it provided for Mrs. Kirk to sign the written declaration of authority so that MM could be released to the local authority. The order had a penal notice attached to it, the recitals are very clear. ... I apply the criminal standard to the only breach with which I am concerned, which is as set out in the order. I am entirely satisfied and sure - indeed, it is accepted in the face of the court - that Mrs. Kirk has not provided the written declaration of authority... I shall pass a sentence of six months' imprisonment. However, I shall suspend the warrant for a period of seven days only to give Mrs Kirk one last chance to comply..."

Related judgments

Devon County Council v Teresa Kirk [2016] EWCA Civ 1221, [2016] MHLO 51

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