doe v norwalk community college n.
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Doe v. Norwalk Community College. 248 F.R.D. 372 (D. Conn. 2007). The Parties Are……. Plaintiff=Jane Doe Defendants=Norwalk Community College (NCC), Connecticut Community Colleges, and Ronald Masi. The Complaint…….

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doe v norwalk community college
Doe v. Norwalk Community College

248 F.R.D. 372 (D. Conn. 2007)

the parties are
The Parties Are……
  • Plaintiff=Jane Doe
  • Defendants=Norwalk Community College (NCC), Connecticut Community Colleges, and Ronald Masi
the complaint
The Complaint……
  • Violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as well as State Law claims of Negligent Retention and Supervision and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress-Sexual Assault by Professor Masi
rule 37 e
Rule 37(e)
  • Good Faith Operation of an Electronic Information System
this relates to e discovery
This relates to E-Discovery….
  • Doe files a motion for sanctions for Discovery Misconduct and Spoliation of Evidence against the college Defendants
march 1 2006
March 1, 2006
  • Doe files Motion to Compel the inspection of certain electronic records possessed by NCC, and hires Delay, of DataTrack Resources, a forensic computer firm Doe retained to inspect NCC’s computer records-Court grants her Motion on July 20, 2006
doe files motion for sanctions
Doe Files Motion for Sanctions
  • 2 Hearings by Court for Computer Experts:
  • Delay=for P
  • Bissell=NCC’s Information Technology Technician
  • Olsen=System’s Manager for Connecticut Community Colleges
doe seeks adverse inference spoliation of evidence
Doe seeks Adverse Inference-Spoliation of Evidence
  • To prove this, she must show:
  • 1. Party that had evidence had obligation to preserve it
  • 2. Records were destroyed with culpable state of mind
  • 3. Destroyed evidence was relevant to party’s claim
doe claims
Doe Claims….
  • The hard drives of key witnesses in the case were “scrubbed” or “wiped” of data
  • Key player Seaborn had computer replaced 1 month after suit, old one was data wiped
in addition
In Addition……
  • Microsoft Outlook PST files (for E-mail) of 4 people had been altered, destroyed, or filtered.
state library retention policy
State Library Retention Policy
  • Calls for 2 year retention to electronic correspondence-Doe says this should apply to NCC and was not followed for the hard drives of faculty members who left the college.
d s argue
D’s Argue…..
  • 1. NCC did not need to follow State Library, because did not apply to “normal computer usage.”
  • 2. That they surrendered adequate information dealing with Defendant Masi
bad behavior by ncc
Bad Behavior by NCC
  • 1. NCC should have placed a “Litigation Hold” on all documents relevant to the Doe issue.
  • 2. NCC also admits to “Scrubbing” the hard drive of Masi after his resignation.
our good friend rule 37 e
Our Good Friend, Rule 37(e)….
  • Has a “Good Faith” exception, stating a Court may not impose sanctions on a party for failing to provide electronically stored information that was lost as a result of routine, good faith operation of an electronic information system.
3 prongs for spoliation needed the test
3 Prongs for Spoliation needed (The Test)
  • 1. Duty to Preserve
  • 2. Culpable State of Mind
  • 3. Relevance
duty to preserve
Duty to Preserve
  • The Court finds that this duty arose when several professors had a meeting regarding the sexual assault by Masi on Doe on February 13, 2004. This duty comes under Zubulake because at this time the Defendants should have known litigation was “Reasonably Anticipated.”
culpable state of mind
Culpable State of Mind
  • Court finds that D’s failure to place Litigation Hold on relevant evidence was “grossly negligent, if not reckless.”
  • NCC intentionally destroyed evidence that was relevant to the incident between Doe and Masi, some of it within minutes after Delay began his investigation.
  • If conduct is deemed “Grossly Negligent” (NCC’s was) or worse, no further proof is needed for this prong.
  • If conduct is only “Simple Negligence,” opposing party must show destroyed evidence would be favorable to them.
the outcome for ncc for their dirty deeds is
The outcome for NCC for their dirty deeds is….
  • 1. Doe is entitled to an Adverse Inference Jury Instruction with respect to the destroyed evidence.
  • 2. Doe is entitled to costs she incurred with this motion, including the payment of Mr. Delay.
my questions for you
My Questions for you:
  • 1. Should additional Damages be awarded to the opposing party when their opponent is found to have destroyed evidence in Bad Faith?
  • 2. If a good deal of highly relevant evidence was found to be destroyed in Bad Faith, should Summary Judgment be awarded to the opposing party?