IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 21, 2009
LYNDA CARTWRIGHT, LLOYD CARTWRIGHT, PLAINTIFFS,
VIKING INDUSTRIES, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
This matter was before the court on January 21, 2009, for hearing on plaintiffs' motion to compel production of defendant's electronic "proprietary database files," in response to plaintiffs' production requests served May 8, 2008 (requesting the production of electronically stored information in its native format, with all software necessary to access it). The motion argues that this electronically stored information was previously ordered produced by this court's order filed September 11, 2008 (requiring production of defendant's proprietary electronic database). Attorney Stephen Oroza appeared on behalf of plaintiffs. J. Mark Thacker appeared on behalf of the defendant.
The discovery deadline in this case is January 26, 2009. See Dckt. No. 86. For the reasons stated at the hearing, plaintiffs' motion to compel (Dckt. No. 71) is hereby GRANTED. Defendant shall, no later Friday, January 23, 2009, produce said files in the exact format in which they are maintained and stored (i.e., as a Sybase database), and provide the software or "front end" application required to search and manipulate the files. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 34(b)(2)(E)(ii) (a party must produce electronically stored information "in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms"); see also, Advisory Committee Notes for the 2006 Amendment of Rule 34 ("the option to produce [electronically stored information] in a reasonably usable form does not mean that a responding party is free to convert electronically stored information from the form in which it is ordinarily maintained to a different form that makes it more difficult or burdensome for the requesting party to use the information efficiently in the litigation. If the responding party ordinarily maintains the information it is producing in a way that makes it searchable by electronic means, the information should not be produced in a form that removes or significantly degrades this feature."). For the reasons discussed at the hearing and in the papers in support of the motion, prior attempts to provide plaintiffs with the data in converted forms have not resulted in a full and complete production of the electronically stored information.
Plaintiffs' related motions for sanctions are submitted for later decision, and will be addressed in a subsequent order.
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