Court battle �destroys family�
Picture: Lincoln Baker/ The West Australian

A mother whose 10-year-old son was taken into State care more than two years ago says she has been denied contact with him despite the application for him to be taken from her being thrown out.

The Department for Child Protection lost a Children's Court case in August when it applied for the boy to be put in care until he turned 18 but the mother says she still could not see him.

Now the Supreme Court has upheld the Children's Court's dismissal of the DCP's application and thrown out the magistrate's order to keep the boy in "provisional care and protection" pending a final Family Court parenting order.

Supreme Court Justice Michael Buss said the boy was taken into provisional care more than two years ago and it had been seven months since the Children's Court decided he did not need protection.

"This long delay had delayed a determination in the Family Court as to whom the child should live with," he said.

"Two years in the life of a child, who was aged eight when first taken into care, is a long time.

"Circumstances may so significantly change over such a time that the appellant's claims to be reunited with her child may have been adversely affected."

Justice Buss' appeal judgment last week reveals that though the Children's Court ruled the boy was not in need of protection, the magistrate ordered he stay in "provisional care and protection" until the Family Court decision.

The mother's appeal to the Supreme Court challenged this order.

Justice Buss found the magistrate erred in putting a condition on his dismissal of the application to have the boy placed in care.

He found the magistrate's order meant the boy had to stay in provisional care subject to an occurrence that might never take place.

The mother said she had not had contact with her son for more than a year and feared the separation might have irrevocably damaged their relationship. "This court battle has destroyed and decimated a whole family," she said. "He's been through a lot in his short life and his innocence had been destroyed."

She said her son was removed on false allegations.

Justice Buss said DCP arguments to justify the magistrate's order were without merit.

The West Australian

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