Roshon v. Eagle Research Group, Inc.
ORDER granting Defendant's #40 Motion for Protective Order and sustaining the Department of Energy's Objection (ECF No. 43). The subpoena duces tecum issued by Plaintiff's counsel on October 13 is hereby QUASHED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Chelsey M. Vascura on 10/30/2017. (kpt)
Case: 2:16-cv-00968-EAS-CMV Doc #: 44 Filed: 10/30/17 Page: 1 of 3 PAGEID #: 348
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
STEPHEN R. ROSHON, JR.,
Civil Action 2:16-cv-968
Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
Magistrate Judge Chelsey M. Vascura
EAGLE RESEARCH GROUP, INC.,
On Friday, October 13, 2017, Plaintiff’s counsel issued a subpoena duces tecum to Robert
Gibbs, Chief of Human Capital of the United States Department of Energy, requesting
documents in three categories, each of which relates to the Department’s employment of security
assessment personnel. The subpoena commanded Mr. Gibbs to produce responsive documents
on the following Monday at Plaintiff’s counsel’s office in Columbus, Ohio.
On October 18,
Defendant move to quash the subpoena or, in the alternative, for a protective order (ECF No. 40).
Defendant argues, among other things, that the requested documents are not relevant and,
therefore, not subject to disclosure. The Department of Energy has also objected to the
subpoena (see ECF No. 43).
In the memorandum in support of its motion, Defendant represents that Plaintiff has
obtained records related to his own employment by Defendant in connection with the
performance of security assessments for the Department of Energy.
Defendant argues that
those records represent the universe of potentially relevant documents in this action for overtime
Case: 2:16-cv-00968-EAS-CMV Doc #: 44 Filed: 10/30/17 Page: 2 of 3 PAGEID #: 349
compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Defendant also reminds the Court that it
agreed to provide wage information related to other part-time employees who held the same job
title that Plaintiff held during the period of his employment. Defendant represents that is has
provided those documents to Plaintiff’s counsel. On those bases, Defendant asks the Court to
issue a protective order prohibiting the production of documents requested in the subpoena duces
Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure defines the scope of discovery as
“nonprivileged matter that is relevant” to a claim. Rule 26(c)(1) authorizes the Court to issue a
protective order, for good cause, on a party’s motion.
When a party seeks a protective order on
the basis of irrelevance and the relevance of the requested discovery is not apparent on the face
of the subpoena, the party seeking discovery may defeat a motion for protective order only by
demonstrating that the requested documents may be relevant. See Snyder v. Fletwood RV, Inc.,
303 F.R.D. 502, 504, 507 (S.D. Ohio 2014).
In opposition to Defendant’s motion, Plaintiff has not attempted to demonstrate that the
documents he seeks from the Department of Energy may be relevant to his Fair Labor Standards
He argues only that the requested documents are in the public domain and that
Defendant has not asserted a privilege with respect to the documents.
Neither of those
arguments overcomes the Court’s conclusion that good cause supports a motion for protective
order when the requested documents appear to be irrelevant. Accordingly, the Court hereby
GRANTS Defendant’s motion for protective order (ECF. No. 40) as follows: Plaintiff may not
request, and the Department of Energy may not produce, documents relating in any fashion to
contracts between the Department of Energy and Defendant pursuant to which Defendant
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provided security assessments to the Department.
The subpoena duces tecum issued by
Plaintiff’s counsel on October 13 is hereby QUASHED.
Objection (ECF No. 43) is SUSTAINED.
The Department of Energy’s
Plaintiff may seek reconsideration of this Order;
however, the Court will not alter the protective order absent a showing, with specificity, that the
requested documents are relevant to Plaintiff’s claim.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Chelsey M. Vascura
CHELSEY M. VASCURA
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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