Her Majestys Courts Service (Decision Notice): ICO 25 Mar 2009

ICO The complainant was the subject of a civil proceedings order issued under section 42 of the Supreme Court Act 1981. The complainant asked the public authority for a letter about him which was sent by the judges to the Attorney General’s Office after his court case that initiated this order. The public authority did not initially issue a valid refusal notice and did not address his request correctly. The complainant therefore contacted the Commissioner at this point to complain about the public authority’s failure to provide an adequate response. Following the Commissioner’s intervention the public authority informed the complainant that it did not need to confirm or deny that the information was held and that it was exempt from disclosure under section 32(1)(c) of the Act (Court Records). The complainant contacted the Commissioner again to complain about one specific element of his request. The Commissioner has concluded that if this information was held it would be the personal information of the complainant and therefore exempt under section 40(1) of the Act (Personal Data). The public authority was therefore not obliged to confirm or deny whether it held the requested information by virtue of section 40(5)(a) of the Act. The Commissioner considers that the public authority should have treated the request as a subject access request under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The Commissioner has also decided that the public authority breached section 17(1)(a), 17(1)(b), 17(1)(c) and 17(7) of the Act in relation to the manner in which it initially handled both his requests.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 17 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 40 – Complaint Not upheld


[2009] UKICO FS50155868




England and Wales


Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.531978