What is the procedure to notify a corporation to not destroy any evidence because a civil legal complaint will likely be filed? Criminal complaints may also be pending, but that will be up to the prosecuting agencies. The corporation is located in the USA.

The evidence that needs to be retained includes documents in their possession, notes from their employees, detailed call records, and telephone recording they made.

Note that some of their recordings were made illegally, but their staff has confirmed they did record the calls. I'm not sure if that complicates things at all.

Also, if there are standard documents for this purpose available online, links to such documents are welcome.

  • 1
    The practical answer is to hire an experienced civil litigator both to file the complaint and to perform whatever notification is necessary, but I am posting this as a comment because I am certain that this isn't the answer you're looking for.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 19:04
  • 1
    You should contact a lawyer.
    – user36183
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


The standard practice is to send the opposing party -- or better yet, its attorney -- a preservation letter, also known as a litigation hold. The letter notifies the receiving party that the sender is contemplating litigation, which triggers the recipient's duty to retain relevant records.

Google for "sample presevation letter" or "sample litigation hold" and you'll find plenty of examples.

  • 3
    Normally, you would sent it to the corporation's registered agent in a manner that could be proven later, such as with a certified letter or a hand delivery by courier. The Secretary of State or equivalent state official has a list of registered agents and registered office addresses for every corporation authorized to do business in that state.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 1:27
  • Yes. A very good clarification.
    – bdb484
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 4:10

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