Parents take school to court over ‘pointless’ custody certificate requirement

The school insisted that the parents needed to provide a 'certificate of care and custody' before the child could be enrolled, even though both parents formally expressed their consent

The separated parents of a young child enrolled at a school in Ta’ Paris have filed a joint application to the Family Section of the Civil Court after the school authorities ordered them to provide a “certificate of care and custody,” in order to enrol the child at school, with their lawyer accusing the school of making up the rules as they go along.

The court application, signed by lawyer Joseph Brincat, reads that the couple were faced with a letter from the school’s Headmaster insisting on the certificate in order to register the child at the school. 

The lawyer said that he had angrily written a declaration by the mother, authorising and consenting to the father registering the child at the school, but that the Head had insisted that a “certificate of care and custody” was needed.

“The undersigned lawyer has exasperatedly summoned both parties to make this joint application, sign on it and also attach a copy of their ID cards, aside from a copy of the child’s birth certificate, so that maybe it will get through to the bureaucracy not to send people here and there to obtain a useless piece of paper, if not also an inexistent one.”

Brincat argued that it would be farcical to expect parents of all children to go to court and obtain this certificate when both parents would have formally expressed their consent.

He asked the court to confirm that there is no need for decrees or the pointless expense of court applications to express their reasonable and sensible consent in the best interest of their young daughter and to order the school and any authority concerned to accept a document signed by both parents as proof of their consent.