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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50148575
  • Date: 11 December 2008
  • Public Authority: Hastings Borough Council
  • Summary: The complainant requested the Council provide a list of civil cases where the Council is either the claimant or respondent/defendant in a claim lodged at the county court. Specifically, the complainant requested the Council release the case number supplied by court, the court in which the claim has been lodged, the identity of the other party if not an individual and a brief description of the claim for each case. The Council responded to the request refusing to disclose the requested information, as it considered it was exempt from disclosure under section 32(1)(b) of the Act. The Commissioner has reviewed the requested information. In respect of part 3 of the request it became clear during the Commissioner’s investigation that this information was not held by the Council. In failing to inform the complainant that this information was not held the Council breached section 1(1)(a) of the Act. The Commissioner also concluded that in failing to specify which subsection(s) under section 32(1) it was seeking to reply on the Council breached its obligations under section 17(1)(b) of the Act. In respect of parts 2 and 3 of the request the Commissioner concluded that sections 32(1)(a) and (b) applied. However in respect of part 4 of the request the Commissioner concluded that section 32(1)(b) of the Act does not apply, and as such that the Council breached section 1(1)(b) of the Act by withholding this information from the complainant. The Commissioner has therefore ordered the Council to release the information set out at part 4 of the request.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]