Durham County Council -v- X and another (reporting restrictions)

FamilyFamily CourtAnonymity Order

Case Number: NE21C50256

In The Family Court
Sitting At Newcastle Upon Tyne

27 April 2023

The Honourable Mr Justice Poole

Durham County Council
(1) X (Female)
(2) Y (Male)

Reporting Restrictions Order

This version of the Reporting Restrictions Order is anonymised because it is being published on the Judicial Website

An unanonymised version and confidential schedules are available on request of the Judicial Office Press Office by accredited journalists or legal bloggers.

If any person disobeys the order made by paragraphs (5) to (9) (the Injunction) they may be found guilty of contempt of court and may be sent to prison, fined or have their assets seized. They have the right to ask the court to vary or discharge the order.

BEFORE The Honourable Mr Justice Poole sitting in Committal proceedings to which X and Y are the Defendants

ON 27th APRIL 2023

UPON Durham County Council applying for the committal to prison of the Defendants for contempt of court

AND UPON the court hearing on 27th April 2023, counsel for the local authority and the solicitor for the children

AND UPON the defendants not being in attendance

AND UPON the court adjourning the application for committal to 11.00 am on 5 May 2023 at The Law Courts, Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, reserved to Mr Justice Poole, but subject to the hearing being vacated and re-listed administratively upon application to Mr Justice Poole in the event of the hearing being unlikely to be effective

AND UPON the Local Authority agreeing to provide a copy of this order to those present in the public gallery at court at the hearing on 27 April 2023


The direction that hearings are to be in public

(1) Subject to further order of the Court all further attended hearings of this application are to be in public PROVIDED ALWAYS THAT the Court may exclude from an attended hearing any person (other than a party) on the grounds that it is in the interests of justice to do so (for example if that person refuses a request to sign a document recording their attendance and that they are aware of the terms of this order).

(i) Any attended hearing of an application for committal for contempt of court by Durham County Council against X and Y shall be listed as a public hearing as follows:FOR HEARING IN OPEN COURT

Application by Durham County Council for the Committal to prison of FULL NAMES OF X AND Y.”

The persons bound by the Injunction

(3) The following persons (the Persons Bound by this Injunction) are bound by the order made in paragraphs (5) to (9) hereof (the Injunction)

(i) the parties and their representatives,
(ii) the witnesses,
(iii) all persons who attend all or any part of an attended hearing,
(iv) all persons who by any means obtain or are given an account or record of all or any part of an attended hearing or of any order or judgment made or given as a result of an attended hearing,
(v) all persons who are provided with or by any means obtain documents and information arising from this application, and
(vi) any body, authority or organisation (and their officers, employees, servants and agents) for whom any such person works or is giving evidence.

The subject matter of the Injunction

(4) The material and information (the Information) covered by this Injunction is:
(i) any material or information that identifies or is likely to identify that:

(a) The children listed in Schedule 1 are the subject of these proceedings
(b) Any person who may be identified as parents of children who are the subjects of family court proceedings
(c) Any material or information that identifies or is likely to identify where the children live or are being cared for or their contact details.

What the Injunction prevents people from doing

(5) Subject to further order of the Court and save as provided by paragraph (7) the Persons Bound by this Injunction shall not by any means (and so orally or in writing or electronically by way of social media or in any other way) directly :

(i) publish or communicate the Information or any part or parts of it, or
(ii) cause, enable, assist in or encourage the publication or communication of the Information or any part or parts of it.
(iii) Identify the children, defendants, the respondents to the care proceedings, the social work team, and/or the foster carers in the care proceedings save that the defendants shall be referred to as X and Y respectively.

The names of those persons at 5(iii) are set out in the Confidential Schedules 1 and 2 to this Order

Duration of the Injunction

(6) This Injunction shall have effect until further order of the Court.

What the Injunction does not prevent people from doing and does not apply to

(7) Subject to further order of the Court this Injunction:

(i) does not prevent the Persons Bound by this Injunction:

(a) reporting or commenting upon the committal proceedings against JX and Y – save in so far as such reports or comments are prohibited pursuant to paragraph (5) above.
(b) Referring to the First Defendant as X and the Second Defendant as Y.
(c) Naming Durham County Council.
(d) Publishing information relating to any part of a hearing in a court in England and Wales (including a coroner’s court) in which the court was sitting in public and did not itself make any order restricting publication,
(e) Complying with an order of any court with competent jurisdiction, and
(f) Disclosing information for the purposes of caring for the subject children listed in Confidential Schedule 1

Variation of this order

(8) The parties and any person affected by this order may apply to the Court for an order (and the Court may of its own motion make an order) that:
(i) varies or discharges this order or any part or parts of it, or which
(ii) permits the publication of any of the Information on the basis that it is lawfully in the public domain or for such other reason as the Court thinks fit.

Further orders

(9) Subject to further order of the Court any transcript of a hearing of and any judgment or order given in these proceedings shall be anonymised so that the Frist Defendant may be referred to as X and the Second Defendant as Y, and it shall contain no reference by name or address to the persons or bodies referred to in paragraph (4) and 5(iii) and shall refer to them by their descriptions therein (or the anonymisation X and Y for the Defendants) but when the person served or provided with any transcript, judgment or order needs to know the identity of any anonymised person that document is to be served on or provided to that person with a copy of this order and the confidential schedule that provides the necessary identification.

(10) Application may be made to the Court by any person who has not been present at an attended hearing (and so become aware of or been able to request the Information) for a direction that they be provided with the Information or some of it on such terms as the Court thinks fit. Any such application must be accompanied by evidence setting out why such a direction is sought.

Rights of audience

(11) Subject to further order of the Court, any person who would have been entitled under the Legal Services Act 2007 to exercise rights of audience at the attended hearing if this order had not been made and it was held in private (and is not otherwise entitled to exercise such rights), shall be entitled to exercise equivalent rights of audience at that attended hearing and any further attended hearing of this application.


(12) Costs reserved.

Mr Justice Poole, 27th April 2023