Archive: January 30, 2007

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Motion to Compel Production of Plaintiff’s Home Computer Denied as Improper Attempt to Troll for Impeachment Evidence

Motion to Compel Production of Plaintiff’s Home Computer Denied as Improper Attempt to Troll for Impeachment Evidence

Hedenburg v. Aramark Am. Food Servs., 2007 WL 162716 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 17, 2007)

In this employment discrimination case, defendant sought to probe the veracity of plaintiff’s claims by seeking a "mirror image" of plaintiff’s home computer hard drive. Defendant contended that plaintiff’s personal correspondence with unnamed third parties (in the form of emails or internet postings) might reveal discrepancies in her testimony about the impact of the events on her emotional state, or in her testimony about what occurred. Defendant argued that access to a plaintiff’s computer was common in employment cases, and offered to have the hard drive mirror image sent to a "special master” in an effort to avoid retrieval of privileged or other non-discoverable information. Plaintiff stated that she made a diligent search for her computer files and contended that she did not have additional information. She objected to the discovery as a "fishing expedition" and refused to permit the defendant access to her home computer’s hard drive.
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