United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
WELLS ROBY CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Quash (R. Doc.
45) seeking an order from the Court quashing four
subpoenas. The motion is opposed. R. Doc. 48. The motion was
heard on the briefs.
instant action was filed by Plaintiff Herbert Mims on July
31, 2017. Plaintiff alleges that he was on the M/V CHAD
MICHAEL, a crew boat, and was being transferred by crew
basket to the SP 49 A rig when a large wave hit throwing him
off the crew basket and causing injuries. R. Doc. 1, p. 2.
Plaintiff alleges that his injuries were the result of the
negligence, inattention, and carelessness of the Defendants
and their employees, as well as the unseaworthiness of the
vessel. Id. at pp. 3-5. The Plaintiff further
contends that he is entitled to maintenance and cure, as well
as punitive damages and attorney's for the failure to pay
maintenance and cure. Id.
filed the instant motion seeking to quash four subpoenas that
were noticed by Defendant B&J Martin, Inc
(“B&J”). R. Doc. 45. The subpoenas were sent
to Louisiana Central Credit Union, Ally Bank Corporation,
General Motors Acceptance Corporation, and OneMain Consumer
Loan, Inc. R. Doc. 45-2. Plaintiff argues that the requests
seek credit history, records related to loans, as well as
loan payments, which have no bearing on the suit are an
attempt to “sling mud” at the Plaintiff's
character. R. Doc. 45-1.
B&J opposes the motion. R. Doc. 48. B&J argues that
these records will help determine if the Plaintiff was having
financial problems or had other incentives for his
“baseless claim.” Id. at p. 1. B&J
argue that there are a number of factors which raise the
question of whether or not the claim was fabricated for
financial incentive. Id. at p. 2. Further B&J
states that Plaintiff underwent back surgery and has provided
an economic report detailing past and future loss of wages,
and without the subpoenaed information the Defendant has no
access to these records. Id. at p. 5.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 45(d)(3) governs the quashing or
modifying of subpoenas. The Court must quash or modify a
subpoena that “(i) fails to allow a reasonable time to
comply; (ii) requires a person to comply beyond the
geographical limits specified in Rule 45(c); (iii) requires
disclosure of privileged or other protected matter, if no
exception or waiver applies; or (iv) subjects a person to
undue burden.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3)(A)(i)-(iv). The
Court may also modify or quash a subpoena that requires the
disclosure of a trade secret or an unretained expert's
opinion that does not describe specific occurrences in
dispute and results from that expert's study that was not
requested by a party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3)(B).
under Rule 45 may be served upon both party and non-parties.
Petit v. Heebe, No. 15-3084, 2016 WL 1089351, at *2
(E.D. La. Mar. 21, 2016). However, in order to challenge the
subpoena, the movant must: be in possession or control of the
requested material; be the person to whom the subpoena is
issued; or have a personal right or privilege in the subject
matter of the subpoena or a sufficient interest in it.
See Brown v. Braddick, 595 F.2d 961, 967 (5th Cir.
1979); see also Johnson v. Mixon, No. 13-2629, 2014
WL 1764750, at *4 (E.D. La. May, 2, 2014).
Rule of Civil Procedure 45(a)(4) requires that if a subpoena
commands “the production of documents, electronically
stored information, or tangible things or the inspection of
premises before trial, then before it is served on the person
to whom it is directed, a notice and a copy of the subpoena
must be served on each party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(a)(4).
26(b)(1) provides that parties may obtain discovery regarding
relevant information to any claim or defense as long as it is
nonprivileged. Rule 26(b)(1) specifies that
“[i]nformation within the scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discovered.” Rule
26(b)(1) also specifies that discovery must be
“proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
important of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in
controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
the issue of standing is not addressed in either the motion
or opposition. Plaintiff seeks to quash the subpoenas,
however, in order to challenge the subpoena, the movant must:
be in possession or control of the requested material; be the
person to whom the subpoena is issued; or have a personal
right or privilege in the subject matter ...