PLO: Practice Directions April 2010 – 5.1 Methods Case Management


Good case preparation

5.1 The applicant should prepare the case before proceedings are issued. In care and supervision proceedings the Local Authority should use the Pre-proceedings checklist.

The Timetable for the Child

5.2 The applicant must state in the Application Form all information concerning significant steps in the child’s life that are likely to take place during the proceedings. The applicant is to be responsible for updating this information regularly and giving it to the court.

The applicant will need to obtain information about these significant steps and any variations and additions to them from others involved in the child’s life such as other parties, members of the child’s family, the person who is caring for the child, the children’s guardian and the child’s key social worker.

When the other persons involved in the child’s life become aware of a significant step in the child’s life or a variation of an existing one, that information should be given to the applicant as soon as possible

5.3 The information about the significant steps in the child’s life will enable the court to set the Timetable for the Child and to review that Timetable in the light of new information. The Timetable for the Child will be included or referred to in the draft of a Case Management Order, the Case Management Order, Standard Directions on Issue and on First Appointment and the directions given at the Case Management Conference and Issues Resolution Hearing.

Case Management Documentation

5.4 The parties must use the Case Management Documentation.

5.5 The parties and their representatives should co-operate with the court in case management, including the fixing of timetables to avoid unacceptable delay, and in the crystallisation and resolution of the issues on which the case turns.

5.6 The parties will—

(1) monitor compliance with the court’s directions; and

(2) tell the court or court officer about any failure to comply with a direction of the court or any other delay in the proceedings.

The Case Management Record

5.7 The parties are expected to retain a record containing copies of the documents on the court’s Case Management Record.

Drafting the Case Management Order

5.8 Parties should start to consider the content of the draft of the Case Management Order at the earliest opportunity either before or in the course of completing applications to the court or the response to the application. They should in any event consider the drafting of a Case Management Order after the First Appointment.

5.9 Only one draft of the Case Management Order should be filed with the court for each of the Case Management Conference and the Issues Resolution Hearing. It is the responsibility of the advocate for the applicant, which in care and supervision proceedings will ordinarily be the Local Authority, to prepare those drafts and be responsible for obtaining comments from the advocates and the parties.

5.10 There should be ongoing consideration of the Case Management Orders throughout the proceedings. The Case Management Orders should serve as an aide memoire to everyone involved in the proceedings of—

(1) the Timetable for the Child;

(2) the case management decisions;

(3) the identified issues. 5.11 In paragraphs 5.4, 5.6 to 5.9 “parties” includes parties’ legal representatives.

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