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Manchester City Council v MI [1999] EWCA Civ 1689

The test for the displacement of a nearest relative is objective; the Court of Appeal will not interfere with factual findings that were open to the trial judge. [MHLR.]

MHLR

The summary below has been supplied by Kris Gledhill, Editor of the Mental Health Law Reports. The full report can be purchased from Southside Online Publishing (if there is a "file not found" error, it means this particular report is not yet available online). More similar case summaries from the year 1999 are available here: MHLR 1999.

Whether a decision to displace a nearest relative was wrong - Manchester City Council v MI [1999] MHLR 132 (CA)

Points Arising: The test for the displacement of a nearest relative is objective; the Court of Appeal will not interfere with factual findings that were open to the trial judge.

Facts and Outcome: MI, the mother of PI, believed, with expert evidence in support, that PI had mild epilepsy which was controllable by drugs that she could administer; Manchester City Council, with expert support, believed that PI had a mental illness and so wished to place him under guardianship (s7 Mental Health Act 1983) so as to retain control over where he lived and to require access to doctors. This would happen when he left hospital, where he had been detained under ss2 and 3 of the Act, which had been upheld by Mental Health Review Tribunals. When MI objected to the guardianship application (under s11 of the Act), the Council sought to displace her from the role of nearest relative on the basis that the objection was unreasonable (s29 of the Act). The decision of the County Court judge that PI had a mental disorder and not epilepsy and that the other criteria for guardianship were made out, such that the objection was unreasonable, was upheld by the Court of Appeal on the basis that his findings of fact were open to him and he applied the law correctly, namely what would an objective nearest relative do.

External link

Possible Bailii link (not there when checked last night, but might have appeared since)

Transcript (MHLR)