Claim number: CO/1202/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
5 April 2023
The Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
The King on the application of
YM (a child by his mother and litigation friend FN)
London Borough of Haringey
On the Claimants’ application for urgent consideration, an order for anonymity, interim relief, and permission to apply for judicial review;
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimants;
Order by the Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
- Pursuant to CPR r.39.2, in any report of these proceedings, there shall be no publication of the name and address of the Claimants, and the Second Claimant’s litigation friend, nor any other particulars likely to lead to their identification. In the proceedings, the First Claimant shall be referred to as “AM”; the Second Claimant shall be referred to as “YM”, and the Second Claimant’s litigation friend, who is also the Third Claimant, shall be referred to as “FN”.
- The Claimants’ solicitors shall file with the Court copies of case documents which have been anonymised and/or redacted to protect the identity of the Claimants and the Second Claimant’s litigation friend, in accordance with paragraph 1 above.
- Non-parties may not obtain any documents from the court file which have not been anonymised and/or redacted to protect the identity of the Claimants and the Second Claimant’s litigation friend, in accordance with paragraph 1 above.
- The application for permission to apply for judicial review is adjourned to be listed in court as a “rolled-up hearing”, on notice to the Defendant. If permission to apply for judicial review is granted at that hearing, the Court will proceed immediately to determine the substantive claim.
- The application is to be expedited so as to be heard on a date to be fixed, between 24 May 2023 and 5 July 2023 if possible. The time estimate is 1 day; the parties to provide a written estimate within 7 days of service of this order if they disagree with that estimate.
- Venue: London.
- Liberty to apply to vary or discharge this order on 3 days notice to the other party.
- Costs in the case.
Case Management Directions
- Public holidays which fall on weekdays are not to be counted when calculating the days and time limits set out in these directions.
- The Claimants must, within 7 days of the date of service of this order, file an undertaking to pay the continuation fee (see below) if permission to apply for Judicial Review is granted.
- The Defendant and any other person served with the Claim Form who wishes to contest the claim or support it on additional grounds shall, within 21 days of the date of service of this order, file and serve (a) an Acknowledgment of Service and Detailed Grounds for contesting the claim or supporting it on additional grounds, and (b) any written evidence that is to be relied on.
- The Claimants may file and serve any Reply and any further evidence within 7 days of the date on which the Defendant serves Detailed Grounds and evidence.
- The Claimants must file and serve an agreed hearing bundle, not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing. The electronic version of the bundle shall be prepared and lodged by the Claimants in accordance with the Guidance on the Administrative Court website. The Claimants must also lodge two hard-copy versions of the hearing bundle at the Administrative Court Office, not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Claimants must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Defendant must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 7 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Claimants must file and serve an agreed authorities bundle, not less than 5 days before the date of the hearing. The electronic version of the bundle shall be prepared by the Claimant in accordance with the Guidance on the Administrative Court website. The Claimants must also lodge a hard-copy version of the authorities bundle at the Administrative Court Office, not less than 5 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Claimants are three members of a nine person family who occupy a 2 bedroom, one bathroom property, which was provided to them by the Defendant in 2006. The property is unsuitable for the family because of overcrowding, and because it is on the second floor of a block of flats without a lift. Access is very difficult for the First Claimant because of his disabilities. The Second Claimant, who is a 7 year old child with autism, is at risk of harm from climbing out of the windows or running dangerously up and down the stairs.
- There is a lengthy background to this claim. The Claimants have requested a 4 to 5 bedroom property in Haringey, which has two WCs and is wheelchair accessible. Reports have been obtained from the family’s GP and a specialist Occupational Therapist (“OT”). The Defendant has made various assessments, accepted that the current accommodation is unsuitable, and created a Personalised Housing Plan in which it accepts many of the OT’s recommendations. The Defendant has offered alternative accommodation which the Claimants have rejected as unsuitable.
- The Claimants say that they have issued this claim as a last resort because the Defendant has not taken the steps that it should have done in order to meet their housing needs.
- There are clearly difficult issues to be resolved in this case, bearing in mind the unusual needs of the family and the demand for suitable housing stock in London. In my view, it is quite unrealistic for the Claimants to ask the Court to make a mandatory order for interim relief against the Defendant, ex parte and on the papers, within 6 days. The Defendant must be given an opportunity to make a formal response to the Claimants’ claim, and to the application for interim relief.
- I very much doubt that a 2 hour interim relief hearing, listed at short notice, will produce any satisfactory outcome for the Claimants or the Defendant. This is a case in which the interim relief is, in effect, the final relief sought, and so it requires a careful evaluation of the extensive evidence, and the scope of the legal duties on the Defendant. That cannot be achieved at an interim relief hearing.
- In my view, an expedited rolled-up hearing would further the overriding objective most effectively in this case, as it would provide a fast-track route to a full consideration of the issues and a final order from the Court. I have made an order accordingly. As this order has been made without notice on the papers, I have given the parties liberty to apply to vary or discharge it, on notice.
- I have set an expedited timetable which, in my view, can be achieved. There are numerous public holidays on weekdays in April and May. In fairness, they should not be counted when calculating the number of days and time limits in these directions.
- I have granted the application for anonymity because the Second Claimant is a child whose identity ought to be protected. Publication of his parents’ names would disclose his identity. In the circumstances, a departure from the general principle of open justice is justified.