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April 21st, 2018

Father contests £40,000 CSA Case in the Upper Tribunal on 25th April 2018

Charles Adams, a father whose successful attack on the practice of anonymisation in child support cases was supported by Fathers4Justice and is reported in the Upper Tribunal case Adams v. Sec.State & Green [2017] UKUT 9 (AAC), and who had a Liability Order in the sum of £38000 made against him at Willesden Magistrates Court on 3 October 2017, will have his Appeal against the assessment which led to the Liability Order heard in the Upper Tribunal on Wednesday 25 April 2018 at Field House, 15 Breams Buildings, London EC4A 1DZ, starting at 1030 AM. This will be in open court and supporters are invited to attend. There are no reporting restrictions and no anonymisation.

This is a case where public scrutiny to ensure a fair hearing is especially important given that the Tribunal Judge, Judge Edward Jacobs, has ruthlessly restricted the hearing of what are in fact 9 conjoined appeals (4 by Mr Adams and 5 by the mother Ms Elizabeth Green) with 3 Parties (the parents of Nicholas J.Adams, now aged 17, and the Secretary of State) to 1 day when a genuine oral hearing would require at least 3 days.

Mr Adams’s representative and advocate, Open Justice campaigner Dr Michael Pelling, says:

“This is another example of the erosion of open justice and the right of the public to see and hear a case argued in full in open court.With such limited time it is impossible for any advocate to properly argue the case orally and the result will be that about 90% of the case will just be dealt with on the papers which the public will not see. Mr Adams tried to appeal this listing decision to the Court of Appeal but was not granted Leave to Appeal, and that Leave decision was also dealt with on paper with no right to an oral hearing. We seem to be moving towards the American style of conducting appeals largely on paper briefs with extremely short or no oral submissions: something that was promised would not happen years ago when skeleton arguments were first made compulsory in the Court of Appeal in 1989”.

Mr Adams has always paid fairly assessed CSA child support for his son Nicholas and indeed in addition under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 Court orders he paid £245000 for a home for his son and the mother and his share of school fees has always been paid; in 2017 he paid a second Schedule 1 lump sum of approximately £20000 to the mother for Nicholas’s benefit; the £40000 CSA assessment has only arisen from fictitious deemed income that he has never actually received or will receive a form of legal theft under the arcane Child Support (Variations) Regulations 2000.

The 1st-Tier Tribunal even assessed Mr Adams on capital assets that had ceased to exist. His Appeals ought to succeed but a stitch-up is feared with a judge who evidently does not believe in open justice and with a highly limited oral hearing which could be nothing more than a cosmetic sham. Mr Adams and his advocate hope these fears will prove unjustified but public scrutiny is really essential.

To update readers on what happened after the Liability Order was made in 2017, the Secretary of State refused to await the outcome of the Upper Tribunal Appeals and has harassed Mr Adams with bailiffs and applied for a charging order on his flat with a view to selling his home. The Magistrates Court jurisdiction is separate from the Tribunals jurisdiction in child support matters and due to various defects in the Magistrates Court procedure and the Order made, the correct remedy here is Judicial Review. So Mr Adams and Dr Pelling issued Judicial Review proceedings in October 2017 and that case is currently pending in the High Court.

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