Archive - November 20, 2007

Sanctions Not Warranted for Failure to Produce ESI in Native Format with Intact Metadata

Sanctions Not Warranted for Failure to Produce ESI in Native Format with Intact Metadata

Mich. First Credit Union v. Cumis Ins. Soc’y, Inc., 2007 WL 4098213 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 16, 2007)

In May 2007, the court entered an order granting plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery and directing defendant to supplement its discovery responses specifically with regard to electronically stored documents.  In its initial objections to the discovery requests, defendant had objected to the request that it produce records "as they are maintained in the ordinary course of business in their ‘native format,’ along with the intact metadata."  Specifically, defendant objected to the request as "unduly burdensome" and "impos[ing] obligations on Cumis beyond those permissible under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure."  When defendant served the supplemental responses required by the court’s May order, it produced the material on CD-ROMs in readable PDF form, but did not include metadata or provide the material in native format.

Plaintiff moved for sanctions, arguing that the production violated the court’s May order.

The court concluded that, because its May order did not address the issue of metadata or "native format" files, it could not be said that defendant’s failure to produce that information was a violation of that order.  As such, there was no basis to sanction the defendant.  Further, after considering the submissions and arguments of the parties, the court found that defendant’s objections to the production of metadata were well founded, and clarified its May order to reflect that defendant shall not be required to produce its electronically stored documents in "native format" or to produce metadata. Read More

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