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Supreme Court of Denmark

Detention in contact case 

Case no. 150/2015

Order made on 31 August 2015   


Detaining a mother who refused to diclose her daughter's whereabouts and hand her over for contact was lawful

On 7 May 2015, A was detained by the Enforcement Court in a case concerning handover of A's daughter, C, for contact with her father, B. A was released on 29 July 2015.

The case concerned the issue of whether it was lawful to detain A, including whether A should have been assisted by a lawyer in connection with the Enforcement Court's hearing of the case concerning detention.

During the contact case, A had repeatedly refused to hand over C for contact with B and had refused to disclose C's whereabouts to the Enforcement Court. The Enforcement Court had imposed several default fines on A to bring her to assist in handing over C.

The Supreme Court stated that contact was dependent on information on C's whereabouts, and that importance had to be given to the fact that this information could only be provided by A. Accordingly, there was no basis for setting aside the Enforcement Court's assessment, according to which it was necessary to detain A on 7 May 2015 and to extend her detainment on 20 May 2015. In addition, there was no basis for regarding the detainment of A as disproportionate in the period after 20 May 2015 and until her release on 29 July 2015.

The fact that A was not represented by a lawyer when the Enforcement Court ordered her detainment did not justify a ruling that detaining her was unlawful.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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