Discovery of Immigration Status: Gold Medal Bakery v. Super Bread II

In the unpublished case of Gold Medal Bakery, Inc. v. Super Bread II Corp., decided May 21, 2014, the Appellate Division reiterated firm guidelines for the discovery of a party’s immigration status.

Specifically, the Appellate Division agreed with the reasoning of Serrano v. Underground Util. Corp., 407 N.J.Super. 253 (App. Div. 2009), which held that permitting discovery into an individual’s immigration status is “fraught with the potential for undue prejudice” and should not be permitted absent “a meaningful nexus … to overcome the obvious prejudice that will follow from such inquiry.” Id. at 286.

In other words, the analysis “start[s] with a presumption that any inquiry into matters of immigration status is not appropriate” and “place[s] the burden on the proponent to demonstrate, beyond the issue of credibility, why such inquiry is germane to the issues in dispute.” Id. at 286.

Because the plaintiff could not prove that there was a “meaningful nexus” for the discovery of defendant’s immigration status, such discovery was prohibited.

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