Disclosure of Documents - sending copies of DCS documents to the other side

There can be serious consequences of not disclosing documents you should have disclosed. For example you may be barred from using, at trial, a document which is important to your case if you have not disclosed it by the deadline directed by the court/tribunal. If there is a dispute about exactly what you disclosed and when, you need to be able to check and prove what was disclosed. So every time you send the other side a list of documents (disclosure list) and/or copies of documents themselves, you should create a sub-folder naming it based on the date that you sent them  - e.g. 2019-11-28 My Disclosure - and store in it what you have sent to the other side on that occasion. I say "every time" because the rules of some courts and tribunals require a subset of key documents to be disclosed before the main Disclosure of Documents stage. For example, the person who starts the case (the Claimant or Applicant) may be required to disclose key documents when they start the case, and the rules may require the other party (Defendant or Respondent) to disclose a limited number of key documents when they make their initial response to the Claim/Application, and then at the main Disclosure of Documents stage, later on, it is usual for both parties to be directed to disclose a full list of disclosable documents.

At the main Disclosure of Documents stage, the total size, in MB, of all the files you have in the sub-folder on your computer will almost certainly be greater than you can send (or the other side can receive) as attachments to an email so instead of sending them to the other side by ordinary email it is necessary to send them by file transfer. But even if you are at an earlier stage sending a limited number of files to the other side which could be sent by email, you should still, rather than using email to send the documents, use a file transfer system which provides a permanent record of what was sent and when. For example FileMail Pro (not the free FileMail version) allows you to specify the "files will be available... forever" option when sending files to the other side's email address and if you use this option the Sent Files panel within File Mail Pro will contain a permanent record of what files you sent to which email address and when - complete with a clickable link to the copies of the files themselves stored within File Mail Pro, and a record of when the other side downloaded them. This is a very useful record to have in case there should later be any dispute about which files you provided and when.



Create the Disclosure List

1. If you are disclosing a subset of key documents (some time before the main Disclosure of Documents stage) make sure that all the documents to be disclosed at this stage are included in the My Documentary Evidence case and untick the "Included" box for all other documents in the case leaving only the subset of key documents ticked. If, on the other hand, you are at the main Disclosure of Documents stage make sure that all the documents to be disclosed are in the My Documentary Evidence DCS case, that that DCS case contains no other documents, and that the "Included" box for all documents is ticked as shown in the example below





2. As explained in the introduction (see above) you should create a sub-folder on your computer named with today's date - i.e. the date you are creating the disclosure list. Then go to the Sections page and tap the Change button and ensure that the Order by... Date option is selected. Then go to the Bundles page, tap the Download button and, on the Master Bundle page (as shown below) tick Document Indexes, untick the three boxes below that, then tap the Web button. 




The disclosure list, listing the name of each document, its date, and its Disclosure Identification/number (Index), will then be displayed in your browser.
You should save this as a PDF (by "printing" using a printer of "save as PDF") into the sub-folder you have created.




Sending the Disclosure List to the other side

3. You then need to formally send the list of documents to the other side. Particularly if you are at the main Disclosure of Documents stage the disclosure order made by (and/or the rules of) the particular court/tribunal might require you to attach some kind of disclosure statement or certificate to the list of documents and, if so, you should store a PDF copy of the signed disclosure statement/certificate in the sub-folder which already contains the list of documents PDF. 

In the steps below you will be creating sub-sub folders (within the subfolder) to contain copies of the documents themselves and then sending the entire contents of the sub-folder, the documents themselves and the document list, to the other side using FileMail Pro. But even though you are including the document list among the files sent in this way the rules of the particular court/tribunal might require you to formally "serve" the list of documents (together with any disclosure statement/certificate required) on the other side by a method of service permitted by the rules - e.g. post - and, if so, you should store a PDF copy of evidence of service (e.g. a certificate of posting) in the sub-folder as well. 


Sending copies of the documents themselves to the other side

4. Create a sub-sub folder (inside the subfolder) named PDF Copies ready for downloading PDF copies of all documents on the disclosure list you have just created. Go to the Sections page and tap the Change button and ensure the Order by... Number option is selected. Then go to the View Documents page and tap the PDF button for each document which has the "Included" box ticked (the PDF button is next to the "Included" box). When downloading you may be prompted to specify the folder to contain the downloads in which case you specify the PDF Copies sub-sub-folder. If you are not prompted and the PDFs are downloaded to a default folder on your computer, move them, once they have all downloaded, to the PDF Copies sub-sub-folder. Check that the PDF Copies sub-sub-folder contains all documents which appear on your disclosure list. The counsel of perfection is to tick them off one by one but you should at the very least (1) check that the total number of documents on the list and the total number of PDFs in the PDF Copies sub-sub-folder are the same, and (2) check that no document has been downloaded twice (if a document has been downloaded twice there will typically be two PDF's with identical filenames except that one will have a digit in brackets at the end of the filename).  

5. Because you selected the "Order by... Number" option, the filename of each PDF downloaded to your PDF Copies sub-sub-folder will start with the document number, followed by the document name, followed by the document date like this

0005 Letter Smith to Jones 2017-05-17

and you need to add a letter to the document number - C if you are the Claimant, D if you are the Defendant, etc - in each file name. For example if you are the Claimant you would change the above file name to

C0005 Letter Smith to Jones 2017-05-17

6. If any of the PDF files in the PDF Copies sub-sub-folder is a copy of a digital photo, create a Native Copies of Photos sub-sub-folder, and copy the digitial photo jpg file into it. Don't rename the jpg file: just leave it with its original name.   

7. If any PDF files in the PDF Copies sub-sub-folder is a video or audio "placeholder", move it to a temporary folder on your computer. Placeholders are used simply to ensure that video/audio files are included on the generated lists and the PDF placeholders themselves should not be sent to the other side as that might cause confusion. The corresponding mp3/mp4 etc. files themselves are to be sent to the other side and you should copy them to the Native Copies of Photos sub-sub-folder, renaming that sub-sub-folder to e.g. Native Copies of Photos and Videos as appropriate. Don't rename the mp3, mp4 etc. files: just leave them with their original names. 

8. Send the entire contents of the sub-folder to the other side using FileMail Pro. Make sure that you use FileMail Pro (not the free FileMail version) and select the "files will be available... forever" option so that you have (within the Sent Files panel in FileMail Pro) a permanent record of what files you sent to which email address and when - complete with a clickable link to the copies of the files themselves.


After you have sent the documents to the other side

9. If doing the above steps involved you in unticking the "Included" boxes for some documents in DCS - because you are disclosing a limited subset of documents before the main Disclosure of Documents stage - go back to the DCS screen now and tick all the "Included" boxes again ready for the main Disclosure of Documents Stage when the times comes for that. If, however, you are now at the main Disclosure of Document stage and have now disclosed all the documents in the My Documentary Evidence case, you should load the PDFs in the PDF Copies sub-sub folder into the main DCS case in a new section named Documentary Evidence. Don't upload to the main DCS case the disclosure list, disclosure statement/certificate or evidence of service but just the PDFs in the PDF Copies sub-sub folder (and any video/audio PDF placeholders which you moved to a temporary folder in step 7). When you are sure that the main DCS case contains all the documents which were in the My Documentary Evidence DCS case, the My Documentary Evidence DCS case can then be deleted.   

 
  

Disclaimer

The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

Any explanation about naming conventions or other matters in the context of tribunal or court procedure is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation. So please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.

This page was lasted updated in November 2019. Disclaimer