Court Orders Defendants to Produce Emails in Native File Format Following PDF Production
In Luxul Technology, Inc. v. Nectarlux, LLC et. al., Case No. 14-03656 (N.D. Cal., Feb. 3, 2016), Defendants produced emails in response to Plaintiff’s discovery requests in PDF format without metadata, despite specific language in the document requests asking for emails in native format with metadata. Defendants also failed to produce many of the attachments to emails, claiming that they removed attachments produced elsewhere in the production. Defendants also stated that they encountered difficulty searching for responsive emails and producing in a format other than PDF because of the Mac iOS software that they used.
The court questioned why Defendants did not pull their emails from their cloud server, as the company GoDaddy hosted their emails. Defendants’ counsel claimed not to know this was a possibility until Plaintiff complained about the PDF production. Counsel confirmed that native format with metadata was available from the cloud server. However, Defendants still did not produce the emails, claiming that it was “unnecessary” and “unduly time consuming” as well as costly, and suggested that instead Plaintiff could request particular emails it needed in native format. The court disagreed with Defendants, holding that Defendants must download the emails from the cloud, with attachments, and produce them in native format with metadata within eight days.