Smith v. Bank of America, N.A. » The Florida E-Discovery Case Law Database » Levin College of Law » University of Florida

Smith v. Bank of America, N.A.

Smith v. Bank of America, N.A.

Case Date: 03/06/2014
Citation: 2014 WL 897032
Court Type: Federal District
Court: Middle District of Florida (M.D. Fla.)
Judge: Federal District Judge: John E. Steele
Rule(s): Rule 37
Issues:

Whether evidence of destruction of relevant documents immediately proceeding and after commencement of litigation without more is sufficient to establish spoliation of evidence and imposition of sanctions?

Resolution:

No, the court found that sanctions for spoliation were not appropriate.

To establish spoliation has occurred the moving party must prove (1) the alleged evidence had existed at one time, (2) the spoliator had a duty to preserve the evidence, and (3) the evidence as crucial to the moving parties prima facia case or defense. Further, imposition of sanctions for spoliation is only appropriate where there is evidence of bad faith.

Here, the moving party was able to loosely establish the three elements necessary for spoliation. However, the court found that there was no evidence of bad faith by the non-moving party. Instead the court noted multiple instances of how the non-moving parties behavior was reasonable outside the scope of litigation. The court went on to conclude that while the non-moving party was potentially negligent there was no evidence to suggest the non-moving party had acted in bad faith.

Relevant Documents:

Motion for Summary Judgement (Doc. 104) 

Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgement (Doc. 109)

Motion for Entry of Judgment as a Matter of Law on Third Party Counter Claim (Doc. 132)

Motion for Final Dismissal with Prejudice or for the Entry of an Appropriate Spoliation Remedy (Doc. 136)

Order (Doc. 190)

E-Discovery Issues: Adverse Inference, Motion for Sanctions, Motion for Spoliation, Motion for Summary Judgment
E-discovery Tags: Custodian, Spoliation
E-discovery subjects: Computer

Published: March 18th, 2019

Category: Uncategorized


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