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12 JAN 2012

COSTS/ VULNERABLE ADULT: Cheshire West and Chester Council v P [2011] EWHC 1330 (Fam)

(Family Division; Moylan J; 21 December 2010)

Munby LJ reviewed deprivation of liberty law in respect of man, 38, with cerebral palsy and Down's Syndrome in residential home. The Local Authority sought costs against the man (represented by the Official Solicitor and publicly funded). The OS said there should be no order as to costs. Accepted that Court Of Protection rules did not apply to issue of appeal costs. Also that because appeal from COP not Family Division, CPR r 44.3(2) did not apply. General rule was therefore that, under CPR r 44.3(2), unsuccessful party (here man) had to pay costs. As the man was publicly funded the general rule would apply in context of Community Legal Service (Costs) Regulations 2000. Whether there should be no order as to costs because COP proceedings so analogous to family proceedings that were in reality indistinguishable from them. OS's argument close to an impermissible invitation to re-write CPR 44.3.  Court of Appeal could have regard to fact that case involved vulnerable adult, but only as one of circumstances, not because of any general principle in such cases.

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