Perverting the course of justice

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, North East Lincolnshire Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

I would like disclosing the source from which NELC obtained the contents to produce pages 2 and 3 (two letters) of exhibit NELC13.

This (exhibit NELC13) is referenced in a Witness Statement submitted to the Grimsby Magistrates' court for council tax liability hearing of 30 October 2015.

For your reference:

Witness Statement
https://www.scribd.com/doc/286074656/NEL...

Exhibit NELC13
https://www.scribd.com/doc/288210371/NEL...

Yours faithfully,

Neil Gilliatt

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

The reference in the initial email to exhibit NELC13 should have been to NELC12 in all occurrences.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been allocated the reference number NEL/0868/1516. Thank you for your amendment e-mail detailing NELC13 should have been NELC12 in all instances.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 0868_1516. I can
confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

Request: I would like disclosing the source from which NELC obtained the
contents to produce pages 2 and 3 (two letters) of exhibit NELC13.

 

Response: We are unable to view any information on the link provided.
Please can you clarify what information you are linking to and provide a
legible version of the information. Please note, if the information is
personal information relating to you we may be unable to address this
through the WhatDoTheyKnow website.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

The information which is contained in pages 2 and 3 of exhibit NELC12 is simply text and can therefore be produced easily enough in this email.

PAGE 2

"Administrative Court Office at Leeds
Leeds Combined Court
1 Oxford Row
Leeds

Your ref: CO/7281/2013

20 November 2013

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: The Queen on the application of [.................................................. .......] v GRIMSBY MAGISTRATES COURT

I'm asked to advise the court whether I will be withdrawing this judicial review claim as it deems there to be no longer a need for further action on the part of the High Court.

Representations have been made upon the draft case though I've neither entered into a recognizance nor since been asked to. The purpose of the judicial review claim was, I believed, to mandate the Justices to state the case without being subject to terms of a recognizance.

I had viewed that agreeing such terms would pose risks, potentially greater than subjecting myself to forfeiture of the proposed sum – if, for example, to avoid a penalty the appeal was prosecuted knowing that the stated case omitted the points in law I was questioning. In terms of successfully appealing the decision I would be disadvantaged from the outset and disproportionately exposed to the financial risks of incurring costs. It could be argued that in these circumstances, requiring recognizance would either be denying my access to justice or unduly burdening me financially, as presently I'm in receipt of no income.

Although the claim prompted service of the draft case, it still remains that delivery of the final signed case has, in accordance with CrimPR Part 64, rule 64.3(7), overrun by approximately two months. Presumably then, the agreement detailed in the acknowledgement of service was only to serve the draft case.

I am therefore in the same position now as I was before the claim for a mandatory order as it seems the Justices will unlikely deliver the signed case unless recognizance is entered into.

However, where my queries with the Magistrates' court went unanswered, the judicial review process succeeded in drawing from the Clerk that if I had appeared before the court to enter into a recognizance, its appropriateness and/or the amount could have been considered. This is exactly the information I was seeking and would never have obtained had I not proceeded with this claim for judicial review.

Knowing as I do now, that a possibility exists to negotiate terms which are mutually acceptable, it seems arranging to appear before the court to enter into a recognizance is now appropriate.

In light of the Justices expressing regard for the Administrative Court's time and public money, it would also seem appropriate, if, whilst appearing before the Magistrates' Court to agree terms of a recognizance, I also seek agreement to terms of an order that the court consider the matter on the papers and that there be no order as to costs, as the case involves a matter of general public importance.

After considering the options that appear available to me now, please take this as formal notice that I am withdrawing this judicial review claim."

PAGE 3 (all italic formatting on original)

"HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Administrative Court Office at Leeds
Leeds Combined Court
1 Oxford Row
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS1 3BG

25 November 2013

Our ref: CO/7281/2013
Your ref:

Dear Sir/Madam

Re The Queen on the application of [.................................................. .......] versus GRIMSBY MAGISTRATES COURT

I am writing to inform you that your letter in the above case was received by this office on 22/11/2013.

Unless you hear from us within four weeks from the date of this letter, you can assume that your letter to withdraw has been accepted and the Court file has been closed.

Please note that all copy documents in the above matter will be destroyed immediately following the closure of the case, unless you have already notified the court that you would like them returned.

If you require any further information, please contact the Administrative Court Office General Office on 0113 306 2578."

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

Thank you for your response to our clarification in respect of request
number NEL/0868/1516.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the 20 working days allowed for
responding to your request has commenced from the day we received your
clarification.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

Thank you for your information request reference 0868_1516.

 

Under section 1 of the Act I can confirm that North East Lincolnshire
Council holds the information you have requested.

 

As the information you have requested is about a living individual we are
unable to provide it to you. Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Act 2000
provides an exemption to the disclosure of information which is personal
data of a third party.

 

‘Any information to which a request for information relates is also exempt
information if

            (a) It constitutes personal data which do not fall within
subsection (1), and

            (b) Either the first or the second condition below is
satisfied.’

 

The Data Protection Act 1998 defines personal information as 'data which
relates to a living individual who can be identified a) from those data,
or b) from that data and other information which is in the possession of,
or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller'.

 

The information you have requested would therefore be exempt from
disclosure if either of the conditions set out in sections 40 (3) or 40
(4) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 are met. The relevant condition
in this case is at section 40 (3) (a) (i), where disclosure would breach
any of the Data Protection Principles. The Data Protection Principles are
set out in schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

I have considered the eight Data Protection Principles and conclude that
disclosure of the third party’s personal information would breach the
first Data Protection Principle, which states that 'Personal data shall be
processed fairly and lawfully’. In concluding that disclosure of the
requested information would contravene the first Data Protection
Principle, I have taken the following factors into account:

 

1. The purpose(s) for which North East Lincolnshire Council obtained and
holds the information requested.

2. The third parties reasonable and legitimate expectations of what should
happen to their personal information.

 

Having considered the information involved and the purposes for which it
was obtained, I am satisfied that it is exempt from disclosure under
section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by virtue of section
40 (3) (a) (i). As this is an absolute exemption there is no statutory
requirement to consider the 'Public Interest Test'. The council's decision
is, therefore, to not provide the information you have requested.

 

As I have determined that disclosure of the information would be unfair to
the third party, I have not considered whether any of the other Data
Protection Principles would be breached by the disclosure of the
information requested.

 

If your request relates to action taken in relation to yourself in any
legal proceedings, then the Freedom of Information is probably not an
appropriate means through which to pursue your concerns. You might do
better to explore whether there are other more suitable channels through
which to take up your concerns.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

             

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

        

Feedback Officer

 

 

show quoted sections

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

I am not asking for NELC to disclose personal information.

I would be asking for personal information if, for example, I asked for all letters (or contents) which the council were in receipt of that were in connection with the Administrative Court Office at Leeds with dates 20 and 25 November 2013.

As I have provided those letters myself for your reference it is inconceivable that the request is for personal information.

The objective of this request is simply to know where NELC sourced those letters, nothing more.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

I am pleased to acknowledge your correspondence and wish to confirm that an Internal Review of the handling of your Information Request NEL/0868/1516 is to take place.

The Internal Review has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer

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Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Response to this request is delayed. By law, North East Lincolnshire Council should have responded by 1 December 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

A response to your original request was provided on 18th November 2015. An
internal review is currently being carried out to consider the handling of
your request. The full history of correspondence can be seen on the
WhatDoTheyKnow website:

 

[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

    

Feedback Officer

 

 

 

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

Further to your correspondence an Internal Review has taken place into North East Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information request NEL/0868/1516.

I have reviewed the handling of your request and I am satisfied that the Council has acted in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act in responding to your request.

The information you have requested relates to Court papers with regard to a living identifiable individual. Responding to your request would potentially allow the identity of that individual to be identified, I therefore uphold the application of the exemption to disclosure under section 40 (2) on the basis that disclosure would breach the first Data Protection principle.

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Paul Ellis,

Information Governance and Data Protection Manager, Commissioning and Strategic Support Unit (CSSU)| North East Lincolnshire Council Municipal Buildings, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU

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Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

We might be able to speed things up a little.

Can you confirm that one of the letters was sourced from the link below?

http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/show...

....and the other from this link?

http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/show...

There is no other source, which suggests (or is rather conclusive) that North East Lincolnshire Council knew that the High Court appeal was not withdrawn, therefore lied in a statement which was material in court.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

My question emailed to you on 23 December 2015 was simple enough. Why can't it be confirmed?

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

Thank you for your further correspondence in relation to information request reference 0868_1516. I refer you to the internal review response sent to you on the 23rd December 2015. I consider this request closed and will not be responding to any further correspondence.

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Ian Hollingsworth

Information Governance and Complaints

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Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Has Humberside police been in contact with NELC regarding the subject of this FOI request?

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Dorothy Matricks (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I marked this request as unsuccessful. The information appears to have been refused on the grounds of it being personal information of the requester.

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Complaint sent to Information Commissioner's Office about North East Lincolnshire Council failing to deal with my FoI request properly.

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

25 November 2016

Dear Sir/Madam

RE: INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF FOI REQUEST TO NE LINC’S COUNCIL – REF NUMBER 0868-1516

I made a freedom of information request to North East Lincolnshire Council (‘NELC’). The details can be found on the “what do they know” website at the following address:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
“Perverting the course of justice”

BACKGROUND

NELC applied to the Magistrates' court to obtain a Council Tax liability order relating to the 2015/16 tax year. Payments were made in sufficient amount to meet the legal obligation to pay the sums set out on the demand notice and so the account was never in arrears.

The Council engineered a 'non-payment' scenario, by allocating monies to a disputed sum which related to a previous year's account that was under appeal to the High Court. That sum was suspended pending the court's decision which has yet to conclude. The Council allocate monies to the wrong account attributing that decision to BELIEVING THAT THE SUM WAS NO LONGER DISPUTED BECAUSE THE APPEAL HAD BEEN WITHDRAWN (NELC’s Witness Statement submitted for Council Tax liability hearing 30 October 2015).

Evidence held supports that this claim was untrue, not on account of the appeal never being withdrawn (though it hasn't), but specifically because it is beyond all reasonable doubt that the council knew it had not been withdrawn. The Council posted monies to the suspended account on the premise that it believed the appeal had been withdrawn and therefore did so [******tly].

It is beyond reasonable doubt that two internet forum posts were the source of one of NELC’s exhibits (NELC12) referred to in its Witness Statement for the 30 October Council Tax liability hearing. These were two letters on which the Council sought to rely in justifying having ‘no further reason to believe that the costs were being disputed’ because the ‘application for the Judicial review of the costs' had been withdrawn.

The original letters one dated 20 November 2013 was in response to the Administrative Court's recommendation to withdraw the judicial review claim as the process had prompted the Magistrates to produce a draft case and deemed there no longer a need for further action on their part as the process of stating a case was underway. The other letter dated 25 November 2013 was the Administrative Court's response to confirm that the letter to withdraw had been accepted and the Court file closed.

Note: The judicial review claim, which was a separate matter from the application to state a case for an appeal challenging the costs, was merely the vehicle used to get the Magistrates' court to comply with the procedure. The judicial review claim therefore was for a mandatory order, not a 'review of the costs' and so the case stated appeal challenging the summons costs had not been withdrawn.

The letters contained in NELC’s submission had been redacted and matched the entries that were posted on the public forum. The forum is the only place from which those letters could be sourced in that form. The characteristics (redaction, formatting etc.) of the letters which NELC submitted to the court were identical to the forum posts.

The Council had for some reason not sought the original letters and made use of the website where every correspondence connected with the matter (albeit redacted) could be conveniently accessed. It is likely that if NELC had made use of the forum to produce its submission, it would have been informed from the regular updates posted that the case stated appeal was still being pursued. Even if the forum was not regularly viewed it was enough that it did once to source content to be certain that it knowingly made a false statement. The crux of the matter is that one of the posts from which the content was sourced (though omitted) had the following commentary accompanying it which reinforced the matter in itself.

“Back almost to square one.

Although the judicial review claim for mandatory order was not entirely successful in mandating the Magistrates' Court to state the case (other than the draft), it would never have been known there was a possibility to negotiate the terms of a recognizance at the hearing. It took this process to prompt a response from the Justices at Grimsby Magistrates' Court.

The next move then will be to arrange to appear before the Magistrates' Court to agree terms of a recognizance.”

NELC RECEIVING LETTERS AFTER JUDICIAL REVIEW CLAIM WITHDRAWN

NELC had acknowledged receiving letters (email attachments) by way of 'read receipts' returned on 15 January, 14 February and 23 April 2014 in respect of letters dated 10 January, 13 February and 22 April 2014. Those letters, which were copies of correspondence sent to the Justices' Clerk concerned matters that left no doubt that the high court appeal was still being pursued, and sent after the judicial review claim for mandatory order was withdrawn.

The appropriation of monies was supported by the NELC on the basis that it believed the appeal had been withdrawn, and on that basis alone. The council officer had therefore wilfully made a statement material in the proceeding, which he knew was untrue. As a consequence the Council now has a court order enabling it to enforce a fraudulently obtained sum, which is likely to accumulate because of additional costs which will over time to be sufficient in amount so the council will claim justification in taking measures such as bankruptcy, charging order or applying for a custodial sentence.

FOI REQUEST – 2 NOVEMBER 2015

NELC was sent the following:

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

I would like disclosing the source from which NELC obtained the contents to produce pages 2 and 3 (two letters) of exhibit NELC13.

This (exhibit NELC13) is referenced in a Witness Statement submitted to the Grimsby Magistrates' court for council tax liability hearing of 30 October 2015.

For your reference:

Witness Statement
https://www.scribd.com/doc/286074656/NEL...

Exhibit NELC13
https://www.scribd.com/doc/288210371/NEL...

Yours faithfully,

FOI REQUEST AMENDED – 2 NOVEMBER 2016

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

The reference in the initial email to exhibit NELC13 should have been to NELC12 in all occurrences.

Yours faithfully,

NELC REQUESTED CLARIFICATION – 18 NOVEMBER 2015

NELC claimed it was unable to view any information on the link that was provided in the request and asked for a legible version of the information and advised that if the information was personal information relating to me it may be unable to address the request through the WhatDoTheyKnow website.

CLARIFICATION PROVIDED – 20 NOVEMBER 2015

NELC was sent the following:

Dear PPD - FOI,

The information which is contained in pages 2 and 3 of exhibit NELC12 is simply text and can therefore be produced easily enough in this email.

PAGE 2

"Administrative Court Office at Leeds
Leeds Combined Court
1 Oxford Row
Leeds

Your ref: CO/7281/2013

20 November 2013

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: The Queen on the application of [.................................................. .......] v GRIMSBY MAGISTRATES COURT

I'm asked to advise the court whether I will be withdrawing this judicial review claim as it deems there to be no longer a need for further action on the part of the High Court.

Representations have been made upon the draft case though I've neither entered into a recognizance nor since been asked to. The purpose of the judicial review claim was, I believed, to mandate the Justices to state the case without being subject to terms of a recognizance.

I had viewed that agreeing such terms would pose risks, potentially greater than subjecting myself to forfeiture of the proposed sum – if, for example, to avoid a penalty the appeal was prosecuted knowing that the stated case omitted the points in law I was questioning. In terms of successfully appealing the decision I would be disadvantaged from the outset and disproportionately exposed to the financial risks of incurring costs. It could be argued that in these circumstances, requiring recognizance would either be denying my access to justice or unduly burdening me financially, as presently I'm in receipt of no income.

Although the claim prompted service of the draft case, it still remains that delivery of the final signed case has, in accordance with CrimPR Part 64, rule 64.3(7), overrun by approximately two months. Presumably then, the agreement detailed in the acknowledgement of service was only to serve the draft case.

I am therefore in the same position now as I was before the claim for a mandatory order as it seems the Justices will unlikely deliver the signed case unless recognizance is entered into.

However, where my queries with the Magistrates' court went unanswered, the judicial review process succeeded in drawing from the Clerk that if I had appeared before the court to enter into a recognizance, its appropriateness and/or the amount could have been considered. This is exactly the information I was seeking and would never have obtained had I not proceeded with this claim for judicial review.

Knowing as I do now, that a possibility exists to negotiate terms which are mutually acceptable, it seems arranging to appear before the court to enter into a recognizance is now appropriate.

In light of the Justices expressing regard for the Administrative Court's time and public money, it would also seem appropriate, if, whilst appearing before the Magistrates' Court to agree terms of a recognizance, I also seek agreement to terms of an order that the court consider the matter on the papers and that there be no order as to costs, as the case involves a matter of general public importance.

After considering the options that appear available to me now, please take this as formal notice that I am withdrawing this judicial review claim."
PAGE 3 (all italic formatting on original)

"HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Administrative Court Office at Leeds
Leeds Combined Court
1 Oxford Row Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS1 3BG

25 November 2013

Our ref: CO/7281/2013
Your ref:

Dear Sir/Madam

Re The Queen on the application of [.................................................. .......] versus GRIMSBY MAGISTRATES COURT

I am writing to inform you that your letter in the above case was received by this office on 22/11/2013.

Unless you hear from us within four weeks from the date of this letter, you can assume that your letter to withdraw has been accepted and the Court file has been closed.

Please note that all copy documents in the above matter will be destroyed immediately following the closure of the case, unless you have already notified the court that you would like them returned.

If you require any further information, please contact the Administrative Court Office General Office on 0113 306 2578."

NELC ADVISED ABOUT NEW TIME LIMIT – 23 NOVEMBER 2015

NELC expressed that under the Freedom of Information Act, the 20 working days allowed for responding to my request had commenced from the day it received my clarification.

RESPONSE – 15 DECEMBER 2015

NELC replied as follows:

Thank you for your information request reference 0868_1516.

Under section 1 of the Act I can confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the information you have requested.

As the information you have requested is about a living individual we are unable to provide it to you. Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Act 2000 provides an exemption to the disclosure of information which is personal data of a third party.

‘Any information to which a request for information relates is also exempt information if

(a) It constitutes personal data which do not fall within subsection (1), and

(b) Either the first or the second condition below is satisfied.’

The Data Protection Act 1998 defines personal information as 'data which relates to a living individual who can be identified a) from those data, or b) from that data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller'.

The information you have requested would therefore be exempt from disclosure if either of the conditions set out in sections 40 (3) or 40 (4) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 are met. The relevant condition in this case is at section 40 (3) (a) (i), where disclosure would breach any of the Data Protection Principles. The Data Protection Principles are set out in schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

I have considered the eight Data Protection Principles and conclude that disclosure of the third party’s personal information would breach the first Data Protection Principle, which states that 'Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully’. In concluding that disclosure of the requested information would contravene the first Data Protection Principle, I have taken the following factors into account:

1. The purpose(s) for which North East Lincolnshire Council obtained and holds the information requested.

2. The third parties reasonable and legitimate expectations of what should happen to their personal information.

Having considered the information involved and the purposes for which it was obtained, I am satisfied that it is exempt from disclosure under section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by virtue of section 40 (3) (a) (i). As this is an absolute exemption there is no statutory requirement to consider the 'Public Interest Test'. The council's decision is, therefore, to not provide the information you have requested.

As I have determined that disclosure of the information would be unfair to the third party, I have not considered whether any of the other Data Protection Principles would be breached by the disclosure of the information requested.

If your request relates to action taken in relation to yourself in any legal proceedings, then the Freedom of Information is probably not an appropriate means through which to pursue your concerns. You might do better to explore whether there are other more suitable channels through which to take up your concerns.

REQUEST FOR INTERNAL REVIEW – 15 DECEMBER 2015

NELC was sent the following

Dear PPD - FOI,

I am not asking for NELC to disclose personal information.

I would be asking for personal information if, for example, I asked for all letters (or contents) which the council were in receipt of that were in connection with the Administrative Court Office at Leeds with dates 20 and 25 November 2013.

As I have provided those letters myself for your reference it is inconceivable that the request is for personal information.

The objective of this request is simply to know where NELC sourced those letters, nothing more.

RESPONSE TO INTERNAL REVIEW – 23 DECEMBER 2015

NELC replied as follows

Further to your correspondence an Internal Review has taken place into North East Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information request NEL/0868/1516.

I have reviewed the handling of your request and I am satisfied that the Council has acted in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act in responding to your request.

The information you have requested relates to Court papers with regard to a living identifiable individual. Responding to your request would potentially allow the identity of that individual to be identified, I therefore uphold the application of the exemption to disclosure under section 40 (2) on the basis that disclosure would breach the first Data Protection principle.

CONTENTION

The request was for information held by NELC regarding where it had itself sourced information. The fact that NELC must have obtained the information from a publicly available source, i.e., a consumer help website, then it is inconceivable that an exemption could apply on the basis that disclosure would breach the first Data Protection principle.

NELC appears to have withheld the information in its own interest because disclosing it would have admitted to [***ng] in a Witness Statement submitted to the court. Exemptions should not be used as a means of sparing officials from being exposed for misconduct.

Yours sincerely

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

From: casework@ico.org.uk
To: 'neil'
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Subject: ICO response - your complaint against North East Lincolnshire Council[Ref. FS50657093]

14th December 2016

Case Reference Number FS50657093

Dear Mr Gilliatt

Your ref: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

INFORMATION REQUEST TO NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL

Thank you for your correspondence of 25/11/16 in which you make a complaint about the above public authority’s handling of your request for information.

Under section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Regulation 18 of the Environmental Information Regulations, anyone may complain to the Information Commissioner regarding a public authority’s response to their information request.

The Commissioner is under no duty to deal with a complaint if she considers that there has been undue delay in bringing it to her attention.

She expects complaints to be submitted to her within three months of a public authority’s refusal of, or failure to respond to, an information request.

From the information you have provided, it would appear that an unnecessary delay has occurred in this case. It has therefore been closed.

Although the Commissioner’s general policy is not to accept cases where there has been a delay of more than three months, we may do so if:

• The public authority did not inform you that you could bring your complaint to the Information Commissioner and you would not have otherwise known, or;

• There were circumstances beyond your control which prevented you from submitting your complaint sooner.

If you do wish us to consider your complaint, please write to us again explaining how one of the two conditions above applies. Please be aware, however, that even if either of these conditions do apply, the Commissioner may still exercise her discretion. Complaints are more likely to be declined where the delay is significant.

When contacting us, please be sure to quote the above reference number.

Should you need to discuss the matter I can be contacted on the number below.

Yours sincerely

Case Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office

Mark Ritchie left an annotation ()

That is complete rubbish as you deliberately ignore complaints that are made within the three month time frame. The ICO are there to protect the corrupt and look after the crooks.

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