AB -v- Gloucestershire County Council (anonymity order)

Anonymity Order

Claim No: G00GL451

In the County Court at Gloucester and Cheltenham

6 August 2021


His Honour Judge Ralton




Gloucestershire County Council

Before His Honour Judge Ralton sitting at the County Court at Gloucester And Cheltenham, sitting at Bristol Civil Justice Centre, 2 Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6GR.
UPON THE DEFENDANT’S APPLICATION for an order granting the Claimant, her children and their father litigation friend anonymity;
UPON CONSIDERING the draft written submissions of the Defendant, witness statements of Julie Miles, Head of Service for the Cheltenham Assessment and Safeguarding Service for the Defendant Council (also ‘the Council’), and Gillian Parkinson, head of legal services for the Council and other evidence relied upon by the Claimant;
AND UPON the names and addresses of AB, her children CD and EF and her children’s father GH being contained in the Confidential Schedule to this Order;
AND UPON this claim concerning the same issues as were determined in proceedings in the Family Court concerning parental responsibility for CD and EF, under case number GL19P00570 (‘the Family Court Proceedings’);
AND UPON consideration of AB’s CD’s, EF’s and GH’s Article 8 right to respect for private and family life and the Article 10 right to freedom of expression
AND UPON IT APPEARING that non-disclosure of the identity of AB, although not sought by her, is necessary in order to protect the privacy of CD and EF, children whose parenting arrangements were determined in the Family Court Proceedings, and the privacy of GH, whose parental responsibilities were determined in the same proceedings;
AND PURSUANT to rule 39.2(4) of the Civil Procedure Rules and section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and rules 5.4A to 5.4D of the Civil Procedure Rules;
WHEREAS, pursuant to CPR r. 39.2(4), the Court is satisfied that an order in the terms below is necessary to protect the interests of the CD, EF and GH and that there is no sufficient countervailing public interest in disclosure;
AND UPON HEARING FROM the Claimant/Respondent in person and Counsel to the Defendant/Respondent, Mr Francis Hoar;

1 The identity of the Claimant, CD, EF, GH or any other person or place (such as a school) named in these proceedings whose identity would risk disclosing the identity of the above persons be not disclosed.
2 There be substituted for all purposes of this case, in place of references to the Claimant by name and whether orally or in writing, references to ‘AB’.
3 The Claimant, CD, EF, GH be described in all statements of case and other documents to be filed or served in the proceedings and in any judgment or order in the proceedings and in any report of the proceedings by the press or otherwise as ‘AB’, ‘CD (a Child)’ ‘EF (a Child)’ and GH respectively.
4 That the address of the Claimant and his/her litigation friend be removed in all statements of case and other documents to be filed or served in the proceedings.
5 To the extent necessary to protect the identity of CD, EF or GH, any other references, whether to persons or places or otherwise, be adjusted appropriately, with permission to the parties to apply in default of agreement as to the manner of such adjustments.
6 So far as the Claim Form (once issued), or any Judgment or Order, or any other document to which anyone might have access pursuant to CPR Rule 5.4 at any time does not comply with the above, the Defendant’s solicitor (the Claimant being unrepresented) has leave to file with the Court copies of such document adjusted so as to comply.
Such copies are to be treated for all purposes as being in substitution for the relevant originals; and the originals are then to be retained by the Court in a sealed envelope marked: ‘Not to be opened without the permission of a District Judge or a Circuit Judge or another judge of the County Court’.
7 A non-party may not, without the permission of a District Judge or a Circuit Judge or another judge of the County Court, inspect or obtain a copy of the application for anonymity, the witness statements of any party or any statement of case or document on or from the court file unless it has been anonymised in accordance with this direction and there has been redacted any information which might identify CD, EF or GH; and any application for such permission (i.e. to inspect or obtain a non- anonymised version) must be made on notice to both parties in accordance with CPR r. 5.4C (6) and the Court will effect service; the file is to be retained by the Court and marked “Anonymised”.
8 Reporting restrictions apply as to the disclosing of any information that may lead to the subsequent identification of AB, CD, EF or GH; and the publication of the name and address of the Claimant or any of the above persons, any members of their immediate family (including in particular siblings, parents and grandparents) or the name of and address CD’s or EF’s schools is prohibited.
9 The provisions of this Order shall not apply to:
9.1 Communications between the Court Funds Office and the anonymised party, her Deputy or litigation friend in relation to the payment of money into the Court Funds Office for the benefit of the anonymised party or the investment or treatment of payment out of such money.
9.2 Communications between the Court Funds Office and/or the anonymised Claimant, her Deputy or litigation friend and any financial institution concerned as to the receipt or investment of such money; or
9.3 Records kept by the Court Funds Office or the anonymised party, her Deputy or litigation friend or any such financial institution in relation to such money.
10 The Defendant shall serve this order on the Claimant; and this order shall apply as soon as it is made, notwithstanding the absence of a seal.
11 Any non-party affected by this Order may apply on at least five working days’ notice to all parties to have this Order set aside and/or varied.
12 A copy of this order shall be published by the County Court specifying that the Claimant shall be referred to as AB and the other persons as CD (a Child), DE (a Child) and GH.
13 The Claimant may apply for this order to be set aside on five working days’ notice to the Defendant.