E-Discovery professionals have been saying it for years: social media will be the new battleground for proving your case. This case gives us a glimpse into the painstaking ordeal it may take sides to agree on what and when relevant social media data is produced.
In this case, involving misconduct of a correctional officer against a prisoner, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant deleted relevant Facebook posts and moved for spoliation sanctions.
To prove that the defendant intentionally let another prisoner attack the plaintiff based on the plaintiff’s faith, the plaintiff requested that the defendant produce Facebook posts that supported the plaintiff’s claim. Throughout four months of back and forth negotiations, the plaintiff never received the requested Facebook posts.
When the court granted the plaintiff’s motion to compel production, the alleged posts the defendant requested were missing. Therefore, the plaintiff argued for spoliation sanctions based on the deletion of the Facebook posts.
Download the PDF version of Qandah v. St. Charles County case law alert here., Inc. case law alert here.
The opinion reflects no basis for defendant’s failure to produce all of his relevant Facebook posts, but defendant escaped sanctions probably because relevant posts were ultimately recovered. Defendant was very fortunate the court did not award plaintiff at least recovery of costs required to compel production of the relevant evidence.