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(Family Division; Sir Nicholas Wall P; 1 February 2011)
The 12 and 10 year old girls had no direct contact with their father. Wall P banned the father from the county in which the girls lived save for specified purposes. The paternal grandparents sought direct contact with girls. The father did not appear at the hearing dealing with this application, with mother's application to commit father for contempt and with father's own appeal against various orders.
Where grandparents had a partisan attitude and were part of the fray rather than above it, it was appropriate to proceed with caution. A supervised contact visit would take place if the guardian still thought it in the children's interests and the court would then review it. The absence of a committal summons was a serious procedural defect but was not fatal where the father had been fully notified of the allegations and had abundant opportunity to meet them.
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure