Le v. Miss Quynh Anh II L L C et al
ORDER: For the reasons set forth herein, the defendants' 29 Motion to Quash Motion for Protective Order is DENIED, without prejudice to the right of the defendants to reurge the motion in the future if necessary and appropriate. Signed by Magistrate Judge Patrick J Hanna on 1/24/2017. (crt,Alexander, E)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DIVISION OF LOUISIANA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 6:15-cv-02007
MISS QUYNH ANH II, L.L.C.,
KHANH VO (a/k/a KENT VO),
HUYNH KHANH, LAN NGUYEN
VO, and UT V. NGUYEN
MAGISTRATE JUDGE HANNA
Currently pending before the court is the motion to quash and for protective
order (Rec. Doc. 29), which was filed on behalf of the defendants, Miss Quynh Anh
II, LLC, Khanh “Kent” Vo, Lan Nguyen Vo, and the F/V Miss Quynh Anh II. The
motion is opposed. Oral argument was held on January 23, 2016. For the following
reasons, the motion is denied.
THE MOTION TO QUASH
The plaintiff served a subpoena, which was issued by the United States District
Court for the Western District of Louisiana, on the Deepwater Horizon Economic &
Property Damages Settlement Program on or about September 13, 2006, seeking the
production of records having to do with the defendants in this lawsuit. The subpoena
requests production of the requested documents at the office of plaintiff’s counsel
Chris Zainey in New Orleans. The defendants seek to quash the subpoena on the
basis that it impermissibly seeks information concerning the defendants’ ability to pay
before a judgment has been entered and on the basis that it seeks the production of
Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(d)(3)(A) states: “On timely motion, the court for the district
where compliance is required must quash or modify a subpoena that . . . (iii) requires
disclosure of privileged or other protected matter. . . or (iv) subjects a person to undue
burden.” The subpoena at issue requires compliance in New Orleans. Therefore, the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana is “the district where
compliance is required” under Fed. R. Civ. P. 45. That is the court to which the
instant motion should have been directed. When, as in this case, the court for the
district where compliance is required did not issue the subpoena, it is possible for the
motion to be transferred back to the court that did issue the subpoena. Under Fed. R.
Civ. P. 45(f), the court where compliance is required can transfer the motion to the
court that issued the subpoena – but only with the consent of the person subject to the
subpoena or if the court finds that there are exceptional circumstances. In this case,
there is no evidence that the instant motion has been presented to a judge in the
Eastern District or that a judge from that district has transferred the motion to the
Western District. Therefore, this Court lacks authority to quash the subpoena.
THE MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER
The second part of the defendants’ motion requests that this Court issue an
order protecting the defendants against any future attempt by the plaintiff to discover
the amount of money obtained by the defendants as a result of the BP oil spill
litigation or aimed at ascertaining the defendants’ financial condition. This Court
declines to take the requested such action without discovery having already been
propounded. Should the plaintiff actually propound any discovery that the defendants
believe to be improper, the defendants should first object to the discovery and then
file a motion for protective order under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). This Court can take up
the objections at that time, but this Court lacks authority to grant the prophylactic
relief sought by the defendants.
For the reasons set forth above, the defendants’ motion (Rec. Doc. 29) is
DENIED, without prejudice to the right of the defendants to reurge the motion in the
future if necessary and appropriate.
Signed at Lafayette, Louisiana, this 24th day of January 2017.
PATRICK J. HANNA
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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