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Davis v. Crescent Electric Supply Co.

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division

October 12, 2016

LISA A. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CRESCENT ELECTRIC COMPANY, "CESCO" a Delaware Corporation; JAMES M. SULLIVAN, CESCO 015 Branch Manager; MARTIN S. BURBRIDGE, President/CEO; JAMES R. ETHEREDGE, Sr. Vice Pres./CFO; CHRISTOPHER P. BRESLIN, Sr. Vice Pres./COO; DANIEL E. PHILIPPI, Vice Pres.-Human Resources; JAMES M. SWEENEY AND ASSOCIATES, INC., an Iowa Corporation; LIBERTY MOTORS, INC. "LIBERTY", a South Dakota Domestic Business; LARRY L. PATNOE, Liberty President; and DONALD E. PATNOE, Liberty President/Treasurer, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION TO COMPEL

          Lawrence L. Piersol United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff, Lisa A. Davis ("Davis"), has filed a Supplemental Motion for an Order to Compel pursuant to Rule 3 7(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 141. Specifically, Davis requests: Julie Stienstra/Julie Skinner's emails from November 28, 2010 to July 6, 2011 and associated export logs from the Quest Software Archive Manager program. For the following reasons, the motion will be granted.

         BACKGROUND

         The facts of this case have been thoroughly explained in this Court's prior memorandum opinion and orders. See Docs. 121 and 122. As such, the Court will only recite the facts directly pertinent to this pending motion.

         On August 24, 2015, Davis filed a Motion to Compel Defendant, Crescent Electric Supply Company ("CESCO"), to produce the PST computer file from the CESCO server, the PST computer file from Davis' work computer, and the PST computer file from CESCO's Outlook Archives. Doc. 101. The motion further specified that "[k]nowledge must be learned as to how Julie Skinner/Stienstra had access to Lisa A.. Davis' email in order to print them." On April 21, 2016, this Court granted Davis' motion. Doc. 122.

         Thereinafter, on August 15, 2016, counsel for Davis sent a letter to counsel for CESCO and requested that CESCO provide access to Lisa Davis, James Sullivan, and Julie Stienstra Skinner's computers in order to have a forensic examiner extract PST file for examination. Doc. 142-1. On September 6, 2016, counsel for CESCO responded that CESCO "will not allow [the] forensic representative access to the computers because such an unfettered investigation of Jim Sullivan's computer, Julie Skinner's computer, or all of CESCO's PST files may provide access to confidential information and privileged communications, and it is beyond the scope of the Court's Order and the relief requested." Doc. 142-2. That same day, counsel for Davis suggested having the forensic examiner execute a non-disclosure agreement and further requested that CESCO's internet technician contact the forensic examiner as soon as possible "so this matter can be resolved without further court intervention." Doc. 142-3.

         Beginning on September 12, 2016, James Sevel ("Sevel"), Davis' forensic examiner, contacted CESCO's internet technician, Dennis Hill ("Hill"), and requested,

• Lisa Davis email from November 28, 2010 to April 15, 2011;
• James Sullivan email from November 28, 2010 to November 30, 2010;
• Julie Stienstra/Julie Skinner email from November 28, 2010 to July 6, 2011; and
• Export logs from the Quest Archive Manager program.

         Doc. 142-4. On September 21, 2016, Sevel advised Hill that he had received the email data for Lisa Davis and James Sullivan, but inquired further as to the status of the email data for Julie Stienstra/Julie Skinner, which he had not yet received. Id. Hill responded that he was told to provide only email data on Lisa Davis and James Sullivan, and any other email data would have to be requested. Id. Thereinafter, counsel for Davis requested that Hill be authorized to provide the email data for Julie Stienstra/Julie Skinner. Id. Counsel for CESCO responded that CESCO would not authorize the request for Julie Stienstra/Julie Skinner's email data as it was beyond the scope of the Court's Order and the requested relief in both the discovery request and the Motion to Compel. Id. CESCO's counsel further reiterated; its position that email data from Julie Stienstra/Julie Skinner may contain confidential and privileged information. Id.

         This supplemental motion to ...


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