Manage custodians in an eDiscovery (Premium) case
The Data sources tab in a Microsoft Purview eDiscovery (Premium) case contains a list of all custodians that have been added to the case. After you add custodians to a case, details about each custodian are automatically collected from Azure Active Directory and are viewable in eDiscovery (Premium).
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View custodian details
The Data Sources list view can be filtered by Source name, Source type (custodian/data location), Locations, Source status, Indexing status, Hold status, and Index date. The list view can also be grouped by Data source, Source type, Source status, Hold status, and Indexing status.
To view the details about a custodian, select the custodian from the list on the Data sources tab. A flyout page is displayed with the following tabs and information:
- Summary tab
- Employee information
- Locations tab
- Import errors
Additionally, the command bar for the custodian flyout page enables the following actions for the custodian:
- Edit source: Opens the Edit custodian page where you can add or remove data sources associated with the custodian.
- Update index: Updates the index for the custodian's data sources. This action is useful when you want to reindex the custodian's data sources to address partially indexed items.
- Release: Releases the custodian from the case. This action releases any holds placed on the custodian's data sources. Any holds placed on the custodian's data sources in other cases will still apply.
- View activity: Opens the View activity page where you can search for specific activity for the custodian in the audit log.
- Retry hold action: Retries the hold for the selected custodians and locations.
The Summary tab shows the following sections and information about the custodian:
- Title: The custodian's job title.
- User principal name: The user principal name(UPN) for the custodian, for example, AdeleV@contoso.onmicrosoft.com.
- Manager: The custodian's manager. The designated manager receives any escalation communications for this custodian.
- Mailbox: The custodian's primary mailbox.
- Location. The office location in the custodian's place of business.
- City: The city in which the custodian works.
- State: The state in which the custodian works.
- Country: The country in which the custodian works.
- Department: The name for the department in which the custodian works.
Hold status: The hold status of the locations added to the custodian. The hold statuses include:
On hold: Indicates the custodian and associated locations is successfully placed on hold.
Not on hold: Indicates the custodian and associated data locations are either not placed on hold or successfully released from hold.
Applying hold: Indicates the application of hold to the custodian and associated data locations is in progress. Wait until the hold job completes and verify that the hold is placed successfully.
Releasing hold: Indicates that the release of hold from the custodian and associated data locations is in progress. Wait until the hold job completes and verify if the hold is released successfully.
Partial hold: Indicates errors for some locations associated with the custodian couldn't be placed on hold.
Partial hold released: Indicates some locations associated with the custodian weren't released from hold.
Hold failed: Indicates the hold couldn't be placed on the custodian and any of the associated locations.
Release failed: Indicates the hold couldn't be released from the custodian and any of the associated locations.
If the hold couldn't be placed or released successfully, the total count of failed locations with associated error categories and their resolution are displayed in the Summary tab. Select Show locations to view the full list of failed locations or select Export list to download a list of the failed locations by error type. For more information about data source errors, see Manage hold status and errors.
The improved hold error details and resolution are available only for newly added custodians. A generic error message ia displayed for older custodial locations that had previously failed. Users can get the improved error messaging and resolution information for these custodians by selecting Retry hold action. This retries the hold and generates the improved error messaging and resolution if the error persists.
Indexing status: Indicates the indexing state, including the last updated date and time (UTC).
This tab shows the count and type of data sources (mailboxes, sites, and Teams) and the hold status for each location associated with the custodian and are part of the case.
- Each data location shows its hold status.
- If you don't see a hold status for a data source, please check the status of the custodian hold that's listed on the Hold tab for the case. The custodian hold identifies the specific data sources place on hold.
Import errors tab
This tab shows the count and list of locations associated with the custodian that errored during the import custodian process and allows user to remove invalid locations from the sources.
Edit a custodian
As your case progresses, you may discover that there may be additional data sources relevant to a specific custodian and the case. In other scenarios, you may want to remove certain data sources that have been reviewed and deemed as not relevant.
To update the data sources that are associated with a custodian:
Go to eDiscovery > eDiscovery (Premium) and open the case.
Select the Data Sources tab.
Select a custodian from the list, and then select Edit source on the flyout page command bar.
To add or remove the primary mailbox and OneDrive account for the custodian:
- Expand the custodian to view the primary data locations that have been previously associated with the custodian.
- Select Edit next to Mailboxes or OneDrive to add the custodian's mailbox or OneDrive location.
- Select Clear next to Mailboxes or OneDrive to remove the custodian's mailbox or OneDrive account from being associated as a data location for this custodian.
To add or remove other mailboxes, sites, Teams, or Viva Engage groups to a specific custodian, select Edit next to the service to add a data location.
- Exchange: Use to associate other mailboxes to the custodian. Type into the search box the name or alias (a minimum of three characters) of user mailboxes or distribution groups. Select the mailboxes to assign to the custodian and then select Add.
- SharePoint: Use to associate SharePoint sites to the custodian. Select a site in the list or search for a site by typing a URL in the search box. Select the sites to assign to the custodian and then select Add.
- Teams: Use to assign the Microsoft Teams the custodian is currently a member of. Select the teams to assign to the custodian and then select Add. After you add a team, the system automatically identifies and locates the SharePoint site and group mailbox associated to that team and assigns them to the custodian.
- Viva Engage: Use to assign the Viva Engage groups the custodian is currently a member of. Select the groups to assign to the custodian and then select Add. After you add a team, the system automatically identifies and locates the SharePoint site and group mailbox associated to that group and assigns them to the custodian.
You can use the Exchange and SharePoint location pickers to associate any mailbox or site in your organization, including teams or Viva Engage groups that a custodian is not a member of, to a custodian. To do this, you have to add both the mailbox and site associated with each team or Viva Engage group.
After editing the data locations for the custodian, select Next to go to the Hold settings page.
On the Hold settings page, update the hold settings for the custodian. Select Next.
On the Review page, review the changes and select Submit to save the changes.
Reindex custodian data
In most eDiscovery workflows for legal investigations, a subset of a custodian's data is searched after the custodian is added to a legal case. Because of large file sizes or possible data corruption, some items in the data sources associated with a custodian may be partially indexed. Using the Advanced indexing capability in the eDiscovery (Premium), most partially indexed items can be automatically remediated by reindexing these items on demand.
When a custodian is added to a case, the data located in the data sources associated with the custodian is automatically reindexed (by the Advanced indexing process). This means you can leave the data in-place instead of having to download and remediate it and then search it offline). However, during the lifecycle of a legal case new data sources might be associated with a custodian. In this case, you can reindex the custodian's data by rerunning the Advanced indexing process to remediate any partially indexed items and update the index for the custodian's data.
To trigger the reindexing process to address partially indexed items:
- Go to eDiscovery > eDiscovery (Premium) and open the case.
- Select the Data sources tab.
- On the Data sources page, select a custodian whose data must be reindexed.
- On the flyout page, select Update index.A dialog is displayed to confirm the index update, select Yes to continue.
Reindexing custodian data is a long-running process; the corresponding job that's created is named Re-indexing custodian data. You can track the progress on the Jobs tab or on the Custodians tab by monitoring the status in the Indexing job status column.
For more information, see:
Release a custodian from a case
A custodian is released in situations where a case is closed, the custodian is no longer under obligation to preserve content for a case, or when the custodian is deemed to no longer be relevant to the case.
If you release a custodian after a hold notice was published, a release notice will be sent to the custodian. Additionally, any holds placed on data sources that were associated with the custodian are removed. If the custodian was placed on a silent hold, where they weren't issued any legal hold notifications, a release notice won't be sent but any holds placed on data sources that were associated with that custodian are removed.
To release a custodian:
Go to eDiscovery > eDiscovery (Premium) and open the case.
Select the Data sources tab.
On the Data sources page, and then select the custodian who is being released from the case.
On the flyout page, select Release.
A warning page is displayed explaining that if a hold is placed on a data source associated with the custodian, the hold is removed, and that any other hold associated with a different eDiscovery (Premium) case still apply. That includes other types of preservation and retention features (such as a Microsoft 365 retention policy).
Select Yes to confirm that you want to release the custodian.
The status for this user on the Custodians tab is set to Released and the Hold status on the flyout page is changed to False.
A custodian may be simultaneously involved in several legal cases. When a custodian is released from a specific case, the holds and notifications across other cases won't be impacted.