Archive: May 5, 2008

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Court Sets Protocol for Forensic Inspection of Plaintiff’s Computer Systems

Court Sets Protocol for Forensic Inspection of Plaintiff’s Computer Systems

Ferron v. Search Cactus, L.L.C., 2008 WL 1902499 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 28, 2008)

In this case, plaintiff (a lawyer) brought claims under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act based upon emails he received.  Because only the unsolicited emails plaintiff received would support his claim under the Act, it was necessary for the parties to ascertain which of the emails plaintiff received were unsolicited.  Plaintiff’s computer systems contained the only available documentary evidence that could show the pathways taken by plaintiff to solicit the emails or the absence of those pathways.

Defendants requested an inspection of plaintiff’s computer systems so as to ascertain whether plaintiff’s efforts with respect to receiving the emails and visiting the websites (that were at the heart of the action) constituted a consumer transaction under the OCSPA, or whether plaintiff’s opening of the emails and any attempts to obtain free merchandise were part of a business designed to profit from email litigation

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