Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission et al v. San Juan County et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER denying 188 Motion to Quash; granting 192 Motion to Extend Fact Discovery. The new fact discovery deadline is February 12, 2018. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the current deposition date for January 12, 2018 is STRICKEN. Signed by Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells on 1/11/2018. (jds)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH, CENTRAL DIVISION
NAVAJO NATION HUMAN RIGHTS
COMMISSION; PEGGY PHILLIPS; MARK
MARYBOY; WILFRED JONES; TERRY
WHITEHAT; BETTY BILLIE FARLEY;
WILLIE SKOW; and MABEL SKOW,
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
DENYING MOTION TO QUASH,
STRIKING CURRENT DEPOSITION DATE
AND GRANTING MOTION TO EXTEND
Case No. 2:16-cv-00154 JNP
District Judge Jill Parrish
SAN JUAN COUNTY; JOHN DAVID
NIELSON, in his official capacity as San Juan
County Clerk; and PHIL LYMAN, BRUCE
ADAMS, and REBECCA BENALLY, in their
official capacities as San Juan County
Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells
Defendants seek an order quashing the subpoena Plaintiffs have served on Edward
Tapaha. 1 Mr. Tapaha was San Juan County’s liaison to the Navajo Nation until he recently
retired. Mr. Tapaha is also listed in Defendants’ Initial Disclosures as an individual likely to
have discoverable information. 2 The current discovery cutoff is January 12, 2018, which
Plaintiffs allege is why they selected that date for Mr. Tapaha’s deposition.
Defendants initially raised five reasons for quashing the subpoena but after Plaintiffs
fixed some deficiencies in the subpoena there remains only three: (1) the reasonableness of
written notice given to Defendants; (2) the timing for compliance with the subpoena; and (3) the
location of the subpoena. The subpoena was served on Mr. Tapaha Monday January 8th and
Docket no. 188.
Docket no. 191-3.
required him to appear for a deposition on Friday January 12th. Four days’ notice for a
deposition is not a best practice and is not in the court’s view “reasonable written notice” under
the Federal Rules. 3 Even with the discovery deadline fast approaching a better reasoned
approach would have been to first seek an extension of the discovery deadline and then work out
the timing for Mr. Tapaha’s deposition. 4 However, Plaintiffs state they are “willing to work with
counsel” and Mr. Tapaha to find a “mutually available time.” 5 The court therefore will strike the
current date for the deposition, Friday January 12th as unreasonable, and order the parties to find
a mutually agreeable time. In addition the parties are to comply with the distance requirements
found in Rule 45 so an undue burden is not placed on Mr. Tapaha. 6
Mr. Tapaha is listed on Defendants’ Initial Disclosures and given his prior role as a
liaison to the Navajo Nation the court finds under the applicable discovery standards that his
deposition should move forward. 7 Thus, the court will not quash the subpoena in its entirety
denying Plaintiffs the opportunity to depose Mr. Tapaha.
On January 10, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Extend Fact Discovery. 8 Both
Plaintiffs’ counsel and Defendants’ counsel appear to be cooperating on extending the fact
discovery deadline to complete depositions. As such the court finds there is no need to await a
response to the motion by Defendants. To help facilitate the needed discovery in a timely
manner the court will grant the Motion to Extend Fact Discovery and extend fact discovery by 30
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b).
The court notes that on January 10, 2018, Plaintiffs did file a Motion for Extension of time to Complete Discovery,
docket no. 192.
Response to mtn p. 4, docket no. 191.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(b).
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26.
Docket no. 192.
days from the current deadline of January 12, 2018 to Monday February 12, 2018 to allow the
taking of depositions.
For the reasons set forth above it is HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion to Quash is
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the current deposition date for January 12, 2018 is
Finally IT IS ORDERED that the Motion to Extend Fact Discovery is GRANTED. The
new fact discovery deadline is February 12, 2018.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 11 January 2018.
Brooke C. Wells
United States Magistrate Judge
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