Case No: CO/4190/2022
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
9 January 2023
Mr Justice Choudhury
R (E) (A child, by his mother and litigation friend H)
Hertfordshire County Council
BEFORE MR JUSTICE CHOUDHURY
UPON the Claimant’s applications for urgent consideration and anonymity made within his application for judicial review of 8 November 2022.
AND UPON reading the Claimant’s claim form, grounds, application for urgent consideration and supporting documents, and the Defendant’s Acknowledgement of Service and Summary Grounds of Response.
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
- Pursuant to CPR r.39.2, the identity of the Claimant shall not be directly or indirectly disclosed, and these proceedings shall be known as R (E) (A child, by his mother and litigation friend H) v Hertfordshire County Council.
- The Defendant be permitted, if so advised, to file and serve Detailed Grounds of Resistance by 4pm on 30 January 2023.
- The Claimant be permitted, if so advised, to file and serve any Reply grounds and/or evidence by 4pm on 6 February 2023.
- A rolled-up permission hearing (time estimate 1 day) be listed to be heard thereafter before 24 February 2023.
- The parties shall have liberty to apply to vary or set aside this order on two working days’ notice to the other parties.
- Costs reserved.
Although the Defendant had responded to pre-action correspondence and denied the claims in forthright terms, it did not file an AoS within the relevant time limits. The AoS was filed this morning. The Summary Grounds do not address the legal claims in substance, and acknowledge that at the time of its response to PAP correspondence, “EF was not receiving full time education….” The Defendant goes on to state that alternative
options are being explored and offers to provide an update to the Court on 20 January 2023. It would appear from that that there is some prospect of full-time education acceptable to the Claimant being provided within a reasonable time limit.
In these circumstances, it is appropriate to allow some time for a satisfactory solution to be found. However, given that, as the Defendant now appears to accept, the Claimant is not currently in receipt of full time education, the matter should not be allowed to drift. Accordingly, directions are in place for a rolled-up hearing to be heard before 23 February 2023 should the matter not be resolved by that date. Whilst it is arguable that there is a greater degree of urgency, the Claimant is in receipt of some educational provision and I do not consider it to be necessary in the circumstances to expedite matters beyond that indicated by the timetable above.