I-1-5-2.Litigation Holds

Last Update: 11/20/14 (Transmittal I-1-77)

A. General

Electronic and paper claim(s) files, as well as other documents in the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), are subject to records retention and disposition schedules. See Social Security Administration Records Schedules. However, when a civil complaint is filed against the agency that involves a claim(s) file or documents in ODAR's possession, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) will issue a litigation hold that suspends normal retention rules and prevents specified documents from being destroyed until completion of all legal action.

B. Notification and Processing

OGC will directly notify a specific ODAR component of a litigation hold if the hold only affects that component. In some circumstances, OGC will directly notify the custodians of the records, rather than a component, based on knowledge OGC has or receives about sources that may have information relevant to a case.

If the litigation hold affects multiple ODAR components, OGC will notify ODAR's Office of the Deputy Commissioner (ODC) and the ODC will notify affected ODAR components. ODAR components will inform impacted staff of a litigation hold and provide instructions for processing the hold. At the completion of all legal action, OGC will notify ODAR to resume the normal records retention and disposition schedules.