CB, Re [2021] EWCOP 43 (04 May 2021)

CB had been diagnosed as having learning difficulties, epilepsy and autism and suffered from a range of other conditions.

YH wished to be appointed CB’s personal welfare deputy in addition to being her property and affairs deputy and she sought an order for costs of the proceedings against the local authority. YH had fought long and hard to promote her sister’s well being and to ensure that the appropriate care and medical treatment was received by her to meet her complex needs.

Proceedings were brought by CB’s sister, YH, and although the relationship between YH and the local authority had improved with the appointment of a new social worker, it had not been a positive or productive relationship for YH.

Although the local authority supported the application by YH to be CB’s personal welfare deputy, as it could advance the improving relationship between them and YH, the Official Solicitor, acting on behalf of CB, opposed the appointment. The Official Solicitor thought the application was being sought to give YH status and standing in her engagement with the professionals and social care involved in CB’s life.

The application for costs by YH was opposed by the local authority on the grounds there was no basis to depart from the general rule, which was no order for costs, although the Official Solicitor took a neutral stance on this.

Following submissions, the Court concluded that YH had made the application to obtain the status of being a court appointed deputy and that she had hoped this would ensure her views were listened to and also acted upon by the professionals involved in her sister’s care and this was not considered to be appropriate grounds to support an application for deputyship within the meaning of S.16 of the 2005 Act. The Court was also not persuaded that the local authority had conducted litigation unreasonably and therefore both applications were refused.

The full judgement can be read here

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