Can You Claim Compensation If A Court Breached Social Services Information?

If a court breached social services information, it could have several significant consequences for those affected, including on their emotional well being and finances. In some cases, you could be eligible to claim compensation. This guide explores the eligibility criteria for starting a claim following a breach of personal data.

We explain what responsibilities family courts have under data protection law. There are also some example scenarios explaining how a court’s failure to uphold data protection law can mean they’re liable for a data breach and the potential harm this could cause.

We have also provided information on calculating data breach compensation and how it aims to address the impact you have experienced on your emotional well being and your finances.

The final section of this guide explores the advantages of claiming with an experienced data breach solicitor under a type of No Win No Fee agreement. Generally, this means you won’t need to pay a solicitor’s fees for their work upfront or as the claim proceeds.

If data from your family law case was breached, our advisors can answer your questions regarding the legal process, and assess your agility to begin a claim for free at any time. Seek free advice today via:

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Can You Claim Compensation If Court Breached Social Services Information?

Select A Section

  1. Can You Claim Compensation If A Court Breached Social Services Information?
  2. How Could A Court Have Breached Social Services Information?
  3. How To Claim Compensation For A Court Data Breach
  4. Potential Data Breach Compensation
  5. Use A No Win No Fee Solicitor To Make A Data Breach Claim
  6. Read More About Claiming For A Court Data Breach

Can You Claim Compensation If A Court Breached Social Services Information?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s independent body for upholding data rights, define a personal data breach as an incident of security that impacts the confidentiality, availability or integrity of personal data. 

Data controllers: organisations that decide when, how and why your personal data will be processed. For the purposes of our guide, the data controllers are family courts. 

Data controllers and processors are the two parties that have obligations regarding the handling, processing and safe storage of personal data. These standards are established by the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). 

Controllers decide why and how your data is used and often process the data themselves. If they don’t process the data themselves, they can outsource the task to a processor. If they fail to uphold data protection law, data breaches in family law cases could occur.

To begin a claim for a personal data breach after a court breached social services information, the following criteria need to be met:

  1. The data controller failed to meet their obligations under the UK GDPR and DPA 2018.
  2. This failure led to a breach in which your personal data was affected.
  3. As a result of this breach of your personal data, you experienced monetary losses, psychological injury or both.

Time Limit To Start A Claim For A Data Breach

Data breach claims are generally subject to a limitation period of 6 years. However, if claiming against a public body, this is reduced to 1 year. 

Our team of advisors can provide further guidance on the relevant time limit to your particular circumstances. They can also assess your case and may connect you with an expert solicitor from our panel who could offer free legal advice and ensure you begin the legal process within that limitation period. 

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How Could A Court Have Breached Social Services Information?

Personal data is defined as information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify a living individual. This could include your name, contact information, your email address and debit or credit card information. 

Personal data that is more sensitive and therefore requires a higher level of protection is called special category data. This can include data concerning your health or data revealing racial or ethnic origin.

Family courts could handle different types of personal data in family law cases, including information from social services. Data breaches causing significant implications on a person’s psychological state could occur if this data is not protected as per the UK GDPR and DPA 2018.

Social services are local authority departments that can be involved in serious family law matters such as the rehoming of children. A court could have breached social services information in the following ways:

  • Court documents containing a child’s new address were sent to their abusive parent due to a failure to update court records through human error. The resulting breach of a child’s data led to the abusive parent coming back into the child’s life, causing significant psychological distress. 
  • A member of the court verbally disclosed confidential details of a child rehoming case in a court order breach to an abusive ex-partner of the child’s parent. Sensitive information concerning the child was therefore exposed. 

Our advisors can assess your eligibility to begin appropriate legal action in your particular circumstances free of charge. Seek legal advice today using the information given below.

How To Claim Compensation For A Court Data Breach

Now we have explained how a court could have breached social services information, this section looks at how you could prove the harm that was caused by the data breach. We have compiled a list of supporting evidence you could use to support your claim here:

  • Correspondence from the court involved in your family law case explaining that a data breach has taken place and that your personal data was affected by this.
  • An assessment of any psychological injuries, such as a report from a psychiatrist.
  • Proof of associated financial losses, such as wage slips from a parent who has needed to take time off work to look after their child and deal with the stress or other related issues.

Data controllers have an obligation to inform all data subjects who have had their rights and freedoms put at risk by the data breach. They must do so without undue delay.

There is also a requirement for the data controller to inform the ICO that a data breach has occurred if the breach meets the reporting threshold within 72 hours.

The ICO can then open an investigation into how the breach occurred and take appropriate action if necessary. You can use the findings from this investigation as part of your supporting evidence.

Contact our advisors today for a free assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim. If our team decides you have valid grounds to move forward, they could connect you with one of the specialist data breach solicitors from our panel to represent you.

Potential Data Breach Compensation

A breach of information from social services by the court could have several consequences on the affected person. Compensation for a successful claim following a data breach can be awarded for two different types of damage.

Material damage refers to the financial losses stemming from a personal data breach. Non-material damage is the associated psychological harm caused by a breach of your personal data.

When calculating a potential figure for non-material damage, reference can be made to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication details an array of different types of harm alongside guideline award brackets for each. A relevant selection of these brackets for psychological injuries have been used in the table below. The top entry in this table was not taken from the JCG.

Compensation Table

Please be advised that the amounts given in this table are intended as guidelines only since data breach compensation is calculated case-by-case.

Type of HarmSeverityGuideline AmountNotes
Very severe psychiatric harm plus significant material damageVery SevereUp to £300,000+Compensation for very severe psychological harm with a negative prognosis as well as a substantial financial losses, such as the cost of relocating, changing your identity, loss of income from time taken off work, or other related issues.
General Psychiatric DamageSevere (a)£54,830 to £115,730A very poor prognosis with severe impacts on the injured person's work and social life, personal relationships and future vulnerability.
Moderately Severe (b)£19,070 to £54,830A much more positive prognosis than in (a) but the injured person will still have significant problems across multiple aspects of their life.
Moderate (c)£5,860 to £19,070A good prognosis due to marked improvement across multiple areas of the person's life.
Less Severe (d)£1,540 to £5,860Awards will consider the length of the disability period as well as the impact on sleep and daily activity.
PTSD Severe (a)£59,860 to £100,670Permanent severe effects across all aspects of the injured person's life. As such, they will be unable to function at the same level as prior to the trauma.
Moderately Severe (b)£23,150 to £59,860Significant disability for the foreseeable future, despite a better prognosis that is achieved through receiving professional help.
Moderate (c)£8,180 to £23,150The injured person will not be experiencing gross disablement from any ongoing effects and will have largely recovered.
Less Severe (d)£3,950 to £8,180Virtual recovery within two years and only minor persisting symptoms.

Material Damage Caused After A Court Breached Social Services Information

Compensation for material damage caused after a court breached social services data could include reimbursement for:

  • Lost earnings from time taken off to recover from psychological harm or to look after your child.
  • The cost of having to relocate.

Make sure you hold onto copies of your payslips or bank statements as proof of any financial losses.

Contact our advisors today to get a more detailed estimate of the data breach compensation you could be entitled to via the details given below.

Use A No Win No Fee Solicitor To Make A Data Breach Claim

Before beginning a claim for a personal data breach, seek legal advice from our dedicated advisory team. If our team decide you have a valid claim, a solicitor from our panel could offer to take your case under a No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

You will experience notable benefits with a CFA, including not paying an upfront fee, in most cases, for the solicitor to start working on your claim. You will also not pay a solicitor’s fees for their work during the claims process. In the event the solicitor loses your case, you will not have to pay for their services.

If the solicitor wins your claim, you will receive data breach compensation. A legally capped percentage of that compensation will be taken by the solicitor as their success fee. The cap on success fees means you are guaranteed the majority of your compensation award.

If you have suffered material or non-material damage after a court breached social services information, you could be eligible to begin a claim for a data breach. Speak to our advisors for a free assessment of your eligibility to start a claim via:

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Read More About Claiming For A Court Data Breach

View some of our other guides on making data breach claims here:

You can also get further information from these external resources:

Thank you for reading our guide to beginning a claim after a court breached social services information. Seek legal advice from our advisory team, or get a free assessment of your eligibility to seek data breach compensation 24/7 using the contact information given above.