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D. Nev. Issues Protective Order for IMEI Data

Yesterday, Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Albregis issued an order granting the Plaintiff's motion to compel. See, Metro PCS v. Connection, No. 2:15-cv-01412-JAD-DJA, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4351 (D. Nev. Jan 10, 2020). The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants failed to produce requested ESI and agree to a deposition about its preservation and retention practices. The Plaintiff showed that invoices were produced elsewhere which should have been included in a production from the Defendants' business accounts. Judge Albregis found that there were significant concerns about the completeness of the Defendants' search.

The court noted that, "the case law in this District is clear that Plaintiff is entitled to know what categories of ESI Defendants preserved and collected and how a reasonable search for responsive documents was performed with sufficient specificity to demonstrate due diligence." Id. at *5. The Defendants were ordered to submit a declaration explaining why certain documents had not been preserved within 14 days; produce all non-privileged responsive documents for the search in question; and participate in a meet and confer with respect to whether or not a deposition was necessary. Judge Albregis said that a deposition would be justified if the Defendant could not explain why certain invoices were lost.

The Court also agreed to the Plaintiff's request for a protective order for a spreadsheet with a IMEI analysis of the Defendants' phone data. IMEI stands for "International Mobile Equipment Identity". It is used to identity mobile phones. The IMEI number identifies the phone, but not the actual subscriber.

The Court denied the Defendants' motion to compel Metro to conduct a search of all of its phone records, absent information about specific phones, as overboard and not proportional to the needs of the case.

The Court permitted the Plaintiff to file a motion to recover fees and costs as a form of sanctions with respect to the motions to compel.

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