Re MN (Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Protective Measures): FD 2010

An elderly woman, MN, habitually resident in California, had been removed from there to Canada and thence to this country in circumstances which, it was said, involved a breach of the terms of Part 3 of an advance directive signed by her.
Held: Hedley J said: ‘It follows that, in my judgment, the question of authority to remove is the key in this case to the question of habitual residence. Habitual residence is an undefined term and in English authorities it is regarded as a question of fact to be determined in the individual circumstances of the case. It is well recognised in English law that the removal of a child from one jurisdiction to another by one parent without the consent of the other is wrongful and is not effective to change habitual residence . . It seems to me that the wrongful removal (in this case without authority under the directive whether because Part 3 is not engaged or the decision was not made in good faith) of an incapacitated adult should have the same consequence and should leave the courts of the country from which she was taken free to take protective measures. Thus in this case were the removal ‘wrongful’, I would hold that MN was habitually resident in California
If, however, the removal were a proper and lawful exercise of authority under the directive, different considerations arise. The position in April 2010 was that MN had been living with her niece in England and Wales on the basis that the niece was providing her with a permanent home. There is no evidence other than that MN is content and well cared for there and indeed may lose or even have lost any clear recollection of living on her own in California. In those circumstances it seems to me most probable that MN will have become habitually resident in England and Wales and this court will be required to accept and exercise a full welfare jurisdiction under the Act pursuant to para 7(1)(a) of Sch 3. Hence my view that authority to remove is the key consideration.’


Hedley J


[2010] EWHC 1926 (Fam), [2010] COPLR Con Vol 893

Cited by:

CitedJO v GO and Others; re PO; Re O (Court of Protection: Jurisdiction) CoP 13-Dec-2013
Jurisdiction of the Court of Protection
PO, a lady in her late eighties lacked capacity to decide her own care. She had been habitually resident in Hertfordshire. Her daughters now challenged their brother who had moved her to a care home in Scotland when he himself moved there. An . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Jurisdiction, Family

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.525974