Rossi v. Vaughan (City), 2010 ONSC 214 (CanLII)

  • January 19, 2010

Date: 2010-01-19 Docket: 07-CV-326105PD2  Master Sproat. | Link

In a wrongful dismissal case involving allegations of political conspiracy, the plaintiff moved for an order requiring the city to search its servers and computer systems for correspondence relating to matters at issue, to and from a former mayor. In addition, the plaintiff moved for a forensic examination of the mayor's former work computer and his home computer. The court dismissed the motion in its entirety. Regarding the search of servers, the plaintiff disputes the parameters of the original search, but "at no time questioned the City as to its efforts to search or requested particulars as to the parameters of the search that was undertaken. More importantly, there was no evidence to suggest that the City had failed to disclose relevant documents." (para 4) Regarding  the business computer and the personal computer, the court held that the plaintiff was not entitled to the forensic search since first, "there is no evidence that there are relevant documents or data in electronic form contained on either of the computers." " Second, there is no evidence of non-disclosure or of any omission from production and disclosure obligations". "Third, there is no basis to depart from the general rule that a litigant has the initial or primary onus or obligation of disclosing relevant documents in the first instance." "Fourth, the investigation requested by the plaintiff is costly, in my experience.  There is nothing in the record that would support such expense.  The new rules require the court to consider proportionality and there is no evidence to suggest that the benefits of such an investigation would warrant the costs." "Fifth, it would appear, in any event, that (the former mayor) did complete a computer search and that this search did not disclose any further relevant documents."