Context is Children's Act 1989. The full sentence is this, I especially have a hard time understanding the bold part: "The local authority having indicated it wishes to apply for an urgent interim care order, and this is to be dealt with at a separate hearing to the case management hearing, the parties are directed to discuss in respect of any order or direction applied for, the purpose of the hearing, any directions that will be applied for, whether any part of the hearing will be contested and the length of the hearing, and the local authority shall inform the court in writing by 1.5.19."
The local authority has indicated two things:
It wishes to apply for an urgent interim care order.
The application for this order should be dealt with at a hearing other than the case-management hearing.
Therefore, the parties should talk about the following things, and their discussions should be focused on any order or direction that might be applied for:
- the purpose of the hearing;
- any directions that will be applied for;
- whether any part of the hearing will be contested; and
- the length of the hearing.
The local authority shall inform the court in writing by 1.5.19.
Can someone divide and simplify this sentence so I understand?
Rather than simplifying a sentence that already is brief and self-explanatory, elaborating on some of its meaning and purpose might be more effective.
The sentence prescribes (1) the agenda for a meeting between the local authority and the counterparties, and (2) the type of contents in an ensuing written report the local authority must submit to the court. Both elements (1) and (2) are requisites the local authority must satisfy if it petitions for an "urgent interim care order". Here, the counterparties presumably are the child's/children's parent(s) or guardian (please note that I did not find the full Act and therefore cannot ascertain this).
The report must identify the stipulations (points of agreement) and controversies (disagreements) between the local authority and the counterparties. This helps narrowing down the issues on which the court should focus the most. For instance, if there is consensus regarding the facts that prompt the petition, there is no need for the court to scrutinize in detail the evidence of those undisputed facts. Instead, the controversy might consist of the parties' conflicting interpretations of how a law or a previous order applies to the particular matter. That being said, my guess is that most often the controversy will be about the facts.
Discussing the purpose of the hearing and details of the petition also informs the counterparties on what they should be prepared to argue/defend at that hearing. Similarly, the counterparties' responses in that discussion might help the local authority give a more accurate estimate of the length of the hearing, which is another item that must be specified in the report.