Claim number: AC-2023-LON-003304
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
8 November 2023
The Honourable Mr Justice Julian Knowles
The King on the application of
London Borough of Croydon
On the Claimant’s application for interim relief, and following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant
ORDER by the Honourable Mr Justice Julian Knowles
- The identity of the Claimant (a vulnerable minor) as a party to these proceedings is confidential and shall not be published.
- Pursuant to CPR Rule 39.2(4), there shall not be disclosed in any report of these proceedings or other publication the name or address of the Claimant or other immediate family members, or any details (including other names, addresses, or a specific combination of facts) that could lead to the identification of the Claimant in these proceedings.
- In any judgment or report of these proceedings, or other publication (by whatever medium) in relation thereto:
a. The Claimant shall be referred to as MN;
b. Any other details which, on their own or together with other information publicly available, may lead to the identification of the Claimant (including any names of other immediate family members or their addresses) shall be redacted before publication.
- Pursuant to CPR Rules 5.4C and 5.4D:
a. A person who is not a party to the proceedings may not obtain a copy of a statement of case, judgment or order from the Court records unless the statement of case, judgment or order has been anonymised in accordance with sub-paragraphs 3(a) to (b) above
b. If a person who is not a party to the proceedings applies (pursuant to CPR r.5.4C(1B) or (2)) for permission to inspect or obtain a copy of any other document or communication, such application shall be on at least 7 days’ notice to the Claimant’s solicitor or Deputy.
- The Court file shall be clearly marked with the words: “An anonymity order was made in this case on 8 November 2023, and any application by a non-party to inspect or obtain a copy document from this file must be dealt with in accordance with the terms of that Order.”
- Permission is granted for MN to make this application for interim relief without a litigation friend ONLY (including, if necessary, any application in furtherance or ancillary to it). For the avoidance of doubt, NO general permission is granted for him to conduct these proceedings without a litigation friend under CPR r 21.2(3).
- The Claimant’s solicitors are, forthwith and in any event within 14 days of the date of this order, to identify a suitable person to act as the Claimant’s litigation friend and make an appropriate application to the Court. In the event that no such person is identified, the Claimant’s solicitors are to liaise and engage with the Official Solicitor with a view to the Official Solicitor acting as MN’s litigation friend.
8. The Defendant must, within seven days of the date of this order, inform the Claimant and his solicitors whether suitable accommodation has been located (per its email of 16 October 2023 at 3:03 pm (Dakin/Gaunt) and, if not, when it will be located.
Costs and other matters
- Costs reserved.
- Liberty to apply is granted to any person potentially affected by this order on 48 hours’ notice to the other parties.
- The Claimant is a vulnerable minor and so anonymity is appropriate. I have had due regard to the interests of open justice, and other relevant matters, and am satisfied this very small derogation is justified.
- The application seeks an order under CPR r 21.2(3) permitting MN to conduct these proceedings without a litigation friend. Given that MN is a minor aged 16 and that  of the Statement of Facts and Grounds states:
“By email dated 12 October 2023, Coram asked for a date by which accommodation would be provided, stating that the Claimant was feeling very traumatised at his present hotel accommodation, and they were so concerned about his well-being that they were making a referral to child and adolescent mental health services” such an order is not, on present information, appropriate. I am not satisfied that MN has capacity to conduct this litigation. The Claimant’s solicitors must therefore identify a suitable person to act as MN’s litigation friend and apply to the Court for their appointment or, in default, must liaise with the Official Solicitor to have the Official Solicitor act as his litigation friend.
- I am not prepared at this stage to order the Defendant to provide accommodation as sought in the draft order. I note that one offer of accommodation has already been refused by the Claimant. The Defendant has many calls on its resources. The Defendant’s email of 16 October 2023 indicated that active steps were being taken to secure suitable accommodation as soon as possible, however no response had been received at the time of lodging this application. The Defendant must now provide an update, in default of which the Claimant can restore this application.