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Measured Wealth Private Client Group, LLC v. Foster, et al.

Measured Wealth Private Client Group, LLC v. Foster, et al.

Case Date: 03/31/2021
Citation: 2021 WL 1215218 (S.D. Fla. Mar 31, 2021)
Court Type: Federal District
Court: Southern District of Florida (S.D. Fla.)
Judge: Federal Magistrate Judge: William Matthewman
Rule(s): Rule 26(b)(1)
Issues:

The discovery issue is whether Plaintiff should be permitted to conduct a forensic examination of Defendant’s mobile phone to recover certain text messages and iMessages from the period of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019.

In response, Defendant asserted that the temporal scope is too broad and would result in the production of irrelevant text messages and iMessages, that the discovery sought could be obtained from other individuals, and that Plaintiff’s request for a forensic examination of her mobile phone for such a long time period is a mere fishing expedition. Defendant expressed concern that the examination could uncover personal and private information unrelated to Plaintiff’s claims.

Resolution:

The Court held that Plaintiff was permitted, with limitations, to conduct a forensic examination of Defendant’s mobile phone, based on the following findings:

First, despite Defendant’s argument to the contrary, Plaintiff properly propounded written discovery requests seeking certain text messages and iMessages from the time period of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. Additionally, the Court provided the parties with the opportunity to confer about the most recent requests for production propounded by Plaintiff and waited until the responses to the most recent requests for production were due before issuing this Order.

Second, text messages and iMessages responsive to Plaintiff’s discovery requests from the period of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, are relevant and proportional to the claims and defenses in this case, per Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).

Third, Defendant currently possesses the same phone she possessed and utilized back in 2019 during the relevant time period. The Court wants to put an end to this discovery dispute and finds that a forensic examination, with necessary safeguards to protect Defendant’s privacy, is the best way to accomplish that task.

Fourth, Defendant appears to have been obstructionist with regard to her production of text messages and iMessages during the discovery process.

Fifth, in light of the sealed filings, the Court finds that Plaintiff is not engaging in an improper fishing expedition in seeking the text messages and iMessages. Rather, Plaintiff has made a legitimate discovery request based on the production that Defendant has completed to date.

Relevant Documents:

Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel. Forensic Examination

Motion to Compel Forensic Examination

Response to Motion to Compel Forensic Examination

Reply in Support of Motion to Compel Forensic Examination

E-Discovery Issues: Motion for Forensic Inspection
E-discovery Tags: Forensic Analysis/Examination, Privacy, Proportionality, Relevancy
E-discovery subjects: Cell phone, Text message

Published: July 8th, 2021

Category: Uncategorized


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