PLO: Practice Directions April 2010 – 10.1 Outline: Management Tools


Outline of the process and how to use the Main Case Management Tools

10.1 The Public Law Outline set out in the Table below contains an outline of—

(1) the order of the different stages of the process;

(2) the purposes of the main case management hearings and matters to be considered at them;

(3) the latest timescales within which the main stages of the process should take place.

10.2 In the Public Law Outline—

(1) “CMC” means the Case Management Conference;

(2) “FA” means the First Appointment;

(3) “IRH” means the Issues Resolution Hearing;

(4) “LA” means the Local Authority which is applying for a care or supervision order;

(5) “OS” means the Official Solicitor.

 

 

 

Public Law Outline
PRE-PROCEEDINGS
PRE-PROCEEDINGS CHECKLIST
Annex Documents (the documents specified in the Annex to the Application Form to be attached to that form where available):
• Social Work Chronology
• Initial Social Work Statement
• Initial and Core Assessments
• Letters Before Proceedings
• Schedule of Proposed Findings
• Care Plan
Other Checklist Documents which already exist on LA’s files which are to be disclosed in the event of proceedings normally before the day of the FA:
• Previous court orders & judgments/reasons
• Any relevant assessment materials
• Section 7 & 37 reports
• Relatives & friends materials (e.g., a genogram)
• Other relevant reports & records
• Single, joint or inter-agency materials (e.g., health & education/Home Office & Immigration documents)
• Records of discussions with the family
• Key LA minutes & records for the child (including Strategy Discussion Record)
• Pre-existing care plans (e.g., child in need plan, looked after child plan & child protection plan)
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STAGE 1 – ISSUE AND THE FIRST APPOINTMENT
ISSUE
FIRST APPOINTMENT
On DAY 1 and by DAY 3
By DAY 6
Objectives: To ensure compliance with pre-proceedings checklist; to allocate proceedings; to obtain the information necessary for initial case management at the FA
Objectives: To confirm allocation; to give initial case management directions
On Day 1:
• The LA files the Application Form and Annex Documents where available
• Court officer issues application
• Court nominates case manager(s)
• Court gives Standard Directions on Issue including:
– Pre-proceedings checklist compliance including preparation and service of any missing Annex Documents
– Allocate and/or transfer
– Appoint children’s guardian
– Appoint solicitor for the child
– Case Analysis for FA
– Appoint a guardian ad litem or litigation friend for a protected party or any non subject child who is a party, including the OS where appropriate
– List FA by Day 6
– Make arrangements for contested hearing (if necessary)
By Day 3
• Cafcass/CAFCASS CYMRU expected to allocate case to children’s guardian
• LA serves the Application Form and Annex Documents, on parties
• LA normally serves Other Checklist Documents on the parties
• Parties notify LA & court of need for a contested hearing
• Court makes arrangements for a contested hearing
• Initial case management by court including:
– Confirm Timetable for the Child
– Confirm allocation or transfer
– Identify additional parties & representation (including allocation of children’s guardian)
– Identify “Early Final Hearing” cases
– Scrutinise Care Plan
• Court gives Standard Directions on FA including:
– Case Analysis and Recommendations for Stages 2 & 3
– Preparation and service of any missing Annex Documents
– What Other Checklist Documents are to be filed
– LA Case Summary
– Other Parties’ Case Summaries
– Parties’ initial witness statements
– For the Advocates’ Meeting
– List CMC or (if appropriate) an Early Final Hearing
– Upon transfer
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STAGE 2 – CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
ADVOCATES’ MEETING
CMC
No later than 2 days before CMC
No later than day 45
Objectives: To prepare a draft of the Case Management Order; to identify experts and draft questions for them
Objectives: To identify issue(s); to give full case management directions
• Consider information on the Application Form, all Other Parties’ Case Summaries and Case Analysis and Recommendations
• Identify proposed experts and draft questions in accordance with Experts Practice Direction
• Draft Case Management Order
• Notify court of need for a contested hearing
• File draft of the Case Management Order with the case manager/case management judge by 11am one working day before the CMC
• Detailed case management by the court
– Scrutinise compliance with directions
– Review and confirm Timetable for the Child
– Identify key issue(s)
– Confirm allocation or transfer
– Consider case management directions in the draft of the Case Management Order
– Scrutinise Care Plan
– Check compliance with Experts Practice Direction
• Court issues Case Management Order
• Court lists IRH and, where necessary, a warned period for Final Hearing
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STAGE 3 – ISSUES RESOLUTION HEARING
ADVOCATES’ MEETING
IRH
Between 2 and 7 days before the IRH
Between 16 & 25 weeks
Objective: To prepare or update the draft of the Case Management Order
Objectives: To resolve and narrow issue(s); to identify any remaining key issues
• Consider all Other Parties’ Case Summaries and Case Analysis and Recommendations
• Draft Case Management Order
• Notify court of need for a contested hearing/time for oral evidence to be given
• File draft of the Case Management Order with the case manager/case management judge by 11am one working day before the IRH
• Identification by the court of the key issue(s) (if any) to be determined
• Final case management by the court:
– Scrutinise compliance with directions
– Review and confirm the Timetable for the Child
– Consider case management directions in the draft of the Case Management Order
– Scrutinise Care Plan
– Give directions for Hearing documents:
– Threshold agreement or facts/issues remaining to be determined
– Final Evidence & Care Plan
– Case Analysis and Recommendations
– Witness templates
– Skeleton arguments
– Judicial reading list/reading time/judgment writing time
– Time estimate
– Bundles Practice Direction compliance
– List or confirm Hearing
• Court issues Case Management Order
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STAGE 4
HEARING
Hearing set in accordance with the Timetable for the Child
Objective: To determine remaining issues
• All file & serve updated Case Management Documentation & bundle
• Draft final order(s) in approved form
• Judgment/Reasons
• Disclose documents as required after hearing
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