Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mark Harris, NF4J in the UK wrote to the President of the Family Division Court System, Sir Mark Potter

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Judges do not enforce contact orders upon Mothers Official !

Judges do not enforce contact orders upon Mothers Official !

Sir Mark Potter

New F4J member Mark Harris wrote to the President of the Family Diviision, Sir Mark Potter, asking if he would like to meet with him and his daughters to detail just how the 33 family court judges that dealt with their case each failed them all during the fathers' ten year battle to see them.

Sir Mark Potter, ignored their request to meet but did detail in his long winded response that family court judges simply DO NOT ENFORCE ANY CONTACT ORDER UPON A MOTHER OR CHANGE RESIDENCE OF A CHILD SO THAT CHILD CAN HAVE BOTH PARENTS IN IT'S LIFE.

So there you have it, despite the intentions of the Children Act to shared parenting back in 1989, despite Parliament passing the Contempt Act so Civil orders can be enforced, Potty Potter (like his predecessors) will only make Contact Orders by consent.

No change in government, no new laws will succeed in reform of family law while tossers like POTTER and his corrupt members of the judiciary manipulate the legal process and Acts of Parliament in secret while treating mothers as above the law.

You cannot have 'some justice' in courts, either their is 'Justice' or 'Injustice', there is no middle ground.

Mark Harris



Mr Mark Harris

Address deleted
For privacy

19 January 2009

Dear Mr Harris,

Thank you for your letter of 4 December 2008.

In broad terms, it raises two matters. First, your own complaints and those of the membership of new Fathers 4 Justice in relation to their own treatment before the family courts. Second, a request that I take action to "return fairness to the Family Courts".

So far as the first matter is concerned, as Head of the Family Division, my powers do not include review of individual cases during or after their progress through the courts. Such cases are subject to appeal procedures so far as any misapplication of the law or complaints of unfair process in the course of the proceedings are concerned. I have no right or power to interfere in such matters (unless sitting as an appellate judge in the case concerned). Similarly, in so far as complaints may be made of oppressive or inappropriate conduct on the part of a judge in the '~ourse of proceedings, other than simple misapplication of the law, such questions fall to be investigated under an established judicial complaint procedure.

On the wider front, namely the general content and the application and enforcement of the law in relation to applications for residence and contact in respect of children, which I believe to be the main substance of your concerns, again I lack the power to change the law, which is a matter for Parliament.
Such guidance as I can, and on occasions do, give by way of Practice Directions or Guidance to the judiciary generally is limited to matters of procedure rather than substance. In this area, the law under the Children Act is clear, namely that, in corning to decisions in relation to matters of residence and contact, or indeed any matter concerning children, the welfare of the child is to be regarded as the paramount consideration. Where those welfare interests lie has to remain a matter of judgment for the judge in the individual case.

Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC2A 2LL Website



I know that this can give rise to feelings of frustration and concern on behalf of non-custodial parents, particularly, those adversely affected by noncompliance with the court's rulings by the principal carer. However, that is because, when it comes to the crunch, there are very few cases in which judges consider that the welfare of the child will be advanced by the sending of a carer to prison or the "reversal" of a residence order once made, though on occasions that requires and continues to be done. Again, howeyer, that "ill always be a matter for decision by the judge in the individual case and is not one which I (as opposed to parliament) am in a position to change.

In relation to the last two paragraphs of your letter, I am always willing to consider sensible proposals for reform of the Family Courts once I have seen these set out, and I have given public support to proposals for the admission of the press to family proceedings. However, as I understand the last but one paragraph of your letter, you are there in fact referring to reform of Family Law, in relation to which the position is as I have set it out above.

Finally, I am pleased to note that, as I would expect, you are personally opposed to any suggestion that judges' personal details should be circulated "in hope that something far worse than the protests may occur". I hope you will continue to use your influence to reject any such misguided suggestion.

Yours sincerely,

Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC2A 2LL Website



Michael J. Murphy said...

His comments are blatantly and unfairly biased. What he is saying is the children's best interest are served by the custodial parent blocking access even if that custodial parent has a court order to ensure the NC parent gets access. He is saying the NC parent, usually the dad, is peripheral and marginal and the child is best served if the blocking parent is not forced to comply with a lawful order. We did think that but we clearly now know with certainty.

The fight continues and I'd say this revelation is another small step to getting changes rather than a step back.

I'll post the letter on my blogs on this side of the Atlantic.

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