On Thursday the 26th of April 2018, I received a letter from the Royal Courts of Justice re: ChB 1st (Child Benefit Appeal). His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett has refused me permission to apply for a Judicial Review.
This is the culmination of almost 5 years of trying to obtain justice, for the 9 month period spanning 2013 to 2014. My daughter had moved out of her dad’s house, and into her then-boyfriend’s family’s house. Despite me repeatedly notifying HMRC and the CSA, they refused to ever contact her then-boyfriend’s family to ascertain whether my daughter was indeed residing with them. My Ex continued to fraudulently claim Child Benefit for our daughter, even though she no longer lived as part of his household, and he wasn’t using the ChB money he fraudulently obtained to support our daughter.
As my Ex continued to receive ChB, I had to keep paying my Ex Child Support maintenance, and he was able to reduce the Child Support maintenance he paid me in respect of our son (who has always lived with me), as my Ex fraudulently claimed that our daughter was still a member of his household.
As my ChB 1st Appeal progressed to HMCTS, I requested a witness summons, to compel my daughter’s then-boyfriend’s mother to attend Tribunal, where she would have confirmed that my daughter was a part of their household for the material period. But various Judges (Judge Ennals, …) refused this request, and also refused to issue other Directions that I’d requested.
I’d never met my daughter’s then-boyfriend’s family, the mother is a leading solicitor. Eventually, after I’d written to the boyfriend’s mother in 2016, she wrote directly to HMCTS confirming that my daughter had lived as part of her family for the material period, and that my Ex had not supported her financially, whilst I had contributed financially!
Despite this damning and pivotal evidence, Judge J. Verman still decided on 24th April 2017 that my Ex was still entitled to ChB for the material period! This was the second time round, as the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) was originally held on 1st May 2015, when Judge G. I. Marsh decided I wasn’t entitled to ChB for the material period. Upper Tribunal Judge Nicholas Wikeley subsequently “Set Aside” Judge G. I. Marsh‘s Decision, finding that the FTT had erred twice in law! You can read the Decision at:
CB v HMRC and AE (CHB)  UKUT 0506 (AAC)
So it was bounced back to FTT to be heard by a different Judge, Judge J. Verman on 24/4/17.
How, pray tell, can a Child Benefit Appeal progress from First Tier Tribunal to Upper Tribunal, then back to First Tier Tribunal, then up again to Upper Tribunal, and then up to the Royal Courts of Justice, and throughout all of this time HMRC, the CSA, and various Judges at HMCTS all refuse to contact my daughter’s then-boyfriend’s family to confirm the material living arrangements for the material period, or to issue the reasonable Directions I’d requested?
Then, when the then-boyfriend’s mother eventually writes to HMCTS confirming what I’d been saying all along, Judge Verman still chooses to believe my Ex’s version of events!!!
A central plank of my application for a Judicial Review was that HMRC and the CSA have both insisted that they’re not permitted by law to contact a third party (ie my daughter’s then-boyfriend’s family!). It has been my contention all along that HMRC and the CSA should have made direct contact with that family, to ascertain something as fundamentally crucial to any Child Benefit claim, namely establishing the material living arrangements for the material period. His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett doesn’t seem to deem this necessary……..
……..I’ll write tons more when I get the chance/time……….