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Dispute Procedures

Last updated on December 6, 2023

1. Introduction

This Local Contexts Dispute Procedures document (the “Procedures”) describes how to verify and correct data in the Local Contexts Hub which you believe to be inaccurate and which you are not able to fix yourself through Local Contexts account management tools. These Procedures are part of the Local Contexts Terms and Conditions of Use and are incorporated therein. All capitalized terms used in this document are defined in Section 2 or in the Terms and Conditions of Use. By using the Local Contexts Website and/or Hub (whether by searching, depositing and/or permitting the deposit of data on or through the Hub), you agree to resolve all disputes regarding the accuracy of data in the Hub as set forth in these Procedures.

Local Contexts offers tools for storing and managing data in the Local Contexts Hub. Local Contexts does not edit or curate data; that is the responsibility of Subscribers and Members. While Local Contexts does not control the data in the Local Contexts Hub or Hub accounts, it is committed to supporting a transparent and accurate data environment. To that end, Local Contexts maintains a log of when and by whom data in the Hub are added, edited, or deleted. Account Administrators have the right to see this log as it pertains to their account. Please contact the Local Contexts Help Desk at https://localcontexts.org/support/ if you have questions about data in your own Local Contexts account and would like to see the log pertaining to your Local Contexts account. If you have concerns about the data in another Local Contexts account or the intent of a person associated with an Local Contexts account, please contact that person directly. If you are not able to work out your concerns through direct contact with the person, Local Contexts has developed these Procedures as an orderly mechanism to resolve questions about data accuracy.

2. Definitions

Claimant: An individual submitting a Local Contexts Data Report. Under these Procedures, a Claimant need not be a Member or Subscriber.
Counter Report: A signed statement delivered to Local Contexts by a User responding to Claimant’s assertion that data in a Local Contexts Record is inaccurate.
Good Faith: Belief to the best of the person’s knowledge after due diligence that the information submitted is true and correct.
Record: Any Hub Data that is accessible to Users. A Record may be a Label, Notice, Project, Account, or any other Hub Data.
Record Holder: The Local Contexts User(s), if any, with whom a Record is associated.
Record Report: An email from a User to the Local Contexts Help Desk indicating that the User believes in Good Faith that data in a Record is inaccurate. Reports need to include the Claimant’s name and contact information, the Record Holder and URL for the disputed Record, and a description of the inaccuracy.
User: An individual, Member, or Subscriber using the Local Contexts Hub. 

3. Initial Complaint

Through Local Contexts’s Member and Subscriber Agreements, Users agree that to the best of their knowledge, data they deposit in the Local Contexts Hub is true and correct at the time of deposit. In addition, Users agree to correct and/or make known to Local Contexts any data they later discover to be incorrect. If a User believes in good faith that data in a Record is not accurate and cannot fix it themself through the Local Contexts account management tools or contacting the Record Holder directly, the User may report the inaccuracy using an Local Contexts Data Report. The Local Contexts Data Report must be submitted in Good Faith, indicating in precise terms the nature of the dispute and the evidence supporting the claim. The Local Contexts Help Desk will work with the Claimant, the Record Holder (if different from the Claimant), Members, and third parties as appropriate to help identify the source of the inaccuracy and will provide the Claimant with an email response of its finding.

In most cases, Local Contexts expects these inaccuracies to be unintentional errors that are possible to resolve in a collaborative manner. Those Data Reports that cannot be resolved by the Help Desk will be escalated to the Local Contexts Ombudsperson for dispute resolution, as described in Section 4.

4. Escalation

If the issues in the Data Report cannot be resolved by the Help Desk, the Claimant may request that the Local Contexts Data Report be escalated to the Local Contexts Ombudsperson. The Help Desk may also decide at any time to escalate the Data Report to the Local Contexts Ombudsperson. Any escalation request form must be submitted in Good Faith. Escalation may occur where the Help Desk is unable to determine the appropriate resolution to a Data Report or the Claimant and Record Holder dispute the proposed resolution. 

5. Procedures for Escalated Complaints

Upon receipt of an escalation request, the Local Contexts Ombudsperson will apply the following procedures, which reflect no opinion or determination on the part of Local Contexts concerning the dispute.

  1. The Local Contexts Ombudsperson will forward the Claimant’s evidence submitted under Section 4 of these Procedures to the relevant Record Holder or other User(s) via email.
  2. The Record Holder or other User(s) will have 30 days from the date of the Ombudsperson’s notice to submit a Good Faith Counter Report, with satisfactory evidence of any relevant facts, including:
    1. the User’s correction of the data in question, to reflect the correction suggested by the Claimant or an alternate correction proposed by the User;
    2. the User’s declaration and evidence that the data in question are correct as listed; and/or
    3. evidence of Bad Faith on the part of the Claimant, or alternatively evidence suggesting genuine confusion as to the truthfulness or validity of a Record.
  3. If Local Contexts receives the satisfactory evidence described in Section 5(b)(ii) supporting the factual accuracy of the data in the Record from the User within 30 days of the Local Contexts Ombudsperson’s email, Local Contexts will take no further action on the Claimant’s request. In the case that the Record Holder provides an alternate correction under Section 5(b)(i) or raises a genuine question about a Record under Section 5(b)(iii), the Ombudsperson will provide such information to Claimant via email and Claimant will have 30 days to respond. If the dispute cannot be resolved within that additional 30 day period, the Ombudsperson may elect to extend the dispute period for internal resolution by Claimant and User if progress is being made, or declare that the matter cannot be resolved internally.
  4. Where the User fails to respond within 30 days of the Local Contexts Ombudsperson’s email by taking one of the actions in Section 5(b) above, Local Contexts will disable the disputed Record. Disabled Records will be flagged in the Hub as subject to dispute. The User’s failure to respond accordingly will be deemed to be a breach of the User’s obligation to provide correct and updated particulars under the Terms and Conditions of Use.
  5. Local Contexts will reinstate the suspended record status:
    1. if Local Contexts receives satisfactory evidence from the parties of the resolution of the dispute, or
    2. the Claimant requests that the Record not be disabled.

6. Mediation

Local Contexts will notify the Claimant and Record Holder by email as to its disposition of a claim. If a Claimant is not satisfied with the disposition, the Claimant may resubmit a new Local Contexts Data Report with additional information or seek to mediate the claim with the Record Holder as set forth in this Section 6. A User involved in a dispute shall remain at all times subject to Local Contexts’s Terms and Conditions of Use and any other applicable agreements.

If Claimant’s concerns cannot be resolved through Local Contexts’s internal process, Claimant may contact the New York office of the American Arbitration Association to mediate the dispute with the User. Such mediation will be conducted by telephone and email, and if it must be done in person, it will be conducted in New York, NY, if an alternate location cannot be agreed upon by the parties. The mediation will be conducted by one member of the American Arbitration Association, and under the rules of mediation of the American Arbitration Association. Claimant and User will bear equally the cost of arbitration (exclusive of legal fees and expenses). All decisions of the mediator(s) will be final and binding on both parties, and the Hub shall be updated to reflect the outcome of the mediation or the Record Holder may request that the Record be disabled. 

The Claimant shall inform the Local Contexts Ombudsperson about their decision to mediate a dispute and the final outcome.

IN NO EVENT SHALL LOCAL CONTEXTS, ITS CONTRACTORS, AGENTS OR REPRESENTATIVES, OR ITS OR THEIR DIRECTORS, OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES BE NAMED AS PARTIES TO ANY SUCH MEDIATION, AND AS A CONDITION OF BEING ALLOWED TO USE THE LOCAL CONTEXTS HUB, CLAIMANT AND USER AGREE TO HOLD LOCAL CONTEXTS HARMLESS IN THE EVENT OF ANY SUCH MEDIATION OR OTHER ACTION, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION FOR ANY COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SUCH MEDIATION OR OTHER ACTION. 

7. Notices

After the initial Data Report, all correspondence and notices related to escalated Data Reports should be in writing, attention to the Local Contexts Ombudsperson at info@localcontexts.org. For purposes of calculating the time frames under these Procedures, notice will be considered given to the User upon email return receipt, delivered in accordance with the contact information the User has provided in the Data Report or Local Contexts Account.

8. Local Contexts’s Responsibilities and Rights; Limitation of Liability

The Procedures set forth are the only method by which Local Contexts shall be responsible for addressing questions of accuracy regarding the data in the Local Contexts Hub. NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGOING, LOCAL CONTEXTS MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES ABOUT THE ACCURACY OR INTEGRITY OF THE LOCAL CONTEXTS HUB OR RECORD DATA. AS SET FORTH IN THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE AND THE MEMBER LICENSE AGREEMENT, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, LOCAL CONTEXTS WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSSES OR CLAIMS (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, REVENUES OR DATA; FINANCIAL LOSSES, OR INDIRECT, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES) RELATED TO THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, TIMELINESS OR COMPREHENSIVENESS OF THE HUB. IN NO EVENT SHALL LOCAL CONTEXTS’S LIABILITY TO ANY USER BE GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE USER TO LOCAL CONTEXTS TO USE THE HUB DURING THE PREVIOUS 12 MONTHS, AND IF NO SUCH AMOUNT HAS BEEN PAID, IN NO EVENT SHALL LOCAL CONTEXTS’ LIABILITY EXCEED US$20.00. For further information on Local Contexts’s representations, warranties, limitation of liability and governing law, please see the Terms and Conditions of Use, which all apply to these Procedures.

Notwithstanding anything else set forth in these Procedures, Local Contexts shall have the right in its sole discretion to immediately disable any disputed Local Contexts Record(s). In addition, Local Contexts reserves the right to remove from the Local Contexts Hub and its servers any Local Contexts Record Data or disable access to parts of the Local Contexts Hub where Local Contexts learns or becomes aware that any Local Contexts Record Data or the distribution, transmittal, display or performance thereof, violates the privacy, publicity or other rights of any person, is the subject of a dispute, or for any other good cause, including without limitation, in any situation in which Local Contexts is advised by legal counsel that the retention of such Record Data poses a legal risk to Local Contexts. If Local Contexts takes an immediate action independent of the dispute procedures or arbitration described above to remove any data, freeze an account, or restrict access, we will notify the person and give them an opportunity to appeal as per the procedures outlined in this document.