CHILD SUPPORT: Brookes v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2010] EWCA Civ 420

06 MAY 2010

(Court of Appeal; Ward, Hughes and Patten LJJ; 29 April 2010)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission determined the father should make payments. The father did not pay the maintenance via the Commission. The Commission gave credit for a sum of £1,800 paid directly, but did not accept that more had been paid. Bailiffs were instructed to enforce remaining the £7,000 owed and the father applied for permission to seek judicial review. He argued that the welfare of his step-children and child by his new partner were not considered in the decision to instruct bailiffs.

Court of Appeal dismissed the application for judicial review. The Commission was entitled to balance the impact on children in father's household against a legal debt, which had never been challenged. There was no other way of achieving objective and it was not excessive or disproportionate.

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