The plaintiffs from North Carolina’s partisan gerrymandering state court case must turn over all of the late GOP mapmaker’s data given to them by his daughter to other litigants, including sensitive medical, tax and family information, according to a three-judge panel.
However, before allowing the other parties to the case (within 48 hours) to copy and inspect the hard drives “in their entirety as originally received,” plaintiffs can designate any files or folders they consider private as “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL/OUTSIDE ATTORNEYS’ EYES ONLY,” according to a court order released Wednesday.
Thomas Hofeller’s daughter turned over four hard drives and 18 thumb drives to the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Common Cause v. Lewis case in March as part of a subpoena. The documents and data were immediately turned over to a third-party vendor for processing, where it became clear there were personal files of Hofeller’s intermingled with professional ones.
The plaintiffs wanted the court to clarify a legal rule about whether they had to withhold the personal information and then allow the parties to inspect and copy everything else or just allow it all to be inspected.
The legislative defendants argued they were entitled to see everything under the law. The plaintiffs said they would follow whatever the court ordered, but just could not disseminate on their own that kind of personal information.
In other issues the court addressed, the panel ordered the legislative defendants to pay the plaintiffs expenses and attorney’s fees for failing to provide adequate discovery responses.
And finally, the panel partially granted legislative defendants their request to extend the time for their expert reports to be turned in, but noted their abridged timeline was largely due to their own delays. The panel denied intervener defendants’ request to extend their expert report deadline.
Read the full court order below.