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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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In breach of a non-compete agreement can emails be seized?

Resolved Question:

If I am sued for breach of a non-compete agreement or breach of fiduciary duty in Texas, can the e-mail service provider for my personal e-mail account, or accounts, (not my work account) be required to turn over my e-mails?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.

Yes. They can be served with a subpoena for the records under the rules of liberal discovery which state that a party is entitled to discover any information that "may lead to" evidence that can be submitted in the court. This means that even if the emails themselves are found not to be admissible, as long as there is a possibility that something in them could lead to information they could introduce, then the court will allow the subpoena of the records.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

How would the plaintiff know what e-mail accounts I even have? In other words, can they simply blanket various e-mail providers without knowing if I even have an account through them?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.

They would typically serve you with discovery requests for interrogatories and requests for production. They would ask you to disclose them and if you fail to disclose them and they find out then the court would sanction you for not complying with discovery.

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