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Court Orders Plaintiff to Produce Archived Facebook and Twitter Data

Posted on October 23rd, 2017

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Learn more about eDiscovery from our blogsIn Matthews v. J & J Service Solutions, No. 16-621-BAJ-EWD, (M. D. Louisiana, 2017), the court examined multiple motions to compel Plaintiff to respond to Defendant’s discovery requests.

In September of 2016, Plaintiff, Dana Matthews (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint against Defendant alleging employment discrimination and retaliatory discharge. Plaintiff alleges that during the course of a project for Pep Boys auto parts retailer, the project manager subjected her to demeaning, sexist, insulting, and derogatory comments. Plaintiff further alleges that following her complaints, she was without warning, summarily and unjustifiably fired from Defendant’s employment. Plaintiff alleges that she was a victim of sexist discrimination in the workplace by Defendant, and that her discharge from employment with Defendant was unlawful and retaliatory in nature.

In February of 2017, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Compel asserting that it served its First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents (“Discovery Requests”) on Plaintiff in November of 2016 and that Plaintiff failed to timely respond to the Discovery Requests. Defendant then submitted a Supplemental Memorandum in Support of the Motion to Compel (“Supplemental Memorandum”). In the Supplemental Memorandum, Defendant explained that following the filing of the Motion to Compel, Plaintiff submitted disclosures as well as responses to the Discovery Requests; however, Defendant asserted that Plaintiff’s responses to the Discovery Requests included various objections that had been waived due to Plaintiff’s failure to timely respond, and that Plaintiff had failed to produce archived Facebook and Twitter data, among other short comings.

Plaintiff responded to the Motion to Compel by submitting her responses but after the thirty day deadline. Despite the untimeliness, the court found that Plaintiff provided a substantive response to most Interrogatory or Request for Production. Moreover, it appears that where Plaintiff had documents responsive to a particular request, Plaintiff produced those documents subject to her objections. Without further information from Defendant regarding particular documents that were purportedly withheld based on Plaintiff’s objections, the court refused to compel Plaintiff to produce additional documents. The court also held that Plaintiff had sufficiently answered the interrogatories, and that if Defendant wanted elicit additional information, it should seek it through depositions.

However, the court found that Plaintiff had not responded to Defendant’s request that Plaintiff provide archived versions of her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Accordingly, the court granted the Motion to Compel and ordered  Plaintiff to provide the archived version of her Facebook account from January 1, 2014 through present within fourteen days of the court’s order. The court also awarded reasonable attorney fees in the amount of $500.

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