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Fox v. Fox

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

April 22, 2015

MICHAEL WAYNE FOX, Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
HARRIET MAE FOX, NEE WADLEY, Defendant-Appellee,

Page 360

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 361

Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 2011-2101. Honorable C. Wendell Manning, Judge.

STEPHEN D. FOX, Counsel for Appellant, I.C.C.D. Fox, LLC.

Counsel for Appellees, Stephen Donald Fox, C. D. Fox, Irmgard C. Fox and CDIC Fox.

ALBERT E. LOOMIS, III, Counsel for Appellee, Michael Wayne Fox.

STEPHEN J. KATZ, Counsel for Appellee, Harriet Mae Fox, nee Wadley.

Before WILLIAMS, LOLLEY and GARRETT, JJ.

OPINION

Page 362

[49,619 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] WILLIAMS, J.

The appellant, I.C.C.D. Fox, L.L.C., appeals a judgment denying its motion for a protective order, granting Harriet Fox's motion to compel production of certain documents and awarding her $1,824 in attorney fees. In addition, the trial court found I.C.C.D. Fox, L.L.C., in contempt for its failure to produce the documents and assessed a fine of $10,000. For the following reasons, we amend the judgment and affirm as amended.

FACTS

This matter arises from the divorce proceeding of Dr. Michael Fox and Harriet Fox. In June 2012, Harriet Fox (" Harriet" ) filed a subpoena duces tecum and notice of records deposition seeking discovery of certain documents from limited liability companies owned by her former husband's family members, including I.C.C.D. Fox, LLC (" Fox, LLC" ). In response, Fox, LLC filed a motion to quash the subpoena and sought a protective order and sanctions against Harriet's attorney, Stephen Katz. Harriet then filed several exceptions, an opposition to the motion to quash and a motion to compel discovery. After a hearing, the trial court rendered judgment denying the relief sought by Fox, LLC, granting Harriet's motion to compel and ordering Fox, LLC to produce all of the requested documents by September 21, 2012. On appeal, this court affirmed the judgment. Fox v. Fox, 47,937 (La.App. 2d Cir. 4/10/13), 113 So.3d 457, writ denied, 2013-1320 (La. 6/21/13), 118 So.3d 426.

After this appeal process, Fox, LLC failed to produce the documents to Harriet's attorney. Instead, in November 2013, attorney Stephen Fox, representing Fox, LLC, sent by email to attorney Katz a proposed protective [49,619 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] order limiting release of the documents to others. Harriet did not respond to the order. Fox, LLC then filed a motion entitled " Third Party (nonparty) Motion for a Rehearing on [the] Motion for a Protective Order and Article 1426 Motion for a Protective Order." In response, Harriet filed a motion to compel discovery and for contempt sanctions. At the hearing on the motions, Fox, LLC presented to the court copies of certain documents, which had already been redacted by attorney Fox. After reviewing the documents and noting counsel's alteration of many pages, the district court declined to further review the documents and denied the protective order on the showing made. The court granted Harriet's motion to compel, ordered Fox, LLC to provide her with unredacted copies of the requested documents and to pay her attorney fees of $1,824. In addition, the court rendered judgment finding Fox, LLC in contempt

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and assessing a fine of $10,000. Fox, LLC appeals ...


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