Walker et al v. North Las Vegas Police Department et al

Filing 125

ORDER. The Court hereby GRANTS 116 Henderson's motion to quash subpoena. See Order for details. Signed by Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe on 4/17/17. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - MR)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 9 THOMAS WALKER, et al., 14 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 15 Pending before the Court is Non-Party City of Henderson’s (“Henderson”) motion to quash 16 Plaintiffs’ subpoena. Docket No. 116. Plaintiffs filed a response, and Henderson filed a reply. 17 Docket Nos. 120, 124. The Court finds this motion properly resolved without oral argument. See 18 Local Rule 78-1. For the reasons discussed below, Henderson’s motion to quash, Docket No. 116, 19 is hereby GRANTED. 20 I. 10 Plaintiff(s), 11 vs. 12 CITY OF NORTH LAS VEGAS, et al., 13 Defendant(s). Case No. 2:14-cv-01475-JAD-NJK ORDER (Docket No. 116) BACKGROUND 21 On September 11, 2014, Plaintiffs filed the instant action against the North Las Vegas Police 22 Department and North Las Vegas Police Officers Paul Maalouf and Travis Snyder. Docket No. 1.1 23 Plaintiffs allege, inter alia, that Officers Maalouf and Snyder shot and killed their two pet pit pull 24 dogs while executing a search warrant on their property. Docket No. 88 at 5-6. On March 9, 2017, 25 Plaintiffs served a subpoena to produce certain documents on the Custodian of Records for 26 Henderson’s Police Department. Docket No. 116 at 16-21. On March 23, 2017, Henderson filed 27 28 1 The City of North Las Vegas was later added as a defendant. Docket No. 88. 1 the instant motion to quash subpoena. Docket No. 116. 2 II. ANALYSIS 3 i. Meet and Confer 4 As a preliminary matter, Plaintiffs submit that the Court should deny Henderson’s motion 5 to quash because Henderson failed to meet and confer with them before filing it. Docket No. 120 6 at 4-5. Henderson submits that it was not required to meet and confer with Plaintiffs because, inter 7 alia, Rule 45,2 which governs subpoenas and motions to quash subpoenas, does not explicitly require 8 a movant to do so. Docket No. 124 at 9. Even assuming, arguendo, that a meet and confer was 9 required in this instance, “the Court ultimately retains discretion to decide discovery matters even 10 where no proper meet and confer has been conducted.” Aevoe Corp. v. AE Tech Co., Ltd., 2013 WL 11 4714273, at *2 (D. Nev. Aug. 30, 2013) (citing Fifty-Six Hope Rd. Music, Ltd. v. Mayah Collections, 12 Inc., 2007 WL 1726558, at *6 (D. Nev. June 11, 2007)). The Court therefore exercises its discretion 13 to address the merits of Henderson’s motion to quash subpoena. 14 ii. Motion to Quash Subpoena 15 Rule 45 governs the issuance of subpoenas requiring non-parties to produce designated 16 documents. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(a)(1)(A)(iii). A court must grant a timely motion to quash or 17 modify a subpoena that fails to allow reasonable time to comply, requires a person to comply beyond 18 the geographical limits specified in Rule 45(c), requires disclosure of privileged or other protected 19 matter, if no exception or waiver applies, or subjects a person to undue burden. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 20 45(d)(3)(A). The movant seeking to quash a subpoena bears the burden of persuasion. Green v. 21 Baca, 226 F.R.D. 624, 653 (C. D. Cal. 2005). 22 Whether a subpoena is unduly burdensome depends on the facts of each specific case. 23 Green, 226 F.R.D. at 653. Additionally, “courts have incorporated relevance as a factor when 24 determining motions to quash a subpoena, particularly when considering whether there is an undue 25 burden.” Bird v. PSC Holdings I, LLC, 2013 WL 12108107, at *1 (S. D. Cal. Nov. 20, 2013) 26 27 28 2 Unless otherwise stated, references to “Rules” denote the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 2 1 (internal quotations and citation omitted). “‘It is well established that the scope of discovery under 2 a subpoena issued pursuant to Rule 45 is the same as the scope of discovery allowed under Rule 3 26(b)(1).’” Paws Up Ranch, LLC v. Green, 2013 WL 6184940, at *4 (D. Nev. Nov. 22, 2013) 4 (quoting Painters Joint. Comm. v. Emp. Painters Tr. Health & Welfare Fund, 2011 WL 4573349, 5 at *5 (D. Nev. Sept. 29, 2011)). “Generally speaking, the Federal Rules allow parties to obtain 6 discovery that is . . . relevant to a claim or defense of any party.” Paws Up Ranch, LLC, 2013 WL 7 6194940, at *3 (internal citation omitted). 8 In this instance, Plaintiffs subpoenaed Henderson to produce: 9 1. Any and all police reports from 2010 to the present where Henderson Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics team served a search warrant and a dog or dogs were present at the location of the search warrant. 10 11 2. Any and all policies and procedures referencing the use of force against dogs and other animals by police officers in effect from 2010 to present. 12 13 3. Any and all training materials, and requirements for Henderson Police Department officers that reference use of force against dogs and other animals by police officers in effect from 2010 to present. 14 15 4. Any and all documents that list the number or frequency of incidents where police officers of the Henderson Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics team injured or killed an animal in effect from 2010 to present. 16 17 5. Any and all policies and procedures that reference when and if police officers will seek the assistance of animal control officer(s) in effect from 2010 to present. 18 Docket No. 116 at 47-48. Henderson submits that the requested documents are irrelevant to this 19 action and that the request is unduly burdensome. Id. at 5-12. Plaintiffs respond that they are 20 merely seeking records that would otherwise be available pursuant to Nevada’s Public Records Act 21 and that Henderson has failed to demonstrate that the documents are irrelevant or that the subpoena 22 is unduly burdensome. Docket No. 120 at 5-11. In reply, Henderson emphasizes its position that 23 the documents sought are irrelevant and that complying with the request would be unduly 24 burdensome. Docket No. 124 at 2-9. 25 The Court agrees with Henderson. This entire case revolves around an alleged incident that 26 involved the North Las Vegas Police Department, not the Henderson Police Department. See, e.g., 27 28 3 1 Docket No. 88 at 5-6. Indeed, the only two references to the Henderson Police Department in 2 Plaintiffs’ second amended complaint involve entirely different incidents. See id. at 7. The 3 Henderson Police Department’s involvement in those incidents bears no relation to the instant 4 action. 5 “instances of police use of force against dogs,” Docket No. 120 at 7, is simply irrelevant to whether 6 this issue has affected the relevant municipality in this action, the City of North Las Vegas. 3 7 8 9 10 Whether, as Plaintiffs submit, “neighboring municipalities” may have experienced Accordingly, the Court hereby GRANTS Henderson’s motion to quash subpoena. Docket No. 116. IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: April 17, 2017. 11 ___________________________________ NANCY J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 3 27 Plaintiffs’ discovery request is also overbroad, as they request documents from 2010 to present, when the incident is alleged to have occurred in 2012. Docket No. 116 at 47-48; Docket No.124 at 4; Docket No. 88 at 5-6. The Court need not reach this issue, however, as the requested discovery from the Henderson Police Department is irrelevant to the instant case. 28 4 26

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?