(PC) Dent v. Pierette et al

Filing 26

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney on 9/10/2020 DENYING 23 Motion to Modify the Subpoena. (Henshaw, R)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 BRIAN KEITH DENT, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 No. 2:19-cv-01962-TLN-CKD v. ORDER LENOIOR PIERETTE, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this federal civil 17 18 rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action is proceeding on plaintiff’s 19 complaint against defendants Barber and Adams, who are both medical doctors, on claims of 20 Eighth Amendment medical indifference and negligence. ECF No. 5 (screening order). 21 Currently pending before the court is plaintiff’s motion to modify defendants’ subpoena to the 22 Records Custodian of the California Health Care Facility to inspect and copy plaintiff’s medical 23 records from January 1, 2016 to the present. ECF No. 23. Defendants have not filed an 24 opposition to the motion. 25 26 I. Allegations in the Complaint Plaintiff alleges that defendants Dr. Adams and Dr. Barber were deliberately indifferent to 27 his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment when treating him for a serious 28 blood disease and dermatological conditions diagnosed in July 2017 as well as a shoulder injury 1 1 2 and chronic pain in 2019. II. Motion to Modify Subpoena On August 2, 2020, plaintiff filed a motion to modify the defendants’ subpoena to inspect 3 4 and copy his medical record maintained by the California Health Care Facility (“CHCF”) from 5 January 1, 2016 to the present. ECF No. 23. In support of his motion, plaintiff cites Rule 6 45(c)(3)(A) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but he does not specify any particular ground 7 for objecting to the subpoena. Plaintiff only indicates that he objects to the time period of the 8 records requested (from January 1, 2016 to October 10, 2017). ECF No. 23 at 2. Plaintiff seeks 9 to modify the subpoena to cover only the time period from October 11, 2017 to the present. Id. 10 11 III. Analysis The court must quash or modify a subpoena that requires the disclosure of privileged or 12 other protected matter, or subjects a person to undue burden. Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(3) (A). Here, 13 plaintiff is seeking to modify a subpoena issued to the CDCR, which is not a party to this civil 14 action. “Ordinarily a party has no standing to seek to quash a subpoena issued to someone who is 15 not a party to the action, unless the objecting party claims some personal right or privilege with 16 regard to the documents sought.” 9A Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice 17 and Procedure, § 2459 (3d ed. 2008) (footnote omitted); see also Langford v. Chrysler Motors 18 Corp., 513 F.2d 1121, 1126 (2d Cir. 1975) (“In the absence of a claim of privilege a party usually 19 does not have standing to object to a subpoena directed to a non-party witness.”); United States v. 20 Tomison, 969 F.Supp. 587, 596 (E.D. Cal. 1997) (“A party only has standing to move to quash 21 the subpoena issued to another when the subpoena infringes upon the movant's legitimate 22 interests.”). While plaintiff’s right to privacy in his medical and mental health information gives 23 him standing to challenge the subpoena, plaintiff does not identify any legal basis for modifying 24 defendants’ subpoena to only those records from October 11, 2017 to the present. See Jacobs v. 25 Connecticut Community Technical Colleges, 258 F.R.D. 192, 195 (D. Conn. 2009) (stating that 26 “the plaintiff clearly has a personal privacy right and privilege with respect to the information 27 contained in his psychiatric and mental health records. Hence, the plaintiff's interest in keeping 28 this information gives him standing under Rule 45(c)(3)(A) to challenge the subpoena.”). Since 2 1 plaintiff’s medical condition, which is the subject of the complaint, was diagnosed in July 2017, 2 there is no discernable basis to limit the subpoena to just the time period from October 11, 2017 3 to the present. Accordingly, there is no legal basis for the court to modify the subpoena issued by 4 defendants. 5 For all these reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to modify the 6 subpoena (ECF No. 23) is denied. 7 Dated: September 10, 2020 _____________________________________ CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 12/dent1962.modifysubpoena.docx 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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