Advice Resolutions Disability Support Service
SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH CASE
Mr R required an assessment for social health and care under the Care Act 2014. A social care and health local authority made several procedural errors in assessing his needs for a direct payment in the use of a health personal budget and/or a social care personal budget, and on receipt of which he could choose his own care. The local authority had erroneously interpreted the legislation related to the case, and subsequently altered their decision in favour of Mr R. Mr R was then entitled to a health support plan and/or a social care support plan, and choice of his own support workers. Mr R could finally be reassured he could get the help needed to improve the quality of his life and maintain his well-being. ‘ Positive about individuality ‘
ADVICE RESOLUTIONS LEGAL SERVICES AND LAW CONSULTANCY
Specialist youth housing support – specialist casework assistance
Ms V as a youth client faced being re-housed in inappropriate housing a long distance from the area in which she had established a local connection and support. Or worse still, homeless. Our services was requested. Advice Resolutions attended meetings with the local authority and Ms V to secure that a reasonable offer of temporary accommodation was made. We assisted with the enlisting of a legal practitioner with expertise in this area with the view to file an injunction at the county court if Ms V’s rights and needs were not met. The local authority conceded that the offer made for re-housing out of area was unsuitable and worked with the local supported housing association to provide a secure and suitable re-housing environment for Ms V. Ms V settled in well into her new home in the knowledge that key supportive help would be given to her throughout the new tenancy. This is a success story which we are ultimately proud of as many youth are helped too late in difficult re-housing circumstances. Ms V can now look forward to many more life chances to participate fully in society to re-build her life.
Miss G brought legal action against her landlord for failing to maintain repairs at the property. The property had very serious damp penetration. The local council served a compulsory improvement notice for repairs to be carried out. This case is notably a ground-breaking case for Advice Resolutions due to the initial reluctance of the council in bringing the action which was held to put several of the building’s occupants at a risk of harm to life and limb from a fire incident. Advice Resolutions led the local authority to substantial health and safety hazards by the landlord in the management and ownership of the multi-tenement block. Not only did the complainant tenant benefit from the improvements to the dwelling building, but so did the other tenants with the reassurance they were no longer living in a fire trap.
Local Authority tenant – rent arrears write-off
Mr R had made a claim for housing benefit but unfortunately did not keep a receipt as proof of sending the claim. A number of weeks had passed and the local authority had failed to advise the tenant that the housing benefit claim form had not been received, the rent arrears then mounting up. A number of court hearings were held, which resulted in the same number of adjournments.
The client instructed Advice Resolutions to mediate on their behalf. The client on low income for a number of years, and the arrears standing at over 6 years old, meant that Advice Resolutions could obtain the rent arrears policy, rent arrears write-off policy and the authorisation level of officers able to approve and ratify the write-off.
On receipt of a complaint from Advice Resolutions, the local authority failed to respond within a reasonable time nearly resulting in a complaint to the local authority Ombudsman. As the local authority were aware of the strong grounds permitting a rent arrears write-off from a deluge of evidence and legal arguments made, they wrote off the rent arrears in excess of £600.00.
The tenant was highly satisfied with the outcome and reduced the stress factor in this case.
Miss N had endured anti-social behaviour from a noisy neighbour over a lengthy period of time. Advice Resolutions was instructed to contact the Police to serve a legal notice after the initial reluctance of the Police caused Miss N a period of additional distress.
However, Advice Resolutions was able to establish a number of failings in the Police handling of the case, which they then agreed to investigate. Finally, the police agreed to serve an police information notice warning to the perpetrator. Without our involvement, Miss N could not have continued to have the peaceful enjoyment of her home.
Our client, Mr A was accused of assault by another. Two Police constables attended on the scene and advised that there was no corroboration of the alleged assault. However, contrary to law, a verbal warning was given to our client, illegally. From our established research, and found to be contrary to primary legislation and the Police guidance procedures given the authority of primary legislation, the verbal warning was given. On behalf of our client, Advice Resolutions sought to make a complaint to both the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner and the Police Standards departments. After the senior officer of Police investigated, the Police conceded that when there is no corroboration in Scottish law when an allegation of assault is made, then they can take no further action and the law is very strict in that regard.
The Police constables called to the incident were both given corrective advice, and this action would not have been taken if both Police Constables had not acted with misfeasance in public office. No explanation, justification nor excuse was offered. Prima facie, we proffered that this case was also a claim for discrimination based on race, one of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010. There was no adequate explanation given by the Police constables for not following the enshrined legislation they ought reasonably to have known existed and were not exempt from.
If you have a complaint against the Police please contact Advice Resolutions, as we will research Police protocol, legislation and guidance to assist you in your case. We cannot represent you in criminal cases, but can work alongside your chosen solicitor, barrister and/or undertake research.
SCHOOL TRANSFER CASE
Miss G’s daughter wanted to transfer to an alternative secondary school. The secondary school at the time refused to accept the right to the transfer. Advice Resolutions mediated between the school year head and parent in a formal meeting. The school later agreed to the transfer without conditions. Miss G’s daughter could finally resume her studies without interruption, and
Miss G could concentrate on helping her daughter to pass her GCSEs
Case A – Police breach Data Protection Act 1998
Our client approached Advice Resolutions to obtain their subject access file/information held by the Metropolitan Police. The Police, at the time of the Data Protection Act 1998 had 40 calendar days to produce and deliver up the subject access data. The Police were late in producing the subject access data, resulting in the complaint to the Information Commissioners officer. The met Police claimed that they complied with the law when they returned the subject access documents within 41 calendar days. The Police were failing to apply the law by missapplying the law. They claimed that when they received the request for subject access, time does not begin to run until the day after they receive the request.
Advice Resolutions researched the data protection draft guidance and the actual final completed data protection guidance. Neither of which tended to show that the time to produce the subject access data did not start to run until a day after the request was received. Surprisingly, the Information Commissioner had not checked their own procedural guidance and the Data Protection Act 1998 against Advice Resolutions proferred evidence. Finally, on production of the wording of the data protection guidance document and the particular section of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Police and the Information Commissioner acceded to our legal point that when a subject access request is given the time begins to run the same day of receipt with no additional days given.
The met Police offered no justification, explanation, nor adequate explanation for their claim about the period from which to count the statutory period for providing subject access data. Again, we suggest that this was a case of misfeasance in public office where the Police ought to have ensured staff were held out to be professional, skilled and exercise a duty of care, by reason that they were not exempt from the Data Protection Act 1998. In addition, the Police have a department responsible for data protection who are able to advise them accordingly before responses are given.
Case B – Inner London Local Authority fails to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998
Mr M asked to see all his personal files (subject access data) under the Data Protection Act 1998 held with the local authority. Originally, the local authority refused to comply with his request, and was found in violation of the Data Protection Act 1998 by the Information Commissioner. Advice Resolutions made a further request to release the subject access data which, again, was late in provision. For the second time, the housing organisation was found in violation of the Data Protection Act 1998 by an excessive number of days. Mr M did eventually receive his subject access papers, albeit an inordinate number of months late. If a client has inaccurate records held against them, this could adversely influence employment decisions and financial decisions about them.
We therefore ask that clients, in the first instance, seek our intervention as early on as possible, as we can help avoid and overturn negative decisions caused in the processing of data that could cost a client their future employment or the approval of financial support when they have adverse credit records held against them on their credit files. You can approach the main credit file companies; Equifax, Experian and Call Credit.
Case C – Creditors overcharging a client for a sum paid up several months ago, in breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations 2018
Through Advice Resolutions, Mr C made a request in writing to see his subject access / personal information file held by a consumer credit company. The reason being that they claimed he was indebted to them by way of a sum, whereas that sum had been cleared several months ago and failed to provide his subject access data within the statutory time-scale of 28 days. They refused him access to more than one A4 page document, unlawfully. Mr C was not satisfied with the response given and proceeded to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner through Advice Resolutions. It was not possible for there only to be 1 page of subject access data, as Mr C’s consumer credit file was passed to the then new creditors from the original creditor who must have provided a file with a variety of information.
An official request for assessment was made to the Information Commissioner which led to an adjudication against the consumer credit company. Firstly they were given a notice to provide all subject access data held and a legal decision was made advising of their clear breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations 2018. The final good piece of news for Mr C was that the remaining sum claimed erroneously to be owed was rremoved from the balance, and shown as a clear account.
Case D – Inner City London Local Authority provides tenant with subject access data papers after 2 months, unlawfully and in breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations 2018
Through Advice Resolutions, Miss L made a request in writing to see her subject access data files/personal papers held with the local authority. Throughout, the complaints department of the local authority repeatedly sent our client’s file back to the relevant department time and time again. The request yielded a response over 2 months late, and in breach of the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 and the Data Protection Act 2018. It was proven the local authority failed to provide the subject access data papers within the statutory 28 days where the Information Commissioners office filed a notice against them and adjudicated they were in breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations 2018.
Local authorities are public bodies under the Human Rights Act 1998, s6 and must act so as to be compatible with the individual’s Convention rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8 (1) and the Human Rights Act 1998, s3. The former being to respect private, family life, home and correspondence, and the latter being to comply with primary and subordinate legislation so as to read and give these the effect of compliance with Convention rights.
Contact Advice Resolutions – “Don’t let the wrong data ruin your future”
If you experience any refusals and/or delays in receiving your subject access data /personal documents held about you under the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 and/or the Data Protection Act 2018. You could be denied services and provisions unbeknown to you, resulting in a lost of financial income/erroneous financial information used to make illegal financial demands, welfare reduction rights, education attainment results not being assessed accurately, recruitment and selection practices denying employment unlawfully, or housing rights not being applied due to missapplication of housing policies, procedures and legislation ( not exclusively).
Mr J had a dispute with his employer and believed he received less favourable treatment. Based on the facts, the case did not show a higher than usual chance of success. We were, however, able to help Mr J reach a settlement with the employer prior to the tribunal proceedings to reduce his risk of costs should he have lost his intended tribunal case. Not only did Mr J receive a financial settlement but he also received a reference. Mr J had been facing huge case costs if Advice Resolutions had not intervened.
HOUSING ALLOCATIONS CASE
Mr D sought to apply for social housing, and had been told by the local authority that supporting medical information provided could not be relied upon to advance his case. Instructed by Mr D, Advice Resolutions asked for evidence proving specific supporting medical information could not be relied upon. In doing so, we asked for evidence of the local authority’s claims in the use of the freedom of information publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Once the freedom of information evidence was carefully scrutinised, no evidence showed supporting medical information could not be used.
The local authority accepted they had been misguided in wrongly applying their allocations policy. Mr D then went on to access many more re-housing services he was not originally entitled to.
SPEEDING CAMERA CASE
Our client Miss O, was helped by Advice Resolutions in unveiling a profound number of illegalities by the Metropolitan Police in a motoring speeding case. The evidence used by the police was proved to be unreliable, could not be corroborated and failed to meet the requirement of certainty in a criminal case. We were able to research the Gatsometer roadside camera functions, the relevant regulations in the use of the Gatsometer camera and the substantive legislation applicable to the alleged offence.
Firstly, our appointed expert witness assessed that the road markings measuring the movement of the car during the alleged speeding offence was not reliable, the camera received reflective glare from railings whilst it trained its beams on the car to measure the speed of the vehicle, and the distance of the road markings measuring the speed of the car were painted erroneously. The application of an unrelated legislation Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, used by the Met Police to convict and with the intention to confiscate most irregularly and illegally, could not be used in a GATSO speeding camera case to substitute the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. As such, very early on we recognised the Police misfeasance in public office.
Our client sought judicial review proceedings, and the High Court judge was unable to find there had been an offence on which our client could be found culpable for. This was demonstrated in the Judge not being able to adjudicate the two crucial elements of the alleged offence, namely, the notice of intended prosecution served in 14 days and by 1st class post.
It was at least arguable the metropolitan Police were in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 7.
On our behalf, we pursued the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for a full investigation to be launched into the erroneous legal failings, who responded they were unable to explain how the miscarriages of justice arose, why the due process, and rule of law were not adhered to. Eventually, our client did not pay any fines as the Crown had not proved their case to the requirement of certainty.
The original decision to find our client guilty had been quashed through the High Court judicial review process.
Our success in investigative research for judicial review has been held up to be the most exceptional of its kind.
If you are served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution for an alleged speeding offence, you can contact Advice Resolutions who will be able to direct you to securing the most beneficial and appropriate legal advice without delay.
WELFARE BENEFITS CASE
Mr M was told that he could not claim housing benefit because he had no proof of income. We proved that the application of this unfounded legal application could not be supported by the local authority. We promptly wrote to the local authority citing the relevant legislation we felt was precisely relevant to Mr M’s case. The local authority were tested on their relevant knowledge of welfare benefits legislation, and could not support their original decision with the finding that saw our client lose out on thousands of pounds of benefits.
Eventually, the local authority overturned their original decision and over £6,000 was paid to the tenant’s landlord.
Advice Resolutions launched the court monitor in 2015. We are asking the county courts and crown courts to complete a form in which we monitor the process and outcomes of judicial proceedings in the use of anonymous data. We hope that information will give us a clearer understanding of disproportionate outcomes in judicial decisions for any one particular group that is neither justified, excusable, nor legal. The monitoring is an ongoing project.