United States District Court, D. Connecticut
In re Application of LUIS JAVIER MARTINEZ SAMPEDRO for an Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to Compel Discovery for Use in a Foreign Proceeding
RULING ON RESPONDENTS' MOTION TO COMPEL
M. Spector United States Magistrate Judge.
before the Court is the motion of the Respondents, Silver
Point Capital, LP (“Silver Point”), Contrarian
Capital Management, LLC (“Contrarian”), David
Regenato (“Regenato”), and Norman Raul Sorensen
Valdez (“Sorensen”),  in which they seek to compel
the Petitioner, Luis Javier Martinez Sampedro, to provide
reciprocal discovery pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782. (Doc.
No. 61). The Court presumes familiarity with the underlying
facts and procedural history. (See Doc. No. 78;
see also In re Sampedro, No. 18-MC-47 (JBA), 2018 WL
5630586, at *1 (D. Conn. Oct. 30, 2018)).
October 30, 2018, United States District Judge Janet Bond
Arterton issued a ruling in which she granted in part and
denied in part Respondents' Motion to Quash, and
concurrently denied without prejudice Petitioner's Motion
to Compel. See In re Sampedro, 2018 WL 5630586, at
*6 [“October 30, 2018 Ruling”]. In
Respondents' Motion to Quash (Doc. No. 23), they argued,
inter alia, that if the Court allowed Petitioner to
conduct any discovery pursuant to Section 1782, then
Respondents should have the opportunity to collect reciprocal
discovery. (See Doc. No. 23-1 at 21). In the October
30, 2018 Ruling, the Court found that “the Respondents
make no persuasive argument as to why the Court should order
such reciprocity, nor have they identified or requested any
particular documents which are within the Court's
jurisdiction beyond indicating their desire for a
‘similarly broad' search that is
‘commensurate in scope to what [P]etitioner
receives.'” In re Sampedro, 2018 WL
5630586, at *6. Accordingly, “in the absence of a
particularized argument for imposing reciprocity and without
specification as to the testimony or documents sought, the
Court declines to grant reciprocal discovery at this
November 14, 2018, Respondents Silver Point, Contrarian, and
Regenato filed this Motion to Compel Reciprocal Discovery
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 (Doc. No. 61), which
Respondent Sorensen joined on November 15, 2018.
(See Doc. Nos. 66 and 70; see also note 1,
supra). On November 15, 2018, Respondents'
motion was referred to this Magistrate Judge. (Doc. Nos. 68
and 71). In accordance with the Court's briefing
schedule, Petitioner filed his opposition brief on November
27, 2018 (Doc. No. 76), and Respondents filed their reply on
November 30, 2018. (Doc. No. 79).
reasons detailed below, Respondents' Motion to Compel
Reciprocal Discovery Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 (Doc.
No. 61) is DENIED.
their motion, Respondents claim that, by declining to grant
Respondents' request for reciprocal discovery “at
this time, ” the Court left the door open for
Respondents to reassert their request once they specify the
documents they are seeking and the reasons they are seeking
them. (See Doc. No. 61 at 4). In opposition,
Petitioner argues that the Court denied Respondents'
request for reciprocal discovery without leave to renew, and
that, because the time to file a motion for reconsideration
has passed, Respondents' motion should be
denied. (Doc. No. 76 at 12). The Court agrees with
Respondents' argument that declining to grant reciprocal
discovery “at this time” left the door open for
Respondents to reassert their request; however, the Court
denies Respondents' renewed motion for reciprocal
Supreme Court has stated that “[w]hen information is
sought by an ‘interested person,' a district court
could condition relief upon that person's reciprocal
exchange of information.” Intel Corp. v. Advanced
Micro Devices, Inc., 542 U.S. 241, 262, 124 S.Ct. 2466,
159 L.Ed.2d 355 (2004); see also Application of Consorcio
Minero, S.A. v. Renco Group, Inc., No. 11-MC-354 (RWS),
2012 WL 1059916, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2012)
(“[c]onsistently, the Second Circuit and the Supreme
Court, have suggested that a district court could condition
relief [under 28 U.S.C. § 1782] upon a reciprocal
exchange of information, as such would lend parity to the
disclosure mix.” [quoting Minatec Fins. S.A.R.L. v.
SI Group, Inc., No. 08-CV-269, 2008 WL 3884374, at *9
(N.D.N.Y. Aug. 18, 2008)] [internal quotation marks
omitted]). Notwithstanding, “Congress purposefully
engineered section 1782 as a one-way street. It grants wide
assistance to others, but demands nothing in return.”
In re Furstenberg Fin., SAS, No. 16-CV-60266
(BLOOM), 2018 WL 735670, at *2 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 10, 2018)
(quoting Euromepa, S.A. v. R. Esmerian, Inc., 51
F.3d 1095, 1097 (2d Cir. 1995)) (internal quotation marks
omitted); see also John Deere Ltd. v. Sperry Corp.,
754 F.2d 132, 135 (3d Cir. 1985). Accordingly,
“[g]rants of discovery under § 1782 are not
contingent on the requesting party's acquiescence to
reciprocal discovery.” In re Imanagement Servs.
Ltd., No. Misc. 05-89 (FB), 2005 WL 1959702, at *6
(E.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 2005).
“[r]eciprocal discovery is appropriate where
‘[t]here is apparently no process by which [the party
requesting reciprocal discovery] can seek and obtain
documents from [the other party] in the [foreign] proceedings
in the manner in which discovery may proceed in the U.S.
under 28 U.S.C. § 1782.'” In re
Application of Gorsoan Ltd. & Gazprombank OJSC, No.
13-Misc-397 (PGG), 2014 WL 7232262, at *11 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 10,
2014). “[C]ourts have allowed reciprocal discovery
where there is no proceeding for the opposing party to
retrieve discovery”; however, in those cases,
“the parties to the 1782 proceeding have also been the
parties involved in the pending or potential foreign
proceeding.” In re Furstenberg Fin., 2018 WL
735670, at *4. When a respondent in a Section 1782 proceeding
is “not a party to the underlying litigation, it is
unclear what purpose reciprocal discovery would serve, other
than as a prophylactic against a wide range of hypothetical
actions against him.” Deposit Ins. Agency v.
Leontiev, No. 17-MC-414 (GBD)(SN), 2018 WL 3536083, at
*11 (S.D.N.Y. July 18, 2018). The question of whether to
order reciprocal discovery lies within the Court's
discretion. See In re Furstenberg Fin., 2018 WL
735670, at *2; see also Consorcio Minero, 2012 WL
1059916, at *2.
argue that they have a “substantial interest” in
both the Spanish Litigation and the ICC Arbitration and that
their request for reciprocal discovery is “tailored to
obtain evidence critical to the foreign proceedings.”
(See Doc. No. 62 at 10-11). The only foreign
proceeding at issue, however, is the Spanish Litigation, as
that is the proceeding for which Petitioner requested, and
the Court granted, discovery pursuant to Section 1782.
(See Doc. No. 1; see also In re Sampedro,
2018 WL 5630586, at *1 [“Petitioner seeks discovery
from the Respondents . . . for use in the Spanish
Litigation.”]). Respondents are not parties to the
Spanish Litigation and, therefore, cannot request discovery
or submit evidence in that proceeding. (Doc. No. 63 at
¶¶ 5 and 12; Doc. No. 77 at ¶ 5). As a result,
it is not clear how Respondents would use the reciprocal
discovery even if the Court granted the request. Although
Respondents are unable to seek discovery in the Spanish
Litigation or initiate their own, independent Section 1782
proceeding, “such consideration[s are] entitled to less
weight in light of the fact that [Respondents] . . . are
non-parties to the . . . foreign proceeding.” In
re Furstenberg Fin., 2018 WL 735670, at *4. Accordingly,
the request for reciprocal discovery is denied.
reasons detailed above, Respondents' Motion to Compel
Reciprocal Discovery Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 (Doc.
No. 61) is DENIED.
not a Recommended Ruling. This is an order regarding
discovery which is reviewable pursuant to the “clearly
erroneous” statutory standard of review. See
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); and D.
Conn. L. Civ. R. 72.2. As such, it is an order of the Court