Court Orders Forensic Inspection of Personal Computer in Trade Secrets Case

AutoNation, Inc. v. Hatfield, 2006 WL 60547 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Jan. 4, 2006)

In connection with its order granting temporary injunctive relief based upon the defendant’s alleged theft of trade secrets, the court ordered the forensic inspection of a personal computer:

Within thirty (30) days Hatfield unless and until further ordered by the Court, shall make Julie Anderson’s personal computer available to AutoNation so its contents can be examined by a forensic computer expert to determine whether the emails Hatfield sent to Ms. Anderson’s email address have been forwarded or otherwise altered or used, and to determine whether any other AutoNation material exists on the computer. The forensic expert is authorized to copy any AutoNation material on the computer, including the January 26, 2005 emails, and to then delete all AutoNation material from the computer. Hatfield and Anderson are authorized to have an independent forensic expert available and in attendance at the inspection.

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