United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
L. Litkovitz, United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to quash
a subpoena under Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3) issued by plaintiff to
Spooner Incorporated ("Spooner") (Doc. 42),
plaintiffs response in opposition (Doc. 51), defendant's
reply memorandum (Doc. 55), and plaintiffs supplemental
memorandum opposing defendant's motion to quash (Doc.
November 27, 2019, defendant filed a motion to quash the
subpoena issued by plaintiff to Spooner Incorporated, which
is a third-party administrator of records for Meyer Tool.
(Doc. 42). Defendant argues that the subpoena is overly broad
and outside the scope of discovery as it requests information
related to "any and all employees of Meyer Tool, Inc.
who applied for FMLA [Family and Medical Leave Act] leave
since 2014." (Id. at 5) (citing Subpoena, Exh.
A, Doc. 42-1 at 4, ¶ 10). Defendant also raises
potential confidentiality and privacy concerns related to
these requests. (Id.). Plaintiff subsequently filed
a response in opposition and defendant filed a reply
memorandum. (Docs. 51, 55). On December 10, 2019, the parties
discussed the Spooner subpoena with the Court during an
informal discovery conference. After the conference, the
Court ordered plaintiff to share her theory regarding her
FMLA claims and supporting case law with defendant and
explain why the information requested in the Spooner subpoena
is relevant to the existing claims in this case. (Doc. 57).
The Court indicated that it would rule on the parties'
briefings if the issue was not resolved. (Id.). This
matter is now ripe for the Court's review. In addition to
the briefings, the Court also considers the email
correspondence between the parties involving the Spooner
subpoena, which was submitted as an exhibit to plaintiffs
supplemental memorandum. (Doc. 65-1, 65-2, 65-3). The email
correspondence indicates that defendant does not oppose the
subpoena to Spooner with respect to the records involving
plaintiff Rebeca Santiago. Defendant indicates that it has
requested that Spooner produce these records. However,
defendant continues to oppose the remaining requests in the
Spooner subpoena that involve employees other than Ms.
Santiago. Therefore, the Court's review is limited to
defendant's motion to quash Spooner subpoena request Nos.
2, 5, 8, and 10:
2. Please provide the first and last initials, employee
identification number, age, sex, race, and position of any
and all employees of Meyer Tool, Inc. who applied for FMLA
leave since 2014[.]
5. Please provide any and all documentation relating to your
policies relating to and regarding the calculation of
intermittent FMLA leave.
8. Please provide any and all instructions from Meyer Tool,
Inc. relating to and regarding the calculation of
intermittent FMLA leave.
10. Please provide any and all communication and documents
relating to and regarding the calculation of the intermittent
FMLA leave of any and all employees of Meyer Tool, Inc. who
applied for FMLA leave since 2014.
(Subpoena, Ex. A, Doc. 42-1).
argues that defendant lacks standing to challenge the
subpoena directed at Spooner. (Doc. 51 at 2-3). When a
subpoena is directed at a nonparty, the Court must first
decide whether or not the party moving to quash the subpoena
has standing. Schaumleffel v. Muskingum Univ., No.
2:17-cv-463, 2019 WL 3071851, at *2 (S.D. Ohio July 15,
2019). Generally a party has no standing to quash a subpoena
directed at a nonparty unless the party seeking to quash
claims "a personal right or privilege with regards to
the documents sought." Id. (quoting Waite,
Schneider, Bayless & Chesley Co. L.P.A. v. Davis,
No. 1:11-cv-0851, 2013 WL 146362, at *5 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 14,
2013)). Only a party to whom a subpoena is directed has
standing to oppose it. Waite et a!., 2013 WL 146362,
the subpoena issued by plaintiff is directed towards Spooner,
a nonparty, and Spooner has not attempted to oppose or quash
the information sought in the subpoena. Defendant was not the
party that was served with the subpoena, and it has not
articulated a personal right or privilege regarding the
information sought in the Spooner subpoena. The party seeking
to quash a subpoena bears a heavy burden of proof that a
personal right or privilege over the documents sought exists
and must make more than a conclusory assertion of an interest
or privilege. Schaumleffel, 2019 WL 3071851, at *2
(internal quotations omitted). In its reply brief, defendant
solely argues that the subpoena to Spooner was served in
violation of the discovery deadline and does not directly
address whether or not it has standing to quash the subpoena.
(See Doc. 55). In any event, all issues involving
the discovery deadline are now moot given that the Court has
ordered that the discovery deadline is extended.
(See Doc. 57). Defendant has not met its burden of
showing it has standing to quash the subpoena directed toward
Spooner, a nonparty.
defendant did have standing to move to quash the Spooner
subpoena, the Court concludes that the information sought in
the subpoena is relevant and discoverable under Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). "Rule 45 does not list irrelevance or
overbreadth as reasons for quashing a subpoena. Courts,
however, have held that the scope of discovery under a
subpoena is the same as the scope of discovery under Rule
26.” Hendricks v. Total Quality Logistics,
LLC,275 F.R.D. 251, 253 (S.D. Ohio 2011) (quoting
Barrington v. Mortage IT, Inc., No. 07-61304, 2007
WL 4370647, at *3 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 10, 2007)). Under the
federal rules, parties may obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is ...