US-Beweisverfahren und die Berufung auf deutsche Gesetze

US-Beweisverfahren und die Berufung auf deutsche Gesetze
10.03.2010686 Mal gelesen
Unzulässigkeit der (u.a.) Berufung auf das Bundesdatenschutzgesetz.

Ein Bundesgericht in Utah hat den Einwand eines beklagten deutschen Unternehmens (ALSTE Technologies GmbH, siehe auch www.gerichtsreporter.us mit Verfahrensdokumenten) zurückgewiesen, wonach es dem Unternehmen wegen des Bundesdatenschutzgesetzes nicht möglich sei, die im US-Beweisverfahren und einer entsprechenden Motion to Compel des Klägers angeforderten Kundeninformationen preiszugeben; ebenso wurde der Einwand, dass diesem Beweisersuchen das Haager Übereinkommen über die Beweisaufnahme im Ausland in Zivil- oder Handelssachen  vom 18. März 1970 die entgegenstehe, abgewiesen. Empfehlung: Der Einwand, deutsche Gesetze stünden der Herausgabe von eben nach deutschen Gesetzen als vertraulich zu behandelnde Daten entgegen, erfordert - um (wenn denn) überhaupt eine Chance zu haben -  unter anderem mindestens voraus, dass man versucht, von den die z.B betroffenen Kunden eine eidesstattliche Erklärung zu bekommen, dass diese einer Freigabe der Daten nicht zustimmen. Die einfache Berufung auf das z.B. Bundesdatenschutzgesetzes oder z.B. Strafgesetzbuch reicht nicht aus.Die Begründung des Gerichts nachfolgend.   AccessData seeks an order compelling ALSTE to provide information relating toInterrogatories No. 2 through 5 and Request for Production of Documents No. 1 through 3. Inaddition, AccessData requests that ALSTE be required to provide already-produced discovery, which consists of mostly emails, in its native format. As an initial matter, however, the court will address ALSTE?s general argument that German law prohibits the production of third-party personal information and that, if it complied with the discovery requests at issue, it would "subject itself to civil and criminal penalties for violating the German Data Protection Law and the German Constitution.? The court will also address ALSTE?s argument that, assuming AccessData?s motion to compel is granted, the court should require AccessData to comply with the rules set forth in the Hague Convention for Taking Evidence Abroad with respect to private information regarding ALSTE?s customers.  German Data Protection Act and Hague Convention While ALSTE asserts that providing personal information about its customers and their employees "would be a huge breach of fundamental privacy laws in Germany,? ALSTE has failed to demonstrate the verity of this assertion.  ALSTE has not cited to the particular provisions of the German Data Protection Act ("GDPA?) and/or German Constitution that would prohibit disclosure of personal third-party information. Based on the court?s brief review of the GDPA, it appears that it does not necessarily bar discovery of personal information. In particular, Part I, Section 4c of the GDPA, entitled "Derogations,? provides that the transfer of personal information to countries that do not have the same level of data protection "shall be lawful, if . . . the data subject has given his/her consent [or] . . . the transfer is necessary or legally required . . . for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.? The GDPA further states that "[t]he body to which the data are transferred shall be informed that the transferred data may be processed or used only for the purpose for which they are being transferred.?ALSTE has not demonstrated that it has been unable to obtain consent from ist customers or that it has even attempted to seek consent. ALSTE has also failed to address this particular provision of the GDPA or explain why it would not apply in the instant case. Furthermore, even assuming that the GDPA prohibited disclosure of personal third-party information, the United States Supreme Court has addressed this issue. See Societe Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale v. United States District Court, 482 U.S. 522, 544 (1987). In that case, the Supreme Court held that "[i]t is well settled that such [blocking] statutes do not deprive an American court of the power to order a party subject to its jurisdiction to produce evidence even though the act of production may violate that statute.? Id. at 544 n.29.  The Supreme Court further: re blocking statues and discovery orders generally: "[W]hen a state has jurisdiction to prescribe and its courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate, adjudication should (subject to generally applicable rules of evidence) take place on the basis of the best information available . . . . [Blocking] statutes that frustrate this goal need not be given the same deference by courts of the United States as substantive rules of law at variance with the law of the United States.? Id. (quoting Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States (Revised) § 437, Reporter?s Note 5 (1986)). ALSTE further argues that AccessData should be required to comply with the rules set forth in the Hague Convention for Taking Evidence Abroad with respect to private information regarding ALSTE?s customers. The court disagrees. As the Supreme Court also held in Societe Nationale, "we cannot accept petitioners? invitation to announce a new rule of law that would require first resort to [Hague] Convention procedures whenever discovery is sought from a oreign litigant.? Id. Parties might properly be required to resort to Hague Convention procedures "in suits involving foreign states, either as parties or as sovereigns with a coordinate nterest in the litigation,? or if "the additional cost of transportation of documents or witnesses to  or from foreign locations . . . increase[s] the danger that discovery [is] sought for [an] improper purpose.? Id. at 546. But neither circumstance is present in this breach of contract action where the costs of transmitting information and electronic documents ought to be relatively minimal. Therefore, ALSTE has failed to demonstrate that the GDPA applies or that the Hague Convention procedures are required in this matter. Accordingly, based on the foregoing, this court concludes that the GDPA and Hague Convention procedures are not applicable to the discovery in this case.