CASE SUMMARIES: 30 June 1997

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The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Magistrates' courts

Morgan v London Borough of Croydon; QBD Div Ct (Simon Brown LJ, Owen J) 11 June 1997.

Magistrates' courts had no jurisdiction to try summonses alleging summary offences committed outside their commission area where there were no connected proceedings committed within the area to decide at the same time. A court could only extend its jurisdiction to hear such cases under s 2(6) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 where a person was already being tried for an offence within its jurisdiction.

Keir Starmer (Bindman & Partners) for the appellant; Robin Howard (Stonehams, Croydon) for the respondent.


Child Support Agency v G; QBD Crown Office List (Sir Stephen Brown P) 16 June 1997.

Magistrates hearing a case plainly within the ambit of s 23 of the Family Law Proceedings Act 1969 who found that a putative father's refusal to undergo a DNA test amounted to an "almost inescapable inference" that he was the father of the child concerned for the purposes of an application by the Child Support Agency, erred in refusing the application on the ground that the father's reasons for refusing the test were fair, just and reasonable.

Javan Herberg (DSS Solicitor) for the Child Support Agency; Annemarie Harris (Bond Pearce) for the father.

Compulsory purchase

London Borough of Hillingdon v ALC Ltd; ChD (Stanley Burnton QC, sitting as a deputy High Court Judge) 12 June 1997.

An action to recover compensation for compulsory purchase, resulting from the entry by an acquiring authority on land pursuant to s 11 of the Compulsory Purcahse Act 1965, could not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date of entry upon the land.

Joseph Harper QC (Catherine J. Thomas) for the plaintiff; Neil King (Lawrence Tucketts, Bristol) for the defendant.