Judicial review challenge to revocation of Debt Relief Order

2 July 2013

R (Howard) v Official Receiver [2013] EWHC 1839 concerned a claim for judicial review of a decision by the Official Receiver (OR) to revoke a Debt Relief Order (DRO). Garden Court North Chambers’ Ben McCormack acted for the Claimant, instructed by Carol Moores of Oldham CAB.

A DRO was approved in respect of the Claimant. A few months later she received a back payment of working tax credits which took her over the monthly income threshold, and the OR decided to revoke the DRO. The Claimant, who is disabled, challenged that decision by way of judicial review, contending that the OR had made the decision no regard had been paid to section 149 Equality Act 2010 (the public sector equality duty). However, the High Court has ruled that when the OR revoked the DRO she was exercising a ‘judicial function’ and thus was not required to comply with section 149 due to the terms of paragraph 3 of Schedule 18 to the EA 2010.

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