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Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

41Disclosure of information for enforcing fines

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)Part 3 of Schedule 5 to the Courts Act 2003 (c. 39) (attachment of earnings orders and applications for benefit deductions) is amended as follows.

(2)After paragraph 9 insert—

Disclosure of information in connection with application for benefit deductions

9A(1)The designated officer for a magistrates' court may make an information request to the Secretary of State for the purpose of facilitating the making of a decision by the court as to whether it is practicable or appropriate to make an application for benefit deductions in respect of P.

(2)An information request is a request for the disclosure of some or all of the following information—

(a)P’s full name;

(b)P’s address (or any of P’s addresses);

(c)P’s date of birth;

(d)P’s national insurance number;

(e)P’s benefit status.

(3)On receiving an information request, the Secretary of State may disclose the information requested to—

(a)the officer who made the request, or

(b)a justices' clerk specified in the request.

Restrictions on disclosure

9B(1)A person to whom information is disclosed under paragraph 9A(3), or this sub-paragraph, may disclose the information to any person to whom its disclosure is necessary or expedient in connection with facilitating the making of a decision by the court as to whether it is practicable or appropriate to make an application for benefit deductions in respect of P.

(2)A person to whom such information is disclosed commits an offence if the person—

(a)discloses or uses the information, and

(b)the disclosure is not authorised by sub-paragraph (1) or (as the case may be) the use is not for the purpose of facilitating the making of such a decision as is mentioned in that sub-paragraph.

(3)But it is not an offence under sub-paragraph (2)—

(a)to disclose any information in accordance with any enactment or order of a court or for the purposes of any proceedings before a court; or

(b)to disclose any information which has previously been lawfully disclosed to the public.

(4)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under sub-paragraph (2) to prove that the person reasonably believed that the disclosure or use was lawful.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under sub-paragraph (2) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

Paragraphs 9A and 9B: supplementary

9C(1)This paragraph applies for the purposes of paragraphs 9A and 9B.

(2)“Benefit status”, in relation to P, means whether or not P is in receipt of any prescribed benefit or benefits and, if so (in the case of each benefit)—

(a)which benefit it is,

(b)where it is already subject to deductions under any enactment, the nature of the deductions concerned, and

(c)the amount received by P by way of the benefit, after allowing for any such deductions.

(3)“Information” means information held in any form.

(4)“Prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Lord Chancellor.

(5)Nothing in paragraph 9A or 9B authorises the making of a disclosure which contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998.

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