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RE PB (CHILDREN) sub nom A LOCAL AUTHORITY v (1) HP (2) MB

A public law contact order made under the Children Act 1989 s.34 was capable of being enforced by committal, and a circuit judge sitting in the county court had the power to attach a penal notice to such an order.

10 March 2009

The appellant local authority appealed against a decision of a judge to attach a penal notice to an order for contact made under the Children Act 1989 s.34. The child in question (B) was in the interim care of the local authority. He was living with foster carers and the care plan was that he should remain in their care in the long term. The order was for contact between B, the man whom he treated as his father (F), and his half-brother (Y). Its purpose was to preserve their relationship and it required the local authority to “make [B] available for supervised contact with [F] on one Sunday every month for a period of three hours at a time...”. The judge had of her own motion attached a penal notice to the order to ensure that contact took place because B's foster father had indicated that he would not facilitate the contact and that he would terminate B's placement if contact was ordered. Since the making of the order B had enjoyed regular contact with F, and his placement with...

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