A Local Authority v C 2013 (mother not allowed to resist)
A Local Authority v C 2013
is a case where a mother has not been told anything about the case, but essentially the police are authorised to remove the child at birth. The key about this is that there is no-one arguing the mother's side of the argument. The allegations made by the state are essentially something that are allowed to stand without any challenge.
If, as is asserted in this case, someone is to be considered incapable of looking after her child then why also do they encourage her to get pregnant and hold out to her the chance of looking after the child.
However, the nub of this is I would like to hear the mother's view on these issues as to what is true.
suesspiciousminds has a good look at this and concludes:
I have some problems with this judgment and decision (not as a matter of law, the Judge followed Re D and balanced things but as a matter of principle and human rights). The remedy here for the removal at birth is that the mother has the opportunity to challenge within a few hours that decision at the EPO hearing. But how realistic is that?
Forgive me if I don’t think that this is terribly fair.
Firstly, she is going to be in a state of complete shock at the removal, which will be a total surprise to her. (I know that lawyers could look at the history and say “well, an EPO application was likely” but from mother’s perspective, if social workers have been working with her and never said that the baby would be removed, she might well think that she will keep the baby)
Secondly, she is also in the immediate aftermath of childbirth, a process which is fairly stressful, painful and somewhat discombobulating (that is a huge understatement) – not putting one in the best shape to get dressed and get on a bus to court
Thirdly, when she gets to Court, she is not entitled to instruct a solicitor to represent her, as she doesn’t have capacity
Fourthly, the Official Solicitor hasn’t been warned of the pending application so that they will be ready at court to represent her
So a vulnerable woman, with mental health problems, in the immediate aftermath of childbirth will be in Court, reeling from the shock of removal and representing herself at a contested removal hearing.