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A v B (Port Alert) [2021] EWHC 1716 (Fam)

2nd July 2021

Judgment: The father had applied without notice to the mother for an order making their four-year-old son a ward of court, a prohibited steps order preventing the mother from withdrawing funds held in an account earmarked to pay the son's school fees, and a port alert order. Both parents lived in London, and the child lived with the father. Mostyn J's decision was to dismiss the father’s application for a port alert order. Firstly, because it should have been made to the Family Court and not to the High Court, and secondly, because he was not satisfied that there was a real and imminent risk that the mother was going to remove the son from the jurisdiction and return with him to Slovakia or the Czech Republic. Her only contact with the child was supervised, and Mostyn J thought it unlikely that she would be able to abduct the child in such circumstances. He also considered whether the Family Court had the power to issue a freestanding port alert order, and decided that it did. He provided guidance on the correct method of applying for a freestanding port alert order, and supplied a pro forma port alert order modified for use in the Family Court.