ACT prosecutors have lost an appeal against a court ruling upholding the right of a mother to use force to take her child home with her.
The case arose after a dispute over an eight-year-old girl who was living with her grandmother.
Court documents showed the girl’s mother had some instability in her life, including symptoms of post-natal depression, but the arrangement for the girl to stay with her grandmother was only informal.
After an argument just before Christmas 2012 the child’s mother used force to take the girl home.
Court documents said the child resisted but the mother picked her up and carried her to her car.
The girl tipped over at one point and touched the carpet with her hands as she was being carried down the stairs.
But the mother drove the child home and they both went to bed.
The grandmother called police who then retrieved the child and charged the mother with assault.
The charges were thrown out in the Magistrates Court last year.
Justice Stephen Walmsley dismissed an appeal in the ACT Court of Appeal today.
He found there were no parental orders in place and the mother held primary responsibility for the girl.
“The child was only eight years of age and the respondent was entitled to overrule her daughter in an argument about whether she was to go to her home or stay with her grandparents,” Justice Walmsley said in his decision.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
© 2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here.