Carpenter & Lunn 2008 FamCAFC 128

A Court appointed expert assessed a family where a mother made allegations of sexual abuse by the father.  The report was adverse to the mother and the expert made a recommendation that was accepted by the judge that the child live with the father. The mother appealed.

Information was highlighted in the appeal court that the expert had made errors about the chronology of dates and had drawn inappropriate conclusions because of this (flawed investigative approach).  The expert had mistaken dates when the mother made reports about sexual incidents and the expert had concluded that a report about sexual abuse was prompted by the father seeking regular contact with the child, and that the mother was seeking to gain an advantage in family court proceedings (expert evidence unsatisfactory).

The appeal court found that the proceedings were fundamentally flawed as a result of the misapprehension by the Court appointed expert of the relevant chronology of events.  The appeal was allowed.