L County Council v MD and another

Ward of court – Jurisdiction. The police had referred a family, which included six children, to the local authority following alleged domestic violence. Upon the authority's involvement, the parents sent three of their children abroad without supervision. The authority secured an order for their return, but the parents refused to comply. The Family Division invoked its inherent jurisdiction and attached penal notices to the orders. The authority issued an application in the Family Division to commit the parents to prison for contempt of court. Both parents were found to be in contempt of court in circumstances where the father knew where the children were but had refused to secure their return and the mother had failed to be open and co-operative.

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