Closing Files continued
Strip the File
In general, original documents should be returned to the client (with a copy, as appropriate, made for the file). These documents should be accompanied with a letter to the client indicating that the file is being closed, clearly setting out what the enclosed documents are and any statutory obligations the client has to retain them, and advising the client as to when the balance of the file will be destroyed.
See Appendix A: Suggested Minimum Retention and Disposition Schedule for guidance on determining file destruction dates.
Consider stripping out those documents that can be obtained from public offices (e.g., the court, the LTO) but also consider the public offices’ own retention periods and the cost and timeline associated with obtaining replacements if necessary.
Appendix B: File Stripping Example provides an example of one possible acceptable file stripping method, but remember that details of any particular case may make this example inappropriate. Further discussion of ownership of file contents is found in the Withdrawal of Services module.