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Court Rules that Automatically Generated Read Receipt is Not Hearsay: eDiscovery Case Law, by Doug Austin, eDiscoverydaily


In Fox v. Leland Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department Inc., 7:12-CV-354-FL. (E.D.N.C. Mar. 10, 2015), North Carolina District Judge Louise W. Flanagan ruled that a Read Receipt automatically sent from the defendant’s email address to the plaintiff (when the defendant opened an email sent by the plaintiff) was not hearsay.

Case Background

In this wrongful termination case, the court was considering the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, as well as the defendants’ motion to strike certain exhibits attached to plaintiff’s brief in opposition to summary judgment for failure to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) & (e). One of the items that the defendants sought to exclude was a read receipt sent from defendant Grimes email address to plaintiff, triggered when an email plaintiff sent defendant Grimes was opened, arguing that the Read Receipt was ‘unauthenticated hearsay’.

Judge’s Opinion

Judge Flanagan made a swift ruling on this issue when she stated ‘Defendants’ argument fails. The Read Receipt is not hearsay.’ . . .