Child welfare - regulation of contact over the phone and the Internet

Supreme Court judgment 15 October 2020, HR-2020-1967-A, (case no. 20-052939SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against judgment.

A, B (Counsel Bente Mostad Tjugum) v. X municipality (Counsel Trine Christin Riiber), C (Counsel Steinar Jacob Thomassen)

Justices: Matningsdal, Webster, Noer, Bergh, Høgetveit Berg

An eleven-year old boy, who was now placed in a foster home, had grown up with his great-aunt and had little contact with his biological parents. The case in the Supreme Court concerned limitations on the biological family's right to telephone contact and other digital contact with the boy. The Supreme Court found that section 4-19 of the Child Welfare act was a legal basis for limiting telephone contact between children in the child welfare services' care and former care persons. The term "access", interpreted in the light of societal development, had to be understood as having contact, which also had to include all forms of digital contact. After an individual assessment, the Supreme Court granted limited access rights to the parents and the great-aunt, and limited their right to audio or video contact with him over the phone, Skype or similar. Dissent 4-1 when it came to the specific determination of telephone contact.

Read the whole judgment (Norwegian only)

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