Hunter et al v. Bank of America, N.A. et al

Filing 148

ORDER re Defendants' 136 MOTION for Sanctions Under Rule 30(d) and for an Order to Show Cause Why Brian Carl Should Not Be Held in Contempt Under Rule 45(g). The Court hereby ORDERS Mr. Carl to attend a Show Cause proceeding set for 2/9/2022 at 02:30 PM via Zoom before Judge Richard A. Jones. Signed by Judge Richard A. Jones. (SR)

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1 HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 9 10 11 12 KEITH HUNTER, an individual, and ELAINE HUNTER, an individual Plaintiffs, 13 14 15 16 No. 2:16-cv-01718-RAJ v. ORDER BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et al., 17 Defendants. 18 19 THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendants Nationstar Mortgage, LLC 20 and HSBC Bank USA, N.A.’s (collectively, “Nationstar”) Motion for Sanctions Under 21 Rule 30(d) and for an Order to Show Cause Why Brian Carl Should Not Be Held in 22 Contempt Under Rule 45(g). Dkt. 136. Plaintiffs Elaine and Keith Hunter (collectively, 23 “Plaintiffs”) oppose the motion. Dkt. 142. The Court held a hearing on the matter via 24 Zoom on February 4, 2022. Plaintiffs’ and Nationstar’s counsel appeared for the 25 proceeding; Mr. Carl indicated to the Court via email earlier that day that he was unable 26 to attend the proceeding due to a head injury. 27 28 Under Rule 30(d)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court “may impose ORDER – 1 1 an appropriate sanction—including the reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees incurred 2 by any party—on a person who impedes, delays, or frustrates the fair examination of the 3 deponent.” Sanctions under this rule may apply to parties as well as non-parties. See 4 Jules Jordan Video, Inc. v. 144942 Canada Inc., 617 F.3d 1146, 1158 (9th Cir. 2010). In 5 the pending motion, Nationstar alleges that Mr. Carl’s hostile conduct and unilateral 6 termination of his January 17, 2022 deposition precluded a fair examination. Dkt. 136 at 7 7-9. Plaintiffs do not dispute that Mr. Carl’s conduct was “grossly inappropriate during 8 his deposition.” Dkt. 142 at 2. Nationstar therefore moves for a sanction of a second 9 deposition “conducted with a judicial officer present and while being audio-and video- 10 recorded.” Dkt. 136 at 12. 11 Nationstar also moves for an order to show cause why Mr. Carl should not be held 12 in contempt under Rule 45(g) for his failure to obey a properly issued subpoena. Id. at 2. 13 Under Rule 45(g), a court “may hold in contempt a person who, having been served, fails 14 without adequate excuse to obey the subpoena or an order related to it.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15 45(g). Based on representations by both Nationstar and Plaintiffs, the Court finds Mr. 16 Carl’s conduct on the January 17, 2022 deposition to be unacceptable. The Court does 17 not tolerate such conduct in defiance of a subpoena. Because Mr. Carl was unable to 18 attend the hearing on this matter, the Court will provide him with an opportunity to be 19 heard on the issue. 20 The Court hereby ORDERS Mr. Carl to attend a show cause proceeding via Zoom 21 on February 9, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. to explain why he should not be held in contempt for his 22 failure to obey a subpoena and provide testimony as required. The Court will determine 23 appropriate sanctions, if any, and address remaining issues at the hearing. The 24 participants may join the Zoom proceeding using the link and Meeting ID below. 25 // 26 // 27 // 28 ORDER – 2 1 Zoom meeting link: https://wawd- 2 3 9 4 Meeting ID: 160 840 7006 5 6 DATED this 4th day of February , 2022. A 7 8 The Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER – 3

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