Costs paid to Weightmans solicitors defending County Court claim C5QZ21V8

The request was successful.

Please supply the following information:

1. Total billed by Weightmans to North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (or North Yorkshire Police) for all work done by Weightmans up to and including close of business on 8th August, 2016 (This request, under FOIA, will be deemed to have been received on 9th August, 2016) in connection with county court claim number C5QZ21V8. Listed as Neil Wilby -v- Police and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire. Invoices should be disclosed where available.

2. Name of all NYPCC officer(s), or solicitor(s), involved in instructing Weightmans.

3. Rationale for instructing the senior partner of a Leeds-based Top 45 law firm to deal with a low value money claim. Copies of all documents supporting that rationale.

4. Budget allocated to defending the claim. Copies of all documents that refer to, and justify, that sum.

PCC, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

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Civil Disclosure,

Classification: PROTECT

Good afternoon,

I write to confirm the receipt of your Request for Information. This has been logged under the reference 439.2016-17. If you have any queries whilst awaiting a response, please write in quoting the reference number stated above.

Kind regards,

Robert Bates
Collar Number 5480
Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)
North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics
 
Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.
 
Web: www.northyorkshire.police.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Twitter: www.twitter.com/NYorksPolice

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Williams, Caroline,

1 Attachment

Classification: PROTECT

Dear Mr Wilby,

 

Please find attached a reply to your Freedom of Information request
439.2016-17.

 

Regards

 

Caroline Williams

Legal Officer (Civil Disclosure)

Collar Number 5982

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

 

Committed to the Code of Ethics

 

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. 
If using my collar number, please state each number individually.

 

439.2016-17 Response.pdf
PROTECT

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Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner's handling of my FOI request 'Costs paid to Weightmans solicitors defending County Court claim C5QZ21V8'.

The grounds are as follows:

1. The PCC has misdirected herself by relying on a S40(5)(b) as an exemption.

a. The request makes plain that a county court claim exists, names the parties (the requester and the data controller) and the court reference number. This is information already publicly available.

b. There is no reasonable expectation that the data subject would object to the data controller confirming that the claim exists. Thus, simply adding to the information already in the public domain

c. Parties to court action do not have any right to anonymity, unless there are exceptional reasons and leave is given by the court upon application. No such application has been made to the court by either party.

d. There has also been an article written about the claim that names the parties and the reference number. It was published on the internet on 10th June, 2016. Two months before this request was submitted:

https://neilwilby.com/2016/06/10/chief-c...

e. There is, therefore, no disclosure of personal information by confirming or denying that a claim had been made. The 'personal information' is already widely available and the claim is to be determined at a public hearing in Huddersfield County Court listed for 11th October, 2016.

f. The public interest in this case is considerable. Both in terms of its novelty and the far reaching implications for other data controllers. The article referred to at 1d has attracted widespread comment. The requester is a well known justice campaigner and investigative journalist. There is no conceivable unfairness (or harm) in making his personal information widely available by confirming the existence of the court case.

2. It is submitted that the response to this request is so unreasonable as to meet the test of perverse and irrational.

3. It is further submitted that the rationale behind the decision provided to the requester does not concern data principles at all but is solely designed to prevent information, that would be harmful to the data controller's reputation, reaching the public domain. Either via a story written by the requester, or by broadcasting the link to this WhatDoTheyKnow correspondence trail on social media.

4. These submissions at 2. and 3. will go further to the evidence of misfeasance and discrimination by the data controller, already pleaded by the requester, in the county court claim that the defendant in that claim cannot confirm or deny exists.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

PCC, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Neil

I have passed your request to our Civil Disclosures team: [email address]

Simon

Simon Jones
Digital Engagement Officer

Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
12 Granby Road | Harrogate | North Yorkshire | HG1 4ST
: 01423 569 562 | :  [email address]

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Civil Disclosure,

Classification: PROTECT

Good afternoon,

Confirming that the Civil Disclosure Unit have received your request for an internal review.

A response to your request will be sent to you in due course.

Kind Regards

Liz

Liz Fryar
Collar Number 4437
Legal Officer – Civil Disclosure
Joint Corporate Legal Services
North Yorkshire Police

Please note my normal working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number. If using my collar number please state each number individually.

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

Committed to the Code of Ethics

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

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Thanks, Simon.

I'm grateful.

Neil Wilby

Malone, Ashley,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilby

 

Please see attached response to your request for Internal Review of the
outcome of your Freedom of Information Act request PCC 439.2016-17.

 

Kind Regards

 

Ashley Malone

Collar Number 4951

Police Lawyer (Civil Disclosure)

Solicitor

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.

 

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

 

 

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL
PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT
ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

 

 

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Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner,

A S50 complaint has now been filed with the Information Commissioner's Office and acknowledged by them.

The grounds for complaint are as follows:

1. Firstly, the police lawyer finalising the internal review is Ms Ashley Malone. She is a deponent, and has appeared as a witness, in a civil civil claim in which I am claimant and NYPCC is defendant. The claim concerns breaches of the Act, and the Data Protection Act, by the data controller.

https://neilwilby.com/2016/06/10/chief-c...

2. Ms Malone's intervention in information requests and internal review finalisations, made by me, since she made her witness statement in that claim plainly lack objectivity and independence. It is an ethical and regulatory requirement that a solicitor cannot continue to act where she adopts the cause of a client.

3. The cause of Ms Malone's client in this particular civil claim includes an inherently absurd Defence, made on 15th July, 2016, that states that no information request has EVER been finalised as non-compliant by NYPCC and that all future requests will be compliant.

4. Since Ms Malone made that witness statement, the finalisations she has provided have all been variously unreasonable, perverse, irrational. The time, and financial, burden this has placed on me has been close to intolerable.

5. Of those finalisations (they include NYP and NYPCC requests) four have necessitated internal reviews, three have necessitated complaints to the ICO. Part of each and every complaint is the objection to the involvement of Ms Malone in any matters concerning my requests, whilst the proceedings referred to at para 1 are extant.

6. This conduct and the unlawful, unethical, discriminatory approach to finalising my requests or reviews, it is submitted with increasing force as part of this complaint, is part of a wider and persistent campaign by NYPCC (and NYP) to cause distress, vex and annoy. This is a complaint I have made to NYPCC (and NYP) and the ICO repeatedly, in writing, over the past six months.

7. More particularly, in the instant complaint, Ms Malone has abdicated her responsibility under the Act, Authorised Professional Practice and ICO Guidance in not reviewing the information request afresh. Nor has she addressed the complaints at all at 1a, b or c. 2 or 3. There is a clear duty to do so.

8. Her unevidenced assertions in (partly) answering 1d appear to have no basis in fact or evidence. If an article is pubished on a well-read website (it is also posted on the North Yorkshire Enquirer website) and links to articles are posted (and re-posted) on social media (mainly Twitter and Facebook) then there can be little doubt that the subject matter is in the public domain. That position is underscored by the presence of all the personal information concerning the county court claim being present on this hugely popular website (WhatDoTheyKnow).

9. Further, and in any event, here have been two public hearings of the county court claim already. There is to be a third in January, 2017. Ms Malone was present at the second of those hearings in her capacity as a witness for the defendant. The information requested (details of Weightmans fees) has been filed with the court and served on me. They were also referred to in the hearings by counsel to the defendant. As such, the information can no longer be regarded as privileged.

In summary, it is the overarching submission of the requester that the response to this internal review was carried out inappropriately, by an officer lacking the necessary independence; with ill-intent and with an outcome that is almost wholly misconceived under the requirements of the Act, ICO Guidance and Approved Professional Practice.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Malone, Ashley,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilby

 

Please see the attached response. You will note that we have amended our
position following your recent correspondence with the Information
Commissioners Office.

 

I have copied this response to the ICO for their information.

 

Ashley Malone

Collar Number 4951

Police Lawyer (Civil Disclosure)

Solicitor

Joint Corporate Legal Services

North Yorkshire Police

Committed to the Code of Ethics

Dial 101, press option 2 and ask for me by my full name or collar number.
If using my collar number please state each number individually.

 

www.northyorkshire.police.uk

 

 

THIS EMAIL AND ANY ATTACHMENT(S) MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL PROFESSIONAL
PRIVILEGE - PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THE CONTENT TO ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT
ASKING JOINT CORPORATE LEGAL SERVICES

 

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Dear Civil Disclosure,

The latest shift in the position of the data controller is noted.

Representations have been made today to the ICO as part of the ongoing complaint (Ref. FS50652012) concerning this matter.

Part of those submissions highlight the abdication of the Commissioner's responsibilities under the Elected Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order, 2011 to publish a Decision Notice concerning the application of £10,000 of public funds defending the court claim referred to in the instant information request.

However, please note that my right to internal review of the latest finalisation is reserved, pending the outcome of the ICO complaint.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

Neil Wilby left an annotation ()

My Appeal against the Information Commissioner's decision not to direct NYPCC to disclose the information is now listed for hearing before the First Tier Tribunal at Barnsley Civil Court Centre at 10am on 28th September, 2017.

It is a public hearing. All are welcome. The parties (ICO, NYPCC and myself) and their legal representatives will be in court in Barnsley. The Tribunal judge and the two lay members of the Panel will be beamed into the courtroom from their base in central London, via video link.

I have already defeated NYPCC in court once this year. I was awarded damages and costs in a civil claim over DPA breach.

Neil Wilby left an annotation ()

A preview article has been written and published concerning the First Tier Tribunal hearing:

https://neilwilby.com/2017/09/26/informa...

It is now understood that the Tribunal Panel will be present at Barnsley Law Courts - and the video link will not be used.

An interesting day in prospect for those available to attend.

Neil Wilby left an annotation ()

My appeal against the ICO's Decision Notice was upheld at the First Tier Tribunal held last week. An article about the hearing can be read at this weblink:

https://neilwilby.com/2017/09/30/commiss...

Civil Disclosure,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilby,

 

Please see the attached correspondence from the Civil Disclosure Unit.

 

Regards,

 

Civil Disclosure Unit

North Yorkshire Police

 

Committed to the Code of Ethics

  

Web: [1]www.northyorkshire.police.uk

Facebook: [2]www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice

Twitter: [3]www.twitter.com/NYorksPolice

 

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