Wife Can Get iPhone Records in Divorce Hearing

The eDiscovery Resource Center™ is Bloomberg BNA’s comprehensive research solution for litigators and in-house counsel who require authoritative guidance on the handling,...

Sept. 8 — iPhone records are deemed discoverable in a divorce case, according to a Sept. 3 order from the Georgia Court of Appeals. Paul Ewing filed for divorce from Kimberly Ewing after Kimberly Ewing observed evidence of alleged adultery on Paul Ewing's iPhone. During discovery, Kimberly Ewing requested private e-mails from Paul Ewing's iPhone. Paul Ewing moved for a protective order seeking to prohibit or limit the discovery, specifically with regard to his alleged mistress's deposition and discussion regarding the e-mails on the phone. The motion was denied, and Paul Ewing then filed an interlocutory appeal.

Paul Ewing relied on Ransom v. Ransom, 253 Ga. 6546 (1985), which held that Georgia's wiretapping statute protects spouses from privacy invasions. But the court found Ewing's argument did not hold water, noting Ransom involved the issue of whether a recorded phone conversation was admissible for impeachment purposes, not whether a spouse is allowed to ask questions during discovery which could lead to admissible evidence.

“Regardless of the admissibility or inadmissibility of the content of the husband’s emails, including the photos and videos of C. M., the wife is entitled to engage in discovery which might lead to admissible evidence of the husband’s alleged adultery,” the court said. “Consequently, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the husband’s motion for a protective order.”

Richard Allen Sanders Jr. represented Paul Ewing.