Re M (A Minor) (Care Orders: Threshold Conditions): HL 7 Jun 1994

The father had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the child’s mother. Application was made for the child to be made subject to a care order. The father appealed refusal of an order.
Held: When an application was made on the basis that a child was suffering significant harm after making interim arrangements for his protection which were in place at the date of the hearing, the relevant date at which the court had to be satisfied as to the presence of threshold conditions was the date on which protective arrangements were put in place. The court could not work from that date where, after that date, the need had passed. Where a court had to choose a care order or a residence order, section 1(3)(g) required it to be satisfied that the power to make an order was still available.


Lord Mackay of Clashfern LC, Lord Templeman, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Slynn of Hadley and Lord Nolan


Times 22-Jul-1994, Gazette 12-Oct-1994, Independent 18-Aug-1994, [1994] 2 AC 424, (1994) 92 LGR 701, [1994] 3 WLR 558, [1994] 3 All ER 298




Children Act 1989 1(3)(g) 31(2)


England and Wales


ApprovedJ Sainsbury Plc v Moger 25-Feb-1994
The EAT should not accept an order by consent unless it is satisfied that there are good grounds for making the order. . .
AppliedIn re D (A Minor); D v Berkshire County Council HL 1986
A baby was taken into care suffering from drug withdrawal symptoms from birth. On a literal reading of the phrase, ‘baby’s heath is being impaired’, the statutory test could never be met on the particular facts of the case.
Held: The phrase . .
OverruledOldham Metropolitan Borough Council v E and Others CA 16-Mar-1994
The judge need not decide on the outcome of a residence order application before going on to consider a care order. There was no necessary order of consideration. A care order should not normally be made to Local Authority if a capable family member . .
DistinguishedIn re W (An Infant) HL 1971
The court considered the reasonability of parental disagreement in applications for adoption: ‘Two reasonable parents can perfectly reasonably come to opposite conclusions on the same set of facts without forfeiting their title to be regarded as . .
Appeal fromIn Re M (Minor: Care Order) FD 20-Oct-1993
A Care order to protect a child against danger may not be made after the risk subsides. . .

Cited by:

CitedLancashire County Council and Another v B and Others; Lancashire County Council v A HL 16-Mar-2000
A seven month old child had been injured, but it was not possible to establish whether this had taken place whilst with her parents or with a child minder. The Council brought care proceedings also for the minder’s own child B.
Held: Even . .
CitedAD and OH (A Child) v Bury Metropolitan Borough Council CA 17-Jan-2006
The claimants, mother and son, sought damages from the respondent after they had commenced care proceedings resulting in the son being taken into temporary care. The authority had wrongly suspected abuse. The boy was later found to suffer brittle . .
CitedManchester City Council v Moran and Another; Richards v Ipswich Borough Council CA 17-Apr-2008
The two applicants had occupied a women’s refuge. They appealed against a refusal to consider them as homeless when they acted in such a way as to be evicted from the refuge, saying that the refuge did not constitute ‘accommodation . . which it . .
CitedIn re J (Children) SC 20-Feb-2013
The mother had been, whilst in a previous relationship, involved in care proceedings after the death from physical abuse of her baby. Whilst being severely critical of her, the court had been unable to identify the author of the child’s death. Now, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 28 April 2022; Ref: scu.85820