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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

26 NOV 2008

CONTACT: Re C (Contact Order: Variation)

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe, Lawrence Collins and Goldring LJJ; 18 November 2008)

The judge had ordered limited direct contact between the children and the father, and weekly telephone contact. The father experienced problems with the contact ordered, and applied in person both for increased contact and enforcement of the existing order. The judge dismissed both of the father's applications and made a s 91(14) order restraining the father from making further applications in relation to the children. The father appealed.

The father's appeal was allowed. If a contact order was not operating smoothly the court that had made the order had a continuing responsibility to strive to make it work, particularly in the case of a litigant in person. The decision to make a s 91(14) order had been rough justice; there had been no possible foundation for restraining the father's access to the court. The father needed the court's assistance to address the mechanics of the contact order that had not been working as intended.

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