Important cases — “Parent” definition

[3-1360] Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and Cara (a pseudonym) [2021] NSWChC 3

Last reviewed: June 2024

Application by ILR for a prohibition order under s 90A Care Act against placing an infant child with the mother in a residential rehabilitation facility — Secretary proposes to move the child to join the mother to evaluate prospects of restoration while the mother is in a supportive environment — mother argues prohibition orders cannot be made against her as she no longer has parental responsibility as required under s 3 Care Act definition of “parent” — consideration of Re Josie [2004] NSWSC 642 — Re Josie applies to prohibition orders under s 90A equally as it did to s 47 orders — court has jurisdiction to make a prohibition order against the mother, under s 90A, in her capacity as a parent notwithstanding the definition of “parent” in s 3 which says that a parent is “a person with parental responsibility” — s 90A applies to a broad category of persons, including a person from whom parental responsibility has been removed — court does have jurisdiction to make a prohibition order against the mother — practical effect of such a prohibition order will derogate from the Minister’s exercise of parental responsibility in respect of residence and have the effect of removing from the Secretary a placement option — application dismissed.

Secretary, DFaCS and Krystal [2019] NSWChC 6

Care Act s 3 definition of “parent” — biological father did not hold parental responsibility — Family Court Order placed parental responsibility with step-father after death of mother — child accused step-father of sexual abuse — Care Act does not provide a right of appearance to a parent unless parent holds parental responsibility — distinction between biological parents not holding parental responsibility and persons who hold parental responsibility in respect of a child, the latter has statutory definition of “parent” and former is excluded — biological father not entitled to appear as of right in proceedings — court satisfied on the balance of probabilities that biological father has a genuine concern for the safety, welfare and well-being of the child — biological father’s application for joinder granted.

S, DFaCS and the Marks Children [2016] NSWChC 2

Application that father is not the children’s “parent” — alternative application to exclude father from the proceedings — exceptional circumstances — allegations of domestic violence, sexual interference, abduction and threats to kill the children — father in immigration detention — father and legal representative not to be served with materials — father prohibited from having contact with the children — father found to be a “parent” for the purposes of these proceedings — compelling reasons that it is in the children’s best interests that the father be excluded from proceedings — father poses unacceptable risk to the children.