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Discovery: paper or electronic?

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ChoosingHope posted 4/23/2013 20:22 PM

I have been served. I have realms of paper to pass over, including 2000 pages of sexts with details of STBX's sex addiction and dangerous activities.

Do I really have to print it all out, or can I scan it all and submit electronically as PDFs?

I ask for two reasons. First, STBX submitted scans. Second, I know he's too broke and lazy to print out whatever I submit. Which would be a good thing for me (though I suppose PDFs are "searchable" - if he goes looking for something specific, he could find it quicker than thumbing through thousands of printed out pages).

Thank you for any insight and experience!

Kajem posted 4/23/2013 20:42 PM

Call and ask your attorney or the court clerk what they prefer to receive.

Good luck,


tammyjean100 posted 4/23/2013 20:45 PM


To whom are you submitting the documents? Ask that person/agency/etc.

I sent many things to my lawyer via email attachment. Only things not sent that way was any document that needed original signature.

Hope that helps some.


caregiver9000 posted 4/23/2013 20:49 PM

I keep imagining the impact of a stack of 2000 pages of paper vs. a flash key/thumb drive....

CAN YOU PLEASE print it out? Be sure to use the low copy quality and just spend the day with the copier.

The stack of grossness and the paper has that IN YOUR FACE brutal truth that the electronic file will mask. It might set him back on his heels to see it??

Perhaps the expense of providing him with your evidence will "encourage" him to settle. Here's to hoping! (Here's to Hope as well...)

FlySomeday posted 4/23/2013 21:43 PM


I kinda like the idea of a 2000 page impact as well. Do you have any local friends who can hook you up with the copier and you just bring your own paper to save on expense?? Just spend $20 on the paper and if someone will let you use the copy machine. Oh...or.....maybe your kids school??? Just saying. Knowing the content you probably won't be comfortable doing that. I do like the 2,000 page impact.

ChoosingHope posted 4/23/2013 21:44 PM

Thanks everyone. I left a msg. with my attorney about it. I was mostly wondering if there is a strategic reason to do it one way or another.

I honestly can't imagine STBX going to kinko's to print all of it out. And he won't pay his attorney to do it either. But if it's electronic, they can probably just easily search for whatever they're interested in finding.

Care, I think you're right. No matter what, those 2000 pages make a statement when you see them all printed out.


hathnofury posted 4/25/2013 13:10 PM

Hope, I have been stewing on this overnight. I totally think you should copy your printed copies with a substandard copier, and provide one set only to his lawyer. You get the impact of the 2000 pages, the inconvenience of having to make or pay for copies anyway, and the inconvenience of substandard copies. It's not like he bent over backward to provide you discovery.

And then my other concern, that really bothers me. I think you need some backup in place after you submit the copies. Have your dad stay with you for a week or whatever, or arrange to be gone that week. I am positive there will be fallout, he is a crazy SOB, and you need the backup. Keep a video camera or VAR ready in your house to record what transpires. Even if it is not admissable in court, it still has value.

roughroadahead posted 4/25/2013 20:51 PM

As a law clerk in the not-too-distant past, I weep at the thought of 2000 pages dropped on my desk....

ChoosingHope posted 4/25/2013 22:02 PM

Thank you everyone.

I had assumed that I would probably have to supply two printouts of everything. But my attorney said that PDFs are better - in fact, if I handed over printouts, they would scan them in their office.

So believe it or not, I used my Christmas gift certificate to buy a scanner. It was a no brainer, since I know that the paralegal charges more an hour than it would be for me to buy the scanner and do it all myself.

So I am planning on scanning the 2000 pages. And for things like my old tax returns, I will save each little section under its own name. Let him open 50 PDFs to get the complete tax documents. Ditto for three years of cancelled checks that he requested.

If anyone else has any ideas to make this inconvenient for him, I welcome them.

Lastly, I would just like to add that he requested a list of every item of clothing I've purchased since 1996, AND a written rationale for why I should get to keep my small inheritance from my parents - money that I brought to the marriage, and which was never mingled with marital funds. HATE HIM.

Meanwhile, we only submitted about 50 percent of his discovery. We filed a motion to compel - quite a while ago. But crickets is what we got.

ChoosingHope posted 4/25/2013 22:05 PM

Also, Hath, thank you. I am so overwhelmed by everything he's requested - it's going to be way more than 10,000 pages of documents - that I haven't even thought of the fallout over my evidence against him.

So far he's successfully kept his SA out of any court documents. So you are right, he will not be happy.

I will take precautions. Thank you again.

GabyBaby posted 4/25/2013 22:12 PM


Do you already have electronic copies of everything?

If so, look online for a (free) downloadable program called Cute PDF.

Basically, instead of printing to your printer, you would make CutePDF your "default" printer. Give it a few seconds, then a save box pops up on screen. You then tell it where to save your PDF file.

This would probably be a lot faster than scanning everything.

ChoosingHope posted 4/25/2013 22:40 PM

GabyBaby - those 2000 pages are Yahoo text messages. Would CutePDF let me open them on my Mac and then convert them directly to PDFs???

If so, I can return my scanner!!!!

Thank you!!!

Nature_Girl posted 4/25/2013 23:55 PM

Every item of clothing since 1996? Seriously?


Like, even undies & socks? Would any sane human being keep a record of how many pairs of pantyhose (I know, I know) they went through? How about bras? And shall we go into maternity bras & jeans with stretch panels? Do cheap drug-store flip-flops count as well?

What would be the purpose of having you catalog every item of clothing for the past 17-18 years? Don't bother answering, I'm just boggled.

hurting2much posted 4/26/2013 05:40 AM


When I met with my lawyer, he specifically asked if I had received any inheritance. And if I did, XWH could not receive any of that. My lawyer also said that any gifts that I got (from family, from XWH) were mine and XWH couldn't have them even if he fought for them.

What does your L say about what your WH is asking for in discovery? I know whatever my XWH wanted in discovery, he ALSO had to provide that same information to me and my lawyer.

million pieces posted 4/26/2013 05:53 AM

I think inheritance is another state by state thing. But like H2M said, in MD they are separate from the 50/50 division of assets.

Amazonia posted 4/26/2013 05:59 AM

Hope, you should be able to convert anything with Cute PDF - are the yahoo chats saved as web pages? What's the file type?

If you need help, let me know - lots of free time now that I'm off school for a few months. (And I'm very tech savvy)

hatetheworld posted 4/26/2013 06:24 AM

I haven't read all the comments but could you print out the 2000 pages and also bring in the flash drive or email the Pdfs? That way he gets the in your face effect of the stack but can use the flashdrive for convenience?

[This message edited by hatetheworld at 6:26 AM, April 26th (Friday)]

Take2 posted 4/26/2013 06:45 AM

We didn't do discovery. If we had, I had 1000 pages of email printed and ready to go, (including those to OWs, me, confessions, and the one where he gave me his passwords).

It looked like we were going to end up in court - and we were ready with a charge of abuse in lieu of multiple affairs, and broken promises to end them.

I suggest as you go through those papers that you save them to a file (or multiple files) and that you label *your* set with titles that speak to content and date. So *you* can search through a thumb drive and/or the paper files easily. But before you label them make an unlabeled copy for him -- I wouldn't provide any organization for his copies whether on paper or pdf. Let them search blindly.

So... on this list of clothing - unless he specified - I'd include children's clothes and any clothing you purchased for him too... Obviously you can only guesstimate, but that is reasonable.

Also remember that clothing expenses are living expenses -- My lawyer wanted those numbers high on my financials. And my X put his at 100.00 per week, (which was laughable).

[This message edited by Take2 at 6:48 AM, April 26th (Friday)]

homewrecked2011 posted 4/26/2013 06:58 AM

Also, once I had the thousands of text messages in my atty office, it got me everything I wanted in my divorce and then we did not have to go to court.

It was used as leverage by my atty to his atty.

mistaken posted 4/26/2013 07:44 AM


On a Mac, you don't even need CutePDF or anything like that.

If you use Safari or Firefox, just go into the Print dialog. At the botton, there is a PDF button. Click on it and choose Save as PDF. Return the scanner and go buy yourself a Christmas gift! :)

Good luck.

ETA: You can use that function in pretty much all software on the Mac.

[This message edited by mistaken at 7:50 AM, April 26th (Friday)]

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