Jemaneh v. University of Wyoming,The
MINUTE ORDER denying 93 Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions due to Defendants' Spoilation of Crucial Evidence, by Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe on 11/6/2013.(mjwcd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 12-cv-02383-RM-MJW
TEWODROS G. JEMANEH,
THE UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING, et al.,
Entered by Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe
It is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions due to Defendants’
Spoilation of Crucial Evidence (Docket No. 93) is DENIED for the following reasons.
Federal courts have the inherent authority to impose sanctions for spoliation of
evidence. Smith v. Northwest Fin. Acceptance, Inc., 129 F.3d 1408, 1419 (10th Cir.
1997). Only the bad faith loss or destruction of evidence will support the relief plaintiff
seeks. See Jordan F. Miller Corp. v. Mid-Continent Aircraft Servs., 139 F.3d 912
(Table), 1998 WL 68879 (10th Cir. Feb. 20, 1998) (citing Aramburu v. Boeing Co., 112
F.3d 1398, 1407 (10th Cir. 1997)). “Mere negligence in losing or destroying records is
not enough because it does not support an inference of consciousness of a weak case.”
Aramburu, 112 F.3d at 1407.
Here, the court finds that plaintiff has failed to establish bad faith on the part of
defendants. Plaintiff has failed to produce any evidence that anyone destroyed
evidence after this suit was filed in September 2012, or after plaintiff’s termination from
the program in 2011. As to records destroyed prior to this time, the fact that professors
may not have retained test results or examinations does not in and of itself support an
inference of bad faith; plaintiff provides no evidence to support such an inference.
Rather, it appears to be nothing more than the routine, good-faith practice of the
professors in dealing with their daily classroom paperwork. At worst, it is nothing more
than mere negligence. Accordingly, the subject motion is denied.
Date: November 6, 2013
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