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Case Blurb: Butler; Court discusses granting adversary access to producing party’s information systems

Posted by rjbiii on October 2, 2007

Plaintiff requests that this court order Kmart “to provide [p]laintiff and [p]laintiff’s expert open access to Kmart’s home office databases….” Fed. R. Civ. P. 34(a) does not generally give the requesting party right to search the responding party’s records. In re Ford Motor Co., 345 F.3d at 1317. *FN* In an instance where the responding party has acted improperly, the court may, in its discretion and to preserve discoverable information, respond accordingly. The plaintiff has produced no evidence demonstrating that Kmart has acted improperly. As such, this court will not provide the plaintiff with unfettered access to Kmart’s computer databases. Should additional intervention be required at a later time, the court will consider what measures should be undertaken concerning Kmart’s computer systems and the plaintiff’s access to them.

*FN* The court is aware that In re Ford Motor Co. was decided prior to the amendments to the FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE concerning electronically stored information. Those amendments however do not disturb the validity of the Eleventh Circuit’s holding here.

Butler v. Kmart Corp., 2007 WL 2406982 (N.D. Miss. Aug. 20, 2007).

Posted in 5th Circuit, Case Blurbs, Discovery, Duty to Conduct a Reasonable Inquiry, FRCP 34(a), Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander, N.D. Miss. | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »