Re B (A Child) (Unnecessary Private Law Applications) [2020] EWFC B44 

HHJ Wildblood QC (the DFJ for Avon, North Somerset and Gloucestershire) released his judgment as a warning to parties and lawyers against unnecessary interim private law applications which amount to ‘wasteful’ litigation which is an ‘inappropriate use of limited court resources’. The Judge warned parties and lawyers that criticism and sanctions would follow when FPR 2010  r1.2e was ignored.

‘Judges at this court have an unprecedented amount of work. We wish to provide members of the public with the legal service that they deserve and need. However, if our lists are clogged up with this type of unnecessary, high conflict private law litigation, we will not be able to do so.

He went on to stress that private law litigation should not be brought to the family court unless ‘it is genuinely necessary to do so’, whereby differences cannot be settled away from court through means such as mediation.

The substantive case which prompted this warning involved an order for disclosure made by a Legal Adviser for 5 years of a mother’s medical records. HHJ Wildblood QC held that such an order was disproportionately invasive of the mother’s right to respect of her private life.

Trinity Chambers