Databases and Search Terms at Issue in Electronically Stored Information Dispute
In the putative class action case Willett, et al. v. Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., No. 1:13-cv-1241-JCH/LAM (D.N.M. May 8, 2015), Plaintiff alleged the Defendants Redflex, Credit Control, CWGP, and CreditWatch engaged in nonconsensual automated telephone calls in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Defendants produced an initial set of 19,000 pages of documents in response to Plaintiff’s document requests, which included information regarding calls made to the alleged putative class, but Plaintiff argued that the production was inadequate and moved to compel a larger production. Defendants opposed the motion, arguing that Plaintiff had refused to engage in a search term discussion regarding its database, which contained 1.6 terabytes of data.
Defendants complained that the costs of producing the entire database would be between $100,000 and $160,000, and that the estimated cost would outweigh any benefit of further production. Defendants instead wanted to supplement their production within limits imposed by date parameters, custodians, and search terms. The District of New Mexico found Defendants’ proposal reasonable, and ordered that Defendants make an additional production limited by file type, keywords, and creation dates. The court ordered Plaintiff to provide the search terms, and Defendants to conduct the searches. The court required Defendants to produce spreadsheets of their databases and operating systems of their virtual servers. Finally, the court deemed Defendant’s specific objections boilerplate, and warned that that further unreasonable objections would lead the court to order production of the entire server and/or shift costs.