In the case of AB (Court of Protection: Police Disclosure)  EWCOP 66, an application was put forward by the police force in order to gain access to a psychological report, which was undertaken on the protected party, who is the subject of proceedings in the Court of Protection. The purpose of this report was to inform the police about the protected party’s capacity to access internet and social media. The Official Solicitor acted as the protected party’s litigation friend and opposed the application by the police force for disclosure of the reports.
The protected party was assessed by a psychologist on various occasions. Three reports were prepared dated 16 July 2018, 8 January 2019, and 23 May 2019. The first two reports related solely to the protected party’s capacity to conduct litigation and to make decisions about his residence. The third report addressed the issue of the protected party’s capacity to access the internet and social media. Within this report, the psychologist advised that the protected party did in fact have capacity to access the internet and social media.
The police force have been investigating alleged offences committed by the protected party in 2017 and 2018. The offences related to category C images of children.
It was noted that the third report did not deal with the question of whether the protected party had capacity on this issue in 2017 and 2018. As a result, the judge concluded that the third report contained nothing of relevance to the police investigation.
The judgement confirmed that the judge would only consider disclosing the report to the police force if the weight to be given to the public interest was so great as to outweigh the consideration of honesty by the protected party in the Court of Protection proceedings and therefore the application was refused.
Please contact Casey McGregor in our Court of Protection Costs team for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org