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MatthewM1117
MatthewM1117,
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I have started litigation against an organisation for a case

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Hello. I have started litigation against an organisation for a case of discrimination and put in a subject access request about all data about me regarding the complaint I made which is now completed (the complaint handler report, emails, memos etc) but the organisation is declining to give me the information, saying that they have instructed defence lawyers so they don't have to.Is this correct? Also, if they had instructed lawyers AFTER I put in my request, does that make a difference, since my request went in before that happened?Is there any way for me to receive these documents about me before official court proceedings? Thank you

Good afternoon, thank you for contacting Just Answer my name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. When was the SAR sent in?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
It was sent in 2nd September to a dedicated email address, which was the advice from the organisations legal team of how to send it in. They didn't respond via email but yesterday phoned to say they didn't have to comply as their defence lawyers were now in possession of all the documents

That is not correct, they still have to comply with the SAR however they do have 1 month to comply with the request (they can ask for an extension if the request is complicated or there is a significant amount of work involved).  If this is not the case you should receive a response by the 2nd October.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Ok, what happened what the organisations legal team told us we had to ask their defence lawyer for anything like that which he of course refused, citing how he wouldn't reveal anything to me that was beneficial to the defendants case. Should we follow up the request in writing. Are you saying they can't use ongoing litigation as a reason to not comply or to hide documents about me from me?

I understand, they cannot use litigation as a reason for refusing to comply with the SAR, in practice SARs are often used as part of the litigation process.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
That's what I thought. I've been advised by the ICO to request written confirmation they will not comply with my request (as they denied it by telephone originally) and then refer the matter to them, which is what I will do unless you have any other suggestions.

Yes what the ICO have informed you is correct, there is no other options I could advise you off as if the SAR is not complied with it is the ICO whom will take action.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you for your time, I appreciate you input

Glad to be off assistance, we wish you all the best going forwards.

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