Rucker v. Venture Airlines
ORDER GRANTING (1) DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFF'S SUBPOENAS DATED APRIL 14, 2017 91 109 AND (2) STARR ADJUSTMENT SERVICES, INC.'S MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA DATED APRIL 18, 2017 [ECF no. 1 in 1:17-mc-00133-DKW-KSC]. Signed by MAGISTRATE JUDGE KEVIN S.C. CHANG on 6/27/2017. (afc)WRITTEN ORDER follows hearing held June 27, 2017 for :(1) Defendant Air Ventures Hawaii, LLC 39;s MOTION to Quash Plaintiff's Subpoenas dated April 14, 2017 (Motion: ECF no. 91 ). Minutes of hearing: ECF no. 109 as to case 1:16-cv-00492-KSC-and-(2) Petitioner Starr Adjustment Services, Inc.'s Motion to Quash Subpoena da ted April 18, 2017 (Motion: ECF no. 1 ). Minutes of hearing: ECF no. 9 as to case 1:17-mc-00133-DKW-KSC. CERTIFICATE OF SERVICEParticipants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry. Docket text entry modified on 6/28/2017. (afc) NEF REGENERATED.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF HAWAII
AIR VENTURES HAWAII, LLC,
STARR ADJUSTMENT SERVICES,
CIVIL NO. 16-00492 KSC
ORDER GRANTING (1) DEFENDANT’S
MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFF’S
SUBPOENAS DATED APRIL 14, 2017
AND (2) STARR ADJUSTMENT
SERVICES, INC.’S MOTION TO
QUASH SUBPOENA DATED APRIL 18,
MISC. NO. 17-00133 DKW-KSC
ORDER GRANTING (1) DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO QUASH
PLAINTIFF’S SUBPOENAS DATED APRIL 14, 2017 AND
(2) STARR ADJUSTMENT SERVICES, INC.’S MOTION
TO QUASH SUBPOENA DATED APRIL 18, 2017
Before the Court are (1) Defendant Air Ventures
Hawaii, LLC’s (“Air Ventures”) Motion to Quash Plaintiff’s
Subpoenas Dated April 14, 2017 and (2) Starr Adjustment
Services, Inc.’s (“Starr”) Motion to Quash Subpoena Dated
April 18, 2017.
These matters came on for hearing on June 27,
Katrina Rucker appeared pro se by telephone;1 Stephen
Ms. Rucker did not request permission to appear
telephonically even though the Court directed her to do so.
Civil No. 16-00492 KSC, Doc. No. 108 (emphasis added) (“The
Dyer, Esq., appeared on behalf of Air Ventures; and Lyle
Hosoda, Esq., appeared on behalf of Starr.
After careful consideration of the Motions, the
arguments of Ms. Rucker and counsel, and the applicable law,
the Court HEREBY GRANTS the Motions for the reasons stated
Between April 14 and 18, 2017, Ms. Rucker mailed
(via certified mail) subpoenas to Air Ventures,2 commanding
the production of documents by April 28, 2017.
were addressed to Air Ventures’ (1) General Manager Jill
Briley; (2) liability insurance company adjuster Shari
Thompson; and (3) pilots Eric Johnson, Brian Fitchett, Paul
Fulghum, and Harry Dalsay.
With respect to Messrs. Johnson,
Fitchett, Fulghum, and Dalsay, the subpoenas requested “[a]ll
Court declines to grant Plaintiff blanket authorization to
appear by telephone. There are instances where her personal
appearance/attendance will be required. Any request to appear
by telephone must be made well in advance of the applicable
proceeding and will be decided on a case-by-case basis.”).
The Court nevertheless contacted her and permitted her to
appear by telephone. Such courtesies will not be extended in
the future. If Ms. Rucker fails to timely request permission
to appear telephonically, the Court will expect her to
personally appear or assume she has elected not to participate
in a hearing or other proceeding.
The subpoenas were mailed directly to Air Ventures, not
school records (elementary to present), all psychological
evaluations, church records, military records, a fifty year
employment history list, and all safety training classes
Bank records January 2014 to present.”
Ventures’ Mot., Ex. A.
The same information was requested of
Ms. Briley, along with 39 additional categories of documents.
Ms. Thompson was asked to produce “[a]ll files, claims,
records, communications, documents, transcripts, emails,
electronically stored information, photos, video, and any or
all materials related to Air Ventures Hawaii LLC.”
subpoenas were received on or around April 24, 2017.
By letter dated April 19, 2017, Ms. Rucker requested
that the Clerk of Court issue the subject subpoenas.
No. 16-00492 KSC, Doc. No. 86.
The Clerk of Court issued the
subpoena directed to Mr. Fitchett, but returned the remaining
five due to deficiencies with the subpoenas.
Id., Doc. No.
The present Motions followed.
Air Ventures and Starr move to quash the subject
subpoenas for the following reasons: (1) they were not signed
by the Clerk of Court; (2) they were improperly served by
certified mail; (3) the subpoena addressed to Ms. Thompson
misidentified Starr; (4) the subpoenas failed to give
sufficient time to comply; (5) the requests are unreasonable
and oppressive; and (6) the documents requested of Ms.
Thompson constitute trial preparation materials.
Plaintiff did not file a written opposition to
either Motion,3 though she believes the subpoenas are
necessary to obtain discovery and that because Air Ventures
has requested certain of her personal and medical records, she
is entitled to blanket discovery from the subpoenaed
Ms. Rucker’s arguments are without merit and are
rejected in their entirety.4
Ms. Rucker referenced exhibits at the hearing, but none
were formally presented to the Court for consideration. If
Ms. Rucker is referring to documents included with a
Certificate of Service filed on May 24, 2017, Civil No. 1600492 KSC, Doc. No. 100, the Court notifies her that this is
an improper means of presenting exhibits to the Court.
Certificates of service are meant to document service of the
documents referenced therein; they should not include the
documents themselves. Civil No. 16-00492 KSC, Doc. No. 70
(emphasis added) (“certificate of service referencing
discovery related documents may be filed”). The docket is not
a repository for all documents exchanged by the parties and
certificates of service are not vehicles by which to file
documents that Ms. Rucker wishes to be considered by the Court
with respect to specific motions.
Rejection of Ms. Rucker’s meritless arguments does not
constitute mistreatment or discrimination. The Court applies
the law equally to all and Ms. Rucker’s unsupported belief
that she is entitled to certain relief does not make it so,
nor has the Court acted improperly by issuing rulings in
accordance with the relevant law.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 45(a)(3)
requires that the Clerk “issue a subpoena, signed but
otherwise in blank, to a party who requests it.
must complete it before service.
An attorney also may issue
and sign a subpoena if the attorney is authorized to practice
in the issuing court.”
Fed. R. Civ. 45(a)(3).
At the hearing, Ms. Rucker complained about the lack
of established procedures for pro se litigants regarding the
issuance of subpoenas.
The Court has already informed Ms.
Rucker that it is not the Court’s job, nor the job of district
court staff, to counsel her and assist with the prosecution of
Jacobsen v. Filler, 790 F.2d 1362, 1364 (9th Cir.
1986) (“First and foremost is that pro se litigants in the
ordinary civil case should not be treated more favorably than
parties with attorneys of record.”).
Throughout the course of
this litigation, Ms. Rucker has accused the Court and staff of
mistreatment, but that is based on her misapprehension that
she is entitled to special treatment, as well as assistance
and relief not provided for by the rules.
The Federal and/or
Local Rules set forth the applicable procedures for conducting
discovery, including the issuance of subpoenas.
like all other litigants, must consult and follow those rules.
Local Rule 83.13 (“Pro se litigants shall abide by all local,
federal, and other applicable rules and/or statutes.”).
FRCP 45(a)(3) requires that a subpoena be signed by
the Clerk or by an attorney.
The subject subpoenas were not
signed by the Clerk and given that Ms. Rucker is not an
attorney, her signature alone does not validate the subpoena.
Curiously, Ms. Rucker mailed the subject subpoenas to the
respective individuals before requesting that the Clerk of
Court issue the subpoenas.5
Although the Clerk of Court
issued the subpoena addressed to Mr. Fitchett, the record
indicates that he was not served with that version of the
FRCP 45(b), which governs the service of subpoenas,
(1) By Whom and How; Tendering Fees. Any person
who is at least 18 years old and not a party may
serve a subpoena. Serving a subpoena requires
delivering a copy to the named person and, if
the subpoena requires that person’s attendance,
tendering the fees for 1 day’s attendance and
the mileage allowed by law. Fees and mileage
need not be tendered when the subpoena issues on
behalf of the United States or any of its
officers or agencies.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(b)(1).
This requirement has been
interpreted to require personal service.
Chima v. U.S. Dep’t
The subpoenas were dated and mailed on or around April
14 and 18, 2017. The letter to the Clerk of Court was dated
April 19, 2017 and received by the Court on April 21, 2017.
of Defense, 23 Fed. Appx. 721, 724 (9th Cir. 2001); Prescott
v. Cty. of Stanislaus, No. 1:10-CV-00592 JLT, 2012 WL 10617,
at *3 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 3, 2012); Fujikura Ltd. v. Finisar
Corp., No. 15MC80110HRLJSC, 2015 WL 5782351, at *5 (N.D. Cal.
Oct. 5, 2015).
Insofar as Ms. Rucker failed to personally
serve the subpoenas, they are quashed.
The Court must also quash the subpoenas because they
are unduly burdensome and failed to allow reasonable time to
Courts must quash or modify subpoenas that:
fail to allow a reasonable time to comply; (ii) require a
person to comply beyond the geographical limits specified in
Rule 45(c); (iii) require disclosure of privileged or other
protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies; or (iv)
subject a person to undue burden.”
Fed. R. Civ. P.
The subpoenas were received on April 24, 2017, and
the compliance date was April 28, 2017.
unreasonable amount of time to comply.
Four days is an
Gordon v. Sonar
Capital Mgmt. LLC, No. C 15-80080 LB, 2015 WL 1227848, at *2
(N.D. Cal. Mar. 15, 2015) (“The question of whether the time
to comply with a subpoena is a fact-specific inquiry; courts
generally have found that fewer than ten days is not
Furthermore, the document requests are grossly
overbroad and irrelevant.
For example, as noted above, Ms.
Rucker requested “[a]ll school records (elementary to
present), all psychological evaluations, church records,
military records, a fifty year employment history list, and
all safety training classes attended.
2014 to present.”6
Bank records January
Air Ventures’ Mot., Ex. A.
Ms. Rucker is
not entitled to the supboenaed individuals’ personal history
and information as requested.
There are no limitations as to
time or breadth of the request.
In addition to the fact that
the inquiries are irrelevant, the subpoenaed individuals would
suffer undue burden if forced to respond.
To the extent the documents requested of Ms.
Thompson were prepared in anticipation of litigation, they
would be protected by the work product doctrine and would not
be subject to production.
For this and the many reasons
articulated above, the Court must quash the subpoenas.
At the hearing, Ms. Rucker claimed to have merely
copied the language employed by Air Ventures in making her
document requests. Ms. Rucker must understand that she has
placed much of her personal history and information and
medical records at issue because she initiated this lawsuit
and is seeking damages. The subpoenaed individuals’ life
histories are irrelevant.
In accordance with the foregoing, the Court HEREBY
GRANTS (1) Air Ventures’ Motion to Quash Plaintiff’s Subpoenas
Dated April 14, 2017 and (2) Starr’s Motion to Quash Subpoena
Dated April 18, 2017.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Honolulu, Hawaii, June 27, 2017.
Kevin S.C. Chang
United States Magistrate Judge
CIVIL NO. 16-00492 KSC; RUCKER V. AIR VENTURES HAWAII, LLC; ORDER GRANTING
(1) DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFF’S SUBPOENAS DATED APRIL 14, 2017 AND
(2) STARR ADJUSTMENT SERVICES, INC.’S MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA DATED APRIL 18,
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?