Marine Depot, International, Inc. v. James River Group, Inc. » The Florida E-Discovery Case Law Database » Levin College of Law » University of Florida

Marine Depot, International, Inc. v. James River Group, Inc.

Marine Depot, International, Inc. v. James River Group, Inc.

Case Date: 12/30/2020
Citation: 2020 WL 7864100 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 30, 2020)
Court Type: Federal District
Court: Southern District of Florida (S.D. Fla.)
Judge: Federal Magistrate Judge: Lauren F. Louis
Rule(s): Rule 37
Issues:

The electronic discovery issue is whether the plaintiff should be subjected to sanctions for failing to search its computers and servers for responsive documents where the plaintiff’s sworn testimony states that it had no reason to believe that any non-duplicative responsive documents reside on the computers or servers, and where Defendant has not provided any factual basis for its belief that the additional search of Plaintiff’s server is necessary. In other words, does a party have to search a location for responsive documents when the party has no reason to believe responsive documents would be located?

Resolution:

The court noted that although a plaintiff has an obligation under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 to either provide all documents responsive to Defendant’s request, or to object to providing certain documents Plaintiff intends to withhold, Rule 34 is silent as to how a party must locate these responsive documents, and the measures a party must take in conducting its search. The court also noted that no case law had been brought to the Court’s attention that would require Plaintiff to search a location that it has no reason to believe would hold responsive documents. Next, the court highlighted the “enormous burden and expense of electronic discovery.” Based on these considerations, the Court did not require the plaintiff to conduct additional discovery where Defendant had not provided any factual basis for its belief that the additional search of Plaintiff’s server is necessary, and where the defendant had not rebutted plaintiff’s sworn testimony that there are no relevant, non-duplicative documents stored there. Thus, the court found that sanctions were not appropriate at that time.

Relevant Documents:

Motion for Sanctions

Plaintiff’s Response

Reply to Response to Motion

E-Discovery Issues: Discovery Order, Motion for Sanctions, Motion to Compel, Production Request
E-discovery Tags: Sanctions, Search
E-discovery subjects: Electronically stored information

Published: July 26th, 2021

Category: Uncategorized


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