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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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Is there a case anywhere in the U.S. where defendant requested

Customer Question

Is there a case anywhere in the U.S. where defendant requested the bank records of the plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident? We are working a motion and need help with the law regarding discovery of bank records which are not relevant to our case. Hope someone can help. Thanks
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.
What type of action is it?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Motion of oppose providing defendant with the plaintiffs bank records.
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

I understand that... why is the plaintiff suing? What type of lawsuit is it? You are not going to find a case that says you cannot discover bank records because they are "personal". Everything about discovery is personal. This will come down to the law of evidence concerning relevant material in your type of lawsuit. So what type of lawsuit is it?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This is a motor vehicle accident. Civil lawsuit. The defendant requested production: (actual verbage) Please produce all bank account registers (i.e., whatever you use to record deposits to and withdrawals from savings or money market accounts or deposits to and checks written on checking accounts) reflecting any transactions for the period January 2003 to the present, for all savings, money market and checking accounts where you have been an authorized owner or custodian, either individually or jointly. Our response: Objection: the requested documents are irrelevant, immaterial and not reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of relevant material and are overly burdensome and oppressive. Furthermore, the request for production seeks only to harrass the plaintiff. Then they responded in a letter stating the following: Plaintiff objected to providing any bank account registers or credit card statements and also refused to provide a bank records release. We submit a court will find such documentation relevant enough for discovery purposes to require plaintiff to produce those records. These records would provide information regarding deposits and expenses that may lead to the discovery of admissible evidence regarding plaintiff's activities since the accident. We request the responsive documentation be provided without necessity of the motion to compel. Then we responded with: Plaintiff objects to disclosing or producing bank account registers, credit card statements, or bank releases. Such documents are irrelevant immaterial and not reasonably calculated to the discovery of admissible information. Furthermore, such requests are unduly burdensome, oppressive, and seek only to harass the Plaintiff.
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

It sounds as if you have this under control. I doubt you will find a case that says that bank records are not relevant to a personal injury lawsuit as that would be a very broad ruling. Certainly bank records could be relevant to a personal injury lawsuit if your plaintiff were seeking lost earnings and certain out of pocket expenses (the bank records could show his/her actual income and expenses). It sounds like their request is over broad and amount to a fishing expedition that the court will not likely allow. I think your objection simply needs to be heard in court with the defense having to demonstrate why these records should be discoverable. I would go further to request the court allow submission under seal for an in camera review to determine admissibility and relevance should you get to that point.


I will now opt out and see if someone can find an actual case on point... but I doubt it.


Good luck.