Government’s Negligent Failure to Preserve Evidence Did Not Warrant Dismissal
Miller v. Holzmann, 2007 WL 172327 (D.D.C. Jan. 17, 2007)
In this decision, Magistrate Judge John H. Facciola recommended that defense motions for dismissal as a sanction for the government’s alleged discovery abuses be denied. One event that was cited as partial support for the motions was the destruction of a government file in accordance with the pertinent National Archives and Administration Act schedule. The file contained a complete copy of materials that had been gathered in response to a related FOIA request, including materials that were exempt from production under FOIA. The employee who destroyed the file explained that she was not aware that the lawsuit or any other litigation was pending and that she would not have destroyed the file had she known it was.