Lake v. City of Phoenix, 207 P.3d 725 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2009)
In this case, the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld a superior court ruling denying plaintiff’s motion to compel production of metadata associated with documents previously produced pursuant to Arizona’s Public Records Law.
In late 2006, after filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint against the city, plaintiff submitted a series of public records requests. The city’s subsequent production contained hard copy versions of electronic documents responsive to his request for all notes “documenting supervisory performance” within the relevant time frame. Plaintiff suspected the notes had been backdated and requested production of the metadata associated with each document. The city refused arguing that the requested metadata was “not maintained by the city and was not available,” and that metadata was not a public record. In response, plaintiff brought a special action before the district court. Finding it lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter, the superior court denied plaintiff’s motion to compel. Plaintiff appealed, and the appellate court affirmed the superior court’s ruling denying the production of metadata.