Deprivation of liberty - children

See also: Category:Deprivation of liberty
The old category structure used on this page is comprehensive as it contains every relevant case. The new database structure was introduced in 2019. It is more potentially useful than the old categorisation system: it includes all cases since January 2017, but only a minority of older cases: see Special:Drilldown/Cases. The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.

Case and summary Date added Categories
* DOL of child An NHS Trust v ST (Refusal of Deprivation of Liberty Order) [2022] EWHC 719 (Fam)The High Court was asked under the inherent jurisdiction to authorise the continuing deprivation of a child's liberty on an inappropriate hospital ward, but the judge decided that "to grant the relief sought by the Trust in this case would be to grossly pervert the application of best interests principle." 2022‑07‑16 08:34:33 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2022 cases, Deprivation of liberty - children, Inherent jurisdiction cases

* Re X procedure and 16/17 year olds Bolton Council v KL [2022] EWCOP 24This detailed judgment addresses a COP9 application made by Bolton Council prior to the hearing for reconsideration of the decision to take the application out of the streamlined (Re X) procedure. It concluded: "KL's age at the time of the application, his being subject to a care order at the time of the application, his absence of family contact and the imminence of transition to adult services were all reasons which clearly led to the conclusion that he should be independently represented, by joinder as a party and appointment of a litigation friend for him." The judge then explained the court's approach: "(a) the court is unlikely to consider that the streamlined procedure is appropriate for authorisation of deprivation of liberty in the living arrangements of 16/17 year olds; (b) the court is unlikely to be critical of an applicant for bringing an application for authorisation of deprivation of liberty in the living arrangements of a 16/17 year old either by COP1 application to the appropriate hub court, or by streamlined application to the central registry at First Avenue House. It follows from (a) that the procedure adopted post-issue is likely to be substantially the same. If/when an in-person attended hearing is required, consideration will be given to transfer to a local hearing centre." 2022‑06‑29 19:26:26

* Unlawful DOL of child Re AB (A Child) [2021] EWFC B100The court decided that AB, a 13-year-old child, was being deprived of his liberty at a residential home, and authorised it under the inherent jurisdiction as being in his best interests, noting with concern that he had been unlawfully deprived of his liberty between November 2020 and March 2021. 2022‑02‑10 21:53:37

* Relevance of DOL Practice Guidance Re CK: Derby CC v BA [2021] EWHC 2931 (Fam)"[W]hilst accepting that an unwillingness or inability on the part of a placement to comply with the terms of the President’s Practice Guidance is a factor that informs the overall best interests evaluation on an application under the inherent jurisdiction, and that each case will turn on its own facts, I am satisfied that that the court should not ordinarily countenance the exercise the inherent jurisdiction where an unregistered placement makes clear that it will not or cannot comply with the requirement of the Practice Guidance to apply expeditiously for registration as mandated by law." 2021‑11‑04 22:08:14 ICLR summary

* DOL of child at children's home Nottinghamshire County Council v LH (No 2) [2021] EWHC 2593 (Fam)In response to the High Court's refusal to authorise LH's deprivation of liberty in a psychiatric ward, the local authority proposed to place her in an empty four-bed children's home. Restrictions on her liberty, amounting to deprivation of liberty (e.g. 3:1 escort inside and outside the home), would be imposed because of the risk of self-harm and violence. The judge concluded that it was necessary and proportionate and in LT’s best interests to be deprived of her liberty there, and during her transfer there. 2021‑10‑05 10:37:07

* Refusal to authorise DOL under inherent jurisdiction Nottinghamshire County Council v LH (No 1) [2021] EWHC 2584 (Fam)The local authority asked the court to authorise LH's deprivation of liberty in an acute adolescent psychiatric unit because there was nowhere else available in the country. She had autistic spectrum disorder, ADHD, and other difficulties but, despite being detained on the ward, was not detained under the MHA as hospital treatment was not considered appropriate. The clinicians did not want her to remain there: her presence was endangering not only herself (e.g. she had started to attempt ligature strangulation) but also the other children and staff. The judge concluded that "authorisation of the deprivation of LT’s liberty in a psychiatric unit which is harmful to her and contrary to her best interests would only serve to protect the local authority from acting unlawfully: it would not protect this highly vulnerable child". 2021‑10‑05 10:22:00

* Inherent jurisdiction and unauthorised placements Re T (A Child) [2021] UKSC 35Where a child or young person meets the s25 Children Act 1989 secure accommodation order criteria but the local authority proposes to place him in an unregulated placement (either because no regulated placement is available or because his needs would be better met elsewhere) the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court may authorise his deprivation of liberty at the unregulated placement. This is despite it being a criminal offence under s11 Care Standards Act 2000 to carry on or manage a children's home without being registered. 2021‑09‑16 20:14:15 Judgment available on Bailii

* DOL of under 16s in unlawful placements Tameside MBC v AM [2021] EWHC 2472 (Fam)The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 make unlawful the placement of a looked-after child under the age of 16 in unregulated accommodation, but the High Court decided that its inherent jurisdiction can still authorise deprivation of liberty in that accommodation. 2021‑09‑11 20:30:23

* Transfer of child to DOL in Scotland London Borough of X v M and Y [2021] EWHC 440 (Fam)The English Court of Protection granted orders permitting the local authority (a) to place a child Y outside of the jurisdiction, in Scotland, pursuant to paragraph 19, Schedule 2, Children Act 1989; (b) to deprive Y of his liberty; and (c) to utilise the services of a secure transport company to transport Y to the proposed placement in Scotland, using reasonable force if necessary. 2021‑02‑27 07:49:20

* Lack of secure placement Re Q (A Child): A City Council v X [2021] EWHC 123 (Fam)Q would become a huge risk to young children and others in the absence of a suitable secure placement with intensive therapeutic work. However, no secure placement was available and, with "considerable reservations", the deprivation of his liberty was authorised under the High Court's inherent jurisdiction. 2021‑02‑15 21:58:12

* DOL of child at unregulated placement Lancashire County Council v G (No 4) [2021] EWHC 244 (Fam)The judge authorised the continued deprivation of liberty, concluding as follows: "In the circumstances I have set out above, I once again and wearily must authorise the continued deprivation of G in an unregulated placement that is not fully equipped to meet her complex needs by reason of the fact that I have no other option but to do so. I make clear that I consider that I can say that the placement is in G's best interests only because it is the sole option available to the court to prevent G causing herself serious and possibly fatal harm. Even then, it is clear that the placement is increasingly struggling to achieve even that limited goal. As has been the case each time this matter has come before me in the past number of months, I make the decision I do because I am left with no choice." 2021‑02‑12 22:45:46

* DOL of child at unregulated placement A Borough Council v E [2021] EWHC 183 (Fam)The court, with reservations, authorised the deprivation of a child's liberty in a placement unregulated by Ofsted: she was being deprived of her liberty in an inappropriate hospital setting and there were no regulated placements available or willing to meet her identified welfare needs. 2021‑02‑11 23:15:05

* Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment - transfer to Italy Raqeeb v Barts NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 2531 (Admin)This judgment related to: (a) the child's (Tafida's) judicial review of the Trust's decision not to agree to transfer her to an Italian hospital; (b) the Trust's application for a specific issue order under s8 Children Act 1989, and for an inherent jurisdiction declaration, that it was in the child's best interests for life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn. Both applications were dismissed, with the effect that one of the hospitals had to continue life-sustaining treatment and, there being no justification for interfering with Tafida's right (under Article 56 Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union) to receive treatment in another EU state, it was anticipated that the transfer would take place. The judgment provides guidance on dealing with a request by parents of an EU citizen child for transfer for medical treatment in another Member State. 2019‑10‑17 22:42:09

* DOL Re D (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 1695"This is an appeal from an order of Keehan J sitting in the Court of Protection dated 15 March 2016, following a judgment handed down on 21 January 2016: Birmingham City Council v D [2016] EWCOP 8M, [2016] PTSR 1129. Permission to appeal was granted by McFarlane LJ on 14 June 2016. The proceedings related to D, who was born on 23 April 1999, and was therefore 16 years old when the matter was heard by Keehan J in November 2015. Similar issues in relation to D had been before Keehan J in the Family Division earlier in 2015 when D was 15 years old, judgment (which was not appealed) having been handed down on 31 March 2015: Re D (A Child) (Deprivation of Liberty) [2015] EWHC 922 (Fam)M, [2016] 1 FLR 142B. In each case, the essential question was whether D was being deprived of his liberty within the meaning of and for the purposes of Article 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms." 2018‑10‑23 18:24:57 2017 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty - children, Judgment available on Bailii

* DOL of child Re Y (Autism - Care Proceedings - Deprivation of Liberty): LB Barking and Dagenham v Mr and Mrs X (2018) EWHC B63"The local authority, represented by Ms Mustafa of counsel, applies for a care order under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 and for an order declaring that it is lawful for the local authority to deprive Y of his liberty. Y is the child of the First and Second Respondent parents. Mr and Mrs X are represented by Ms Prolingheuer of counsel. Mr and Mrs X oppose the application for a Care Order and DoL and submit he should return home to their care" 2018‑10‑22 14:27:39 2018 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty - children, Judgment available on Bailii

* Secure accommodation Re T (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 2136"This appeal relates to the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction by the High Court, Family Division when called upon to make orders which, but for a lack of capacity in the statutory system, would be made as secure accommodation orders under Children Act 1989, s 25 (CA 1989)." 2018‑10‑15 20:15:07

* DOL - children Re A-F (Children) (No 2) [2018] EWHC 2129 (Fam)"The purpose of the hearing, as it developed, was to deal with four matters: (i) A review of any relevant developments since the previous hearing in August 2017. (ii) The making of final orders. (iii) In that context, consideration of the implications of the fact that two of the children with whom I am concerned either have had or will, during the currency of the final order, if granted, have their sixteenth birthday. (iv) The formulation, if possible, of standard forms of order for use in such cases." 2018‑08‑08 20:33:34 2018 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty - children, Judgment available on Bailii

* DOL - 17-year-old Buckinghamshire County Council v RT [2018] EWCOP 12"I am concerned with a young man who is now 17 ½ years old and who I shall refer to as RT in this judgement. ... RT's behavioural issues are such that it is no longer safe for him at home with his adoptive parents and siblings. The local authority have therefore applied under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for an order pursuant to section 4 and 16 of that act to deprive RT of his liberty so that he may be placed at [a place]. The arrangements for his care at that placement involve 2:1 supervision during the day and one to one at night. ... Is clear that the arrangements set out in the care plan amounts to a deprivation of liberty within the 'Storck' and Cheshire West cases. The level of supervision described is far in excess of that which might be applied to even the most unruly 17-year-old in a domestic setting. It clearly amounts to continuous supervision and control. ... It is very clear that it is RT's best interests to remain in an environment in which he can be protected from his own impulsivity and where others are protected. The very high levels of supervision are necessary and proportionate in the particular circumstances of this case. He needs intensive support and therapeutic input in order to reduce the risks he faces. This will not be a short-term recess but is likely to take months if not years. I therefore will make a deprivation of liberty order for one year. RT's 18th birthday is clearly a milestone for any teenager but I think has particular significance for RT. I will therefore list a review shortly before his 18th birthday which in particular will enable him to have a say at that point." 2018‑04‑25 23:34:51 2018 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty - children, Judgment available on Bailii

* DOL - children Re A-F (Children) [2018] EWHC 138 (Fam)"... [T]he situation of the "young" or "very young" ... does not involve a "confinement" for the purposes of Storck component (a), even though such a child is living in circumstances which plainly satisfy the Cheshire West "acid test". ... For all present purposes, "confinement" means not simply "confining" a young child to a playpen or by closing a door, but something more: an interruption or curtailment of the freedom of action normally to be ascribed to a child of that age and understanding. ... Now at this point in the analysis a difficult question arises which has not hitherto been addressed, at least directly. At what point in the child's development, and by reference to what criteria, does one determine whether and when a state of affairs satisfying the "acid test" in Cheshire West which has hitherto not involved a "confinement" for the purposes of Storck component (a), and where Article 5 has accordingly not been engaged, becomes a "confinement" for that purpose, therefore engaging Article 5 (unless, that is, a valid consent has been given by someone exercising parental responsibility)? ... [W]hether a state of affairs which satisfies the "acid test" amounts to a "confinement" for the purposes of Storck component (a) has to be determined by comparing the restrictions to which the child in question is subject with the restrictions which would apply to a child of the same "age", "station", "familial background" and "relative maturity" who is "free from disability". ... The question is raised as to whether it is possible to identify a minimum age below which a child is unlikely to be "confined", and hence to be deprived of their liberty, given the expectation that a comparable child of the same age would also likely be under continuous supervision and control and not free to leave. ... Inevitably, one has to proceed on a case-by-case basis, having regard to the actual circumstances of the child and comparing them with the notional circumstances of the typical child of (to use Lord Kerr's phraseology) the same "age", "station", "familial background" and "relative maturity" who is "free from disability". ...[T]he best I can do, by way, I emphasise, of little more than 'rule of thumb', is to suggest that: (i) A child aged 10, even if under pretty constant supervision, is unlikely to be "confined" for the purpose of Storck component (a). (ii) A child aged 11, if under constant supervision, may, in contrast be so "confined", though the court should be astute to avoid coming too readily to such a conclusion. (iii) Once a child who is under constant supervision has reached the age of 12, the court will more readily come to that conclusion. That said, all must depend upon the circumstances of the particular case and upon the identification by the judge in the particular case of the attributes of the relevant comparator as described by Lord Kerr. The question is also raised whether, in undertaking the comparison required by the "acid test", the comparison should be made with a 'typical' child of the same age who is subject to a care order. The answer in my judgment is quite clearly, No. ... I turn to matters of process and procedure." 2018‑02‑02 00:19:06 2018 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty - children, Judgment available on Bailii

* Child, no approved secure accommodation available, deprivation of liberty A Local Authority v AT and FE [2017] EWHC 2458 (Fam)"Section 25 of the Children Act 1989 makes express and detailed provision for the making of what are known as secure accommodation orders. Such orders may be made and, indeed, frequently are made by courts, including courts composed of lay magistrates. It is not necessary to apply to the High Court for a secure accommodation order. However, as no approved secure accommodation was available, the local authority required the authorisation of a court for the inevitable deprivation of liberty of the child which would be involved. It appears that currently such authorisation can only be given by the High Court in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction. ... I am increasingly concerned that the device of resort to the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court is operating to by-pass the important safeguard under the regulations of approval by the Secretary of State of establishments used as secure accommodation. ... In my own experience it is most unusual that a secure accommodation order could be made without the attendance of the child if of sufficient age and if he wished to attend, and without the child being properly legally represented. It is true, as Mr Flood says, that this is not an application for a secure accommodation order, but the analogy is a very close one. Indeed, the only reason why a secure accommodation order is not being applied for is because an approved secure accommodation unit is not available. It seems to me, therefore, that the statutory safeguards within section 25 should not be outflanked or sidestepped simply because a local authority have been forced, due to lack of available resources, to apply for the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of this court rather than the statutory order. ... I propose to order that the child now be joined as a party to these proceedings and Cafcass must forthwith allocate a guardian to act on his behalf. ... In my view it is very important that ordinarily in these situations, which in plain language involve a child being 'locked up', the child concerned should, if he wishes, have an opportunity to attend a court hearing. The exception to that is clearly if the child is so troubled that it would be damaging to his health, wellbeing or emotional stability to do so." 2017‑10‑08 21:47:42 2017 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty - children, Judgment available on Bailii

* DOL of child Re Daniel X [2016] EWFC B31"This is the final hearing of the care proceedings brought by Thurrock Borough Council in relation to Daniel X, a boy of 10. ... It is also the final hearing of the application by Thurrock Borough Council for me to authorise them to deprive Daniel of his liberty by accommodating him in Y Home. ... The outstanding issue is that of Daniel's liberty, and there is a great deal of consensus on this point too. However, it has been agreed at the bar that it would be helpful if I set out the position in law and how I consider the law applies to Daniel." 2016‑05‑13 21:33:48