United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JOSEPH J. MURPHY, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
STUART SNYDER, ET AL., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO QUASH [DKT.
NOS. 7, 9]
VANESSA L. BRYANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Stuart Snyder and Doreen Snyder (“Defendants”)
filed motions to quash subpoenas that Plaintiffs Joseph J.
Murphy and Nancy Murphy (“Plaintiffs”) have
served on third parties Duke Van Deusen Events, LLC
(“DVD”) and Chase Bank, NA (“Chase”).
Plaintiffs served these subpoenas pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 69, which permits a judgment creditor to
obtain discovery “in aid of the judgment or
execution.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 69(a)(2). For the reasons that
follow, Defendants' motions are DENIED.
are creditors who obtained a default judgment against the
Defendants in the Eastern District of New York. See
Murphy v. Snyder, No. 10-cv-01513(JS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y.
Sept. 23, 2014). On November 14, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a
Registration of Foreign Judgment in this District, seeking
enforcement of the default judgment. [Dkt. No. 1]. On April
23, 2015, Defendants filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case,
which was later converted to a Chapter 7 case. [Dkt. No. 7 at
1]. Plaintiffs then commenced an adversary proceeding
asserting that their judgment was not dischargeable. [Dkt.
11-3 at 1-2]. On May 5, 2017, the bankruptcy court ruled in
favor of the Plaintiffs. Id. An appeal of this
decision is currently pending before Judge Underhill. See
In re Snyder, No. 17-cv-00840(SRU) (D. Conn. May 19,
2017). Plaintiffs have since sought discovery related to the
default judgment, including by subpoenaing DVD and Chase.
the wedding planner for Brittany Snyder, the Defendants'
daughter and the Plaintiffs' niece. [Dkt. No 7 at 2].
Plaintiffs served a subpoena on DVD in July 2017, and Ms.
Snyder's wedding was scheduled for October 2017.
Id. The Defendants' motion to quash does not
state that either of the Defendants has any kind of
contractual relationship with DVD, but argues that the
subpoena was designed to harass Defendants and interfere with
Ms. Snyder's business relationship with DVD. Id.
holds the accounts of both Defendants as well as Greenwich
Development Group, LLC (“GDG”), Defendant Stuart
Snyder's construction/contracting company. [Dkt. No. 9 at
2]. Defendants have not asserted that Mr. Snyder shares
ownership of this business with anyone. In August 2017,
Plaintiffs served a subpoena on Chase, seeking the production
of documents relating to the Defendants' bank accounts as
well as any businesses owned by them, specifically including
GDG. Id. at 2, 12. Defendants moved to quash the
subpoena solely as it relates to GDG, for the limited purpose
of prohibiting Plaintiffs from using information gained from
their subpoena to interfere with GDG and Mr. Snyder's
business relationships. Id. at 4.
subpoena must comply with the requirements of both Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 26 and 45. Rule 26(b) limits all
discovery to “nonprivileged matter that is relevant to
any party's claim or defense and proportional to the
needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues
at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the
parties' relative access to relevant information, the
parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in
resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of
the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The Court may also, “for good
cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from
annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense” arising out of a discovery request.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c); see also Torcasio v. New Canaan Bd.
of Ed., No. 3:15CV00053(AWT), 2016 WL 312102, at *2 (D.
Conn. Jan. 26, 2016) (holding that a subpoena must seek
relevant and material information, and must not be overbroad,
duplicative, or unduly burdensome). “The burden of
demonstrating relevance is on the party seeking discovery . .
. . Once relevance has been shown, it is up to the responding
party to justify curtailing discovery.”
Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Great Am. Ins. Co. of New
York, 284 F.R.D. 132, 135 (S.D.N.Y. 2012).
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(d)(3), the Court
“must quash or modify a subpoena that . . .
requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter,
if no exception or waiver applies” or “subjects a
person to undue burden.” (emphasis added).
“Whether a subpoena imposes an ‘undue burden'
depends upon ‘such factors as relevance, the need of
the party for the documents, the breadth of the document
request, the time period covered by it, the particularity
with which the documents are described and the burden
imposed.'” Travelers Indem. Co. v. Metro. Life
Ins. Co., 228 F.R.D. 111, 113 (D. Conn. 2005) (quoting
United States v. Int'l Business Machines Corp.,
83 F.R.D. 97, 104 (S.D.N.Y. 1979)). However, “[a] party
lacks standing to challenge subpoenas issued to non-parties
on the grounds of relevancy or undue burden.”
Universitas Educ., LLC v. Nova Grp., Inc., No. 11
CIV. 1590 LTS HBP, 2013 WL 57892, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 4,
2013); see also A & R Body Specialty & Collision Works,
Inc. v. Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., No. 3:07CV929 WWE,
2013 WL 6511934, at *2 (D. Conn. Dec. 12, 2013) (“The
law is well settled that Progressive, as a party, lacks
standing to challenge the nonparty subpoenas on the basis of
first motion to quash was directed at the DVD subpoena.
Ordinarily, “only the person or entity to whom a
subpoena is directed has standing to file a motion to
quash.” Jacobs v. Connecticut Cmty. Tech.
Colleges, 258 F.R.D. 192, 194-95 (D. Conn. 2009).
However, a party with a “personal privacy right and
privilege” with respect to the information sought may
also move to quash a subpoena. See Id. (holding that
a patient had standing to move to quash a subpoena seeking
the production of medical records from a third party).
“Examples of such personal rights or privileges include
the personal privacy right and privilege with respect to the
information contained in psychiatric and mental health
records, claims of attorney-client privilege, and other
privacy interests, including those relating to salary
information and personnel records.” A & R,
2013 WL 6511934, at *2 (citations and quotations omitted)
(denying motion to quash where insurer sought payment records
from third party auto body shops).
support of their assertion that they have standing as to DVD,
Defendants state simply that “DVD is the wedding
planner for Brittany Snyder, Defendants' daughter who is
getting married in October of 2017. As Plaintiff Joseph
Murphy and Defendant Doreen Snyder are brother and sister,
that makes Brittany Plaintiffs' niece.” [Dkt. No.
7]. They argue that the subpoena “asks for private
information of both Defendants and their daughter, and
potentially negatively impacts [their daughter's]
relationship with DVD and potentially other vendors related
to the wedding, as well as DVD's relationship with any
vendors.” [Dkt. No. 7 at 3-4]. Plaintiffs have not
explained what type of private information might be contained
in communications with DVD. As a relationship with a ...