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Garrett v. Univ. S. Fla. Bd. of Trs.

Garrett v. Univ. S. Fla. Bd. of Trs.

Case Date: 09/14/2018
Citation: 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156996
Court Type: Federal District
Court: Middle District of Florida (M.D. Fla.)
Judge: Federal Magistrate Judge: Amanda Arnold Sansone
Rule(s): Rule 37

Should the plaintiff’s failure to produce text messages responsive to a Rule 34 request for production justify forensic examination of the plaintiff’s cell phone and personal computer? Further, should this failure to adequately respond to the Rule 34 request for production entitle defendants to awarded attorney’s fees under Rule 37(a)(5)(c)?


The defendant’s request for forensic examination of the plaintiff’s phone and personal computer was denied. The Court found forensic examination was not warranted when weighed against the needs of the of the case and the plaintiff’s privacy interest. The Court noted the defendants failed to provide any facts or information suggesting the plaintiff had altered or tampered any information and a “bare possibility of misconduct” is insufficient to outweigh an individuals privacy interests.

However, the defendant’s motion for attorneys fees and costs under Rule 37(a)(5)(c) was granted. The Court found plaintiff’s counsel possessed a recording of a conversation and text messages, which were responsive to an earlier Rule 34 request for production at the time of the request. These actions justified apportionment of reasonable fees and costs associated with brining the motion to compel.

Relevant Documents:

Motion to Compel Discovery (Doc. 49)

Response in Opposition of Motion to Compel (Doc. 54)

Order on Motion to Compel (Doc. 57)

E-Discovery Issues: Motion for Sanctions, Motion to Compel
E-discovery Tags: Costs, Forensic Analysis/Examination
E-discovery subjects: Cell phone, Text message

Published: October 19th, 2018

Category: Uncategorized

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