Application for costs by the Official Solicitor following an ineffective hearing concerning capacity to use social media.
The hearing was in the midst of proceedings concerning Sarah, a young woman with a diagnosis of mild learning disability and ADHD exacerbated by childhood trauma. She had gone missing over Christmas 2021 and there was consensus that she lacked capacity to make decisions about her residence and care so interim orders were made while a detailed assessment was prepared. It became evident that there was disagreement between the OS and the LA over capacity to use social media: the LA wanted to restrict it. The judge made orders for an adjourned hearing requiring the LA to provide various statements but these were received late and so the hearing was ineffective.
HHJ Burrows granted the application, though acknowledging the difficult nature of the case, broadly because the LA should have known their case was weak and at no stage did they seek an extension and so ordered them to pay 85% of the OS’s costs.
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