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Paragraphs 26-29 of Complaint escalated to HMCTS
(19 March 2017)
Freedom of Information

26. The second paragraph in Mr Hopgood's response in this matter addresses specifically the Case
Stated document and agrees that it should have been sent by registered post in accordance
with the MCR. The Freedom of Information request made to the MOJ was referred to which
determined that records for 2013 were no longer available and could not confirm whether or
not the Case Stated had been sent by registered post. The MOJ confirmed that the request to
send it by recorded delivery would have been made by the MOJ as it is their practice, in
accordance with the rules to send the "case stated" paper work out by recorded delivery.

27. It may also be relevant to consider another Freedom of Information request and why it had
been labelled vexatious and refused to be complied with on those grounds. The Judicial
Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman. 2015-16 Annual Report included a sample of
complaints, one of which concerned a case escalated to the Ombudsman that was initially
dealt with by an unnamed Magistrates' Advisory Committee (Case Study five, Page 30 of the
Report). The extract provided enough information to determine that it was not my complaint,
though in similar circumstances to mine, the complainant had not received the Advisory
Committee's letter dismissing the complaint.

28. The Justices' Clerk is also the Secretary to the Humber Advisory Committee so it seemed
worth exploring whether the Advisory Committee referred to in Case Study five was in fact
the Humber Advisory Committee. A Freedom of Information request was therefore submitted
asking which Advisory Committee was referred to in the case study plus any other instances
where the complainant stated similarly that they had not received correspondence from the
Advisory Committee. However, the Ombudsman refused to disclose the information
maintaining his decision that the request was vexatious after carrying out an Internal Review.
Obviously the request was not vexatious and it would be very worth while finding out the
answer. Although no Decision Notice has been issued the matter is with the Information
Commissioner and allocated a reference number which is FS50668580.

29. Likewise, another request has been considered to be vexatious which simply asked for the
identity of the Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Committee who in one of the undelivered
letters (dated 16 September 2014) is said to have dealt with the complaint. The copy, along
with two others relating to the matter had not been seen until 23 May 2016.