Southend-On-Sea Borough Council v Meyers  EWHC 399 (Fam)
Inherent jurisdiction prevents elderly man from living with son "The essence of his vulnerability is, in fact, his entirely dysfunctional relationship with his son ... Mr Meyers, I am satisfied, is entirely capable of and has the capacity ... for determining where he wishes to reside and with whom. ... I instinctively recoil from intervening in the decision making of a capacitious adult ... Here Mr Meyers' life requires to be protected and I consider that, ultimately, the State has an obligation to do so. Additionally, it is important to recognise that the treatment of Mr Meyers has not merely been neglectful but abusive and corrosive of his dignity. To the extent that the Court's decision encroaches on Mr Meyers' personal autonomy it is, I believe, a justified and proportionate intervention. The preservation of a human life will always weigh heavily when evaluating issues of this kind. ... The objective here ... is that Mr Meyers be prevented from living with his son, either in the bungalow or in alternative accommodation. I do not compel him to reside in any other place or otherwise limit with whom he should live. ... The impact of the Court's intervention is to limit Mr Meyers's accommodation options but it does not deprive of his physical liberty which is the essence of the right guaranteed by Article 5. ... It is also necessary to restrict the extent of Mr Meyers's contact with his son in order to keep him safe. ... To the extent that this interferes with his Article 8 rights it is, again as I have indicated above, a necessary and proportionate intervention. ... The ideal solution here, it seems to me, would be for Mr Meyers to return to his bungalow with a suitable package of support, his son having been excluded from the property."
Essex searchThis case's neutral citation number appears in the following newsletters:
- 39 Essex Chambers, 'Mental Capacity Report' (issue 108, October 2020)
- 39 Essex Chambers, 'Mental Capacity Report' (issue 92, March 2019)
- Man returns home after inherent jurisdiction case. Belfast Telegraph, 'Blind veteran tells judge he is ‘living again’ after going home' (19/3/19) — The article states that Hayden J is overseeing developments at follow-up hearings in London, and that at a hearing the previous week the council's lawyers stated that Douglas Meyers had returned home. The High Court decision is: Southend-On-Sea Borough Council v Meyers  EWHC 399 (Fam).