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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

17 JUL 2008

CHILD SUPPORT: R (Cowling) v Child Support Commissioners Office [2008] EWHC 2306 (Admin)

(Queen's Bench Division; Administrative Court Underhill J; 17 July 2008)

The Child Support Commissioner refused the mother leave to appeal. The mother wrote to the Commissioner, seeking a copy of the file in order to confirm that all the documents that had been before the Appeal Tribunal had been seen by the Commissioner. The Commissioner informed the mother that he had seen the Tribunal's file, and asked the mother to identify any specific document that she thought might not have been sent to him, with an explanation for her belief that the document might be missing, and of the document's relevance to her grounds of appeal. The mother sought to challenge the refusal of leave to appeal, the decision not to set aside that refusal, and the decision not to provide her with a copy of the file.

There was no arguable error of law in any of the decisions concerned. It would be an abuse if a claimant who was out of time to challenge a primary decision were allowed to request a review of the primary decision, and then to challenge the upholding of the primary decision on review. The mother had been told, in terms, that the Commissioner had all the documents that had been before the Tribunal; it was not even arguably unreasonable for the Commissioner to ask the claimant to give some indication of the kinds of documents she thought might have been overlooked, given the costs and time involved in copying everything.

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