Federal and state laws and rules have defined obligations to preserve documents, electronic information, and other materials when a party is involved in or reasonably foresees that it may become involved in litigation. The law provides for severe sanctions in the event that relevant documents are destroyed, significantly altered, or if a party otherwise fails to preserve such materials.
Destruction Hold or Litigation Hold are terms used to ensure preservation of evidence in pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation. Destruction Hold is the process of identifying and preserving the documents, electronic information, and other materials that may constitute evidence. A destruction hold may impact an agency’s established records management plan, requiring certain documents and electronic information be retained for longer periods of time in an unaltered form.
To properly preserve relevant documents, the Office of Attorney General recommends your agency establish a procedure to preserve documents in situations where litigation against your agency is pending or reasonably foreseeable. The guidelines in the documents below will assist your agency in establishing and implementing the proper procedures.
Litigation Hold Documents
- SFN 52376 Destruction Hold Notice
- Litigation Hold Instructional Memorandum
- Litigation Hold - Document Preservation Team Meeting Agenda
- Litigation Hold Memorandum - Pre-Litigation
- Litigation Hold Memorandum - Post-Filing of Litigation
- Preservation of Evidence in the State's Records Management Process