Celestine v. Capital One et al
Order on Plaintiffs Appeal of Magistrate Judges Order, denying 64 Motion and Affirming 62 Order. Signed by Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr on 6/28/2017. (lan)
United States District Court
Southern District of Florida
Joseph Celestine, Plaintiff,
Capital One, and others,
Civil Action No. 17-20237-Civ-Scola
Order on Plaintiff’s Appeal of Magistrate Judge’s Order
The Plaintiff filed a motion in opposition (ECF No. 64) to the Magistrate
Judge’s discovery order compelling non-party Equifax Information Services, LLC,
to comply with the Defendants’ subpoena (ECF No. 62). The Court will construe
the motion as an objection to Magistrate Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes’s order, in
accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(a) and 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(A). A district court may reconsider a magistrate judge’s ruling on a
non-dispositive matter “where it has been shown that the magistrate judge’s order
is clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) (2006); see also
Rule 4 of the Local Magistrate Judge Rules.
The Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging, in part, that the Defendants
improperly accessed his credit. In order to adequately investigate these claims
and their defenses, the Defendants issued third-party subpoenas to three Credit
Reporting Agencies (“CRA”). (Mot. to Compel ¶ 2–3, ECF No. 59.) However, one of
those CRAs, Equifax, responded that it could not comply with the subpoena
without a notarized authorization from the Plaintiff or a court order. (Id. ¶ 6.) The
Defendants requested the notarized authorization from the Plaintiff, but the
Plaintiff refused to provide his authorization. (Id. ¶ 7.)
Through the subpoena to Equifax, the Defendants sought to depose a
corporate representative and to obtain production of certain documents. (Id. Ex. 1
at 12–18, ECF No. 59-1.) The document request stated, “The personal identifying
information for Plaintiff is confidential and may not be used for any other reason
other than identifying Plaintiff for purposes of responding to this subpoena for
production of documents.” None of the specified document requests sought the
Plaintiff’s personal identifying information. Judge Otazo-Reyes ordered Equifax to
comply with the subpoena—in other words, to designate a corporate
representative to attend a deposition and to produce the documents identified in
the Defendants’ document request. (Order, ECF No. 62.)
The Plaintiff, however, objects the Judge Otazo-Reyes’s order, claiming that
“providing access to a credit report during litigation is a criminal act, strictly
prohibited, and in violation of the [Fair Credit Reporting Act].” (Mot. ¶ 7, ECF No.
64.) The Plaintiff fails to recognize that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)
expressly permits a CRA to furnish a consumer report in response to a court
order. 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(a)(1). It stands to reason, then, that the FCRA
contemplates situations where court would require a CRA to furnish such a
report. Further, the Plaintiff fails to recognize that he is the individual that has
commenced the discovery process in this case by filing the present lawsuit. The
Defendants merely have sought information directly related to the Plaintiff’s
claims. No impermissible purpose or false pretense exists with respect to the
Defendants’ subpoena and document request.
The Court has considered the Plaintiff’s objections, the record, and the
relevant legal authorities, and Judge Otazo-Reyes’s rulings are not clearly
erroneous or contrary to law. Accordingly, it is hereby ordered and adjudged that
the Magistrate Judge’s Order on the Defendants’ motion to compel compliance
with Third-Party Subpoena (ECF No. 62) is affirmed. The Court thus denies the
Plaintiff’s motion in opposition (ECF No. 64) to the Magistrate Judge’s discovery
Done and Ordered in chambers, at Miami, Florida, on June 28, 2017.
Robert N. Scola, Jr.
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?