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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I have filed an application in the County Court to force Warwickshire

Customer Question

I have filed an application in the County Court to force Warwickshire Council to comply with the ruling of the Information Commissioner, that they cannot refuse to provide me with a copy of a statement made by the driver of a bus who deliberately drove into my car. All requests have been correctly made, but the court have now ordered that I must "file and serve (on the other party) a statement setting out the legal basis upon which claims that the County Court has jurisdiction to make the order he seeks."

Can you provide the legal basis on which I can have the court hear this matter please?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Warwickshire Council have stated in their defence that the County Court does not have jurisdiction to grant the order I am re

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry, I clicked the wrong button.


Warwickshire Council have, in their defence statement, claimed that the County court does not have jurisdiction to grant the order I have requested. The court has asked that I submit a statement setting out the basis in law on which I believe the court does have jurisdiction.


The background to this is in Nov 2011 a school bus driven by ALine Coaches deliberately drove into my car. The police investigated as the driver drove away from the scene however, as he claimed to have not realised he'd hit me, they did not prosecute. I made a SAR to Warwickshire Council who refused to provide the statement of the driver to me. It is my understanding that the driver acknowledges he hit me in this statement. When Warwickshire Council refused to supply the statement I requested that the information Commissioner investigate. Their conclusion was that Warwickshire Council should supply the statement under the DPA in response to my SAR. The Council requested a review from the ICO which also found that they should supply the statement to me. Warwickshire Council still refused to do so and so I served them with an application to force them to comply with the law.


Now the court is asking me to supply the legal basis for forcing them to comply with the law.

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

It is not for you to enforce the ICO ruling but for the ICO.

Is this some kind of vendetta where he deliberately drove into your car. They are pretty strong words.

Are you suing the driver? I need the background as to what you are trying to achieve and what this statement will do.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The ico won't take further action unless there are repeated breaches by an organisation. My understanding is that I have the legal right to expect an organisation to provide me with all the relevant information when I make a SAR. They have not, claiming that it is subject to contractual non-disclosure agreements between them and the bus company. The ICO have confirmed that this is not the case and so Warwickshire Council are in breach of the DPA. I have made the SAR and so Warwickshire must comply with it in full.


As for the driver, he pulled out to pass cars parked in his side of the road. He didn't have the room to pass the cars and pull back into his side, and could not reverse, we were at an impasse. Rather than reverse, which he had plenty of room to do, he forced his way through pushing my car put of the way with the side of his bus. As he pulled our of the junction he stopped the bus to inspect the damage. His insurance company accepted liability (I was stationery at the time) and so the damage has been repaired. However, this was a deliberate act which the bus driver undertook with full knowledge of his actions.


When Warwickshire Council finally hand over the statement it is my intention to return to the police and have him prosecuted for both dangerous driving and also perjury as he told the police that he did not know he had hit me, even though he got out to inspect the damage he had caused to the bus.


The statement, will allow the court to rule that Warwickshire Council must supply me with a copy of the statement as is my right under the DPA.


Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

This wasn't a deliberate act, it was
negligent. If it was deliberate it would be malicious which clearly it wasn't.

Be careful with the terminology in court.

I don't think that you have locus/standing to
bring this action in county court. I think that a complaint to the Local
Government Ombudsman would bear more fruit and is free. Alternatively an application
for judicial review (expensive) would make them review the decision not to let
you have the statement but not necessarily change it. The decision may be the

The insurance company has admitted liability
and presumably paid out.

I therefore don't know what you are wanting
to happen even if you get this statement. You appear to be wanting to make a

I am certain that the statement isnt going to
say anything to help you.

In addition as the matter accident is settled
you have no cause of action for pre-action disclosure.

Be careful you do not get a ruling as a
vexatious litigant.

I appreciate that this isnt what you want to
hear but there is no point in me misleading you

Can I help further?

The next part is really important for me:

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The thread remains open. Thanks

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

So what is my recourse in law when an organisation refuses to supply documents that the law says they must supply? Surely the court can, and must, enforce the law. The statement contains my personal details and the DPA states that they must supply this personal information in full except in specific circumstances. In this case, they do not meet the conditions to refuse.

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

The problem is that the law does not say they have to supply them, the Information Commissioner does.

There is a very subtle but distinct difference.

It is for the Information Commissioner to enforce their instruction, not to you.

I am afraid that you have no standing in this matter, although the complaint may work and the application for judicial review may work.

Neither are guaranteed and if the application for judicial review fails you could be spending £10,000 in court costs .

I accept that there may be personal details in the statement but to be frank ( I am going to be brutally honest) . I am very surprised that the information Commissioner has told them to release the information to you . The IC is simply taking the line of least resistance.

I also don't know why you want it because you have no cause of action.

I appreciate that this is not the answer you wanted , but there is no point in me misleading you.

I think I think it might be possible to get the information, but not without risking several thousand pounds in legal costs .

It depends if you have that much money to risk.