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Contempt of Court
June 9, 2012 permalink
Not mentioned by Booker, in this kind of a power struggle there is little the judge can do to force compliance. Fines would only transfer money from one account in the public treasury to another. Jailing the caseworker who is in the courtroom would have little effect, because she is not the real decision-maker.
The baby abducted from France is still being kept from its parents
Social workers display an astonishing contempt for the High Court.
One of many things to surprise me, as I have investigated the nightmarish underworld of our “child protection” system, has been the contemptuous way in which our social workers seem so willing to disobey the orders of judges. This is the third week running when I have had to report on an order given by Mr Justice Bodey in the High Court on May 21, that Norfolk social workers must, “as soon as practicable”, return to France a baby born in France to an English couple who last year settled there.
These council officials had spent nearly £20,000 of taxpayers’ money travelling to France to seize the baby, on the argument that it was “habitually resident” in England, even though it had never lived here. Judge Bodey rejected their bizarre argument, ruling that the English courts had no jurisdiction over the child. He discharged the orders made by a lower court and ruled that the child must be returned to France no later than June 1.
The social workers at first said they could not meet this deadline, because the baby didn’t have a passport (though that had not prevented them from bringing it to England in the first place). A stream of emails from the lawyers representing the distraught mother were ignored, until finally the council was threatened with further legal proceedings and the social workers agreed to return the child to France. But now they say they cannot do so until June 15 because one of them is on holiday.
It is truly remarkable that, while some 200 mothers a year are imprisoned for “contempt of court”, for breaching orders made by judges in family cases, when social workers similarly show contempt for court orders, they and the councils they work for seem to believe they can do so with impunity.
Source: Telegraph (UK)