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Absolute Activist Value Master Fund Ltd. v. Devine

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

May 8, 2017

ABSOLUTE ACTIVIST VALUE MASTER FUND LIMITED, ABSOLUTE EAST WEST FUND LIMITED, ABSOLUTE EAST WEST MASTER FUND LIMITED, ABSOLUTE EUROPEAN CATALYST FUND LIMITED, ABSOLUTE GERMANY FUND LIMITED, ABSOLUTE INDIA FUND LIMITED, ABSOLUTE OCTANE FUND LIMITED, ABSOLUTE OCTANE MASTER FUND LIMITED, and ABSOLUTE RETURN EUROPE FUND LIMITED, Plaintiffs,
v.
SUSAN ELAINE DEVINE, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JOHN E. STEELE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on defendant's Objection to Order Denying Defendant's First, Second, and Third Motions to Compel (Doc. #537) filed on March 15, 2017. Plaintiffs filed a Response (Doc. #549) on April 4, 2017.

         I.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), the Court may reconsider or review the Magistrate Judge's Order on a pretrial matter if shown that it was clearly erroneous or contrary to law.

         II.

         On February 24, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued an Order denying defendant's First, Second, and Third Motions to Compel Plaintiffs to Produce Documents Responsive to Her First Set of Requests for Production of Documents. (Doc. #526.) Defendant filed an Objection to the Magistrate Judge's Order (Doc. #537) on March 15, 2017.

         A. First Motion to Compel (Doc. #315)

         The Magistrate Judge's Order on defendant's First Motion to Compel related to two requests for production - Numbers 23 and 24. (Doc. #526, pp. 3-22.)

         Request number 23 requests the following:

All communications between Plaintiffs and any domestic or foreign governmental or enforcement agent or agency, including but not limited to the Swiss Prosecutor's Office, Interpol, the United States Department of Justice, the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California or any other United States Attorney's Office, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the London Stock Exchange, that relate to Devine, her children, or assets directly or indirectly held by Devine or her children.

(Doc. #315, p. 4; Doc. #526, p. 3.) Plaintiffs asserted the following objection in response to request for production number 23:

Plaintiffs object to Document Request No. 23 because it is overly broad, unduly burdensome, and redundant of other Document Requests. Plaintiffs further object to Document Request No. 23 to the extent it calls for the production of documents regarding matters that are not relevant to the claims or defenses of any party to this action or proportional to the needs of the case, or calls for the production of documents or information protected from disclosure by the work product doctrine. Plaintiffs further object to Document Request No. 23 to the extent responsive documents are available in the Swiss files, to which Devine has equal access. To the extent Plaintiffs have provided documents to a governmental or enforcement agent or agency that are not protected from disclosure and are responsive to another Document Request, subject to the objections herein, Plaintiffs will produce those documents.

(Doc. #315, p. 4; Doc. #526, p. 3.) Request number 24 requests the following:

All documents Plaintiffs discussed with, exchanged with, accessed from, or provided to any domestic or foreign governmental or enforcement agent or agency, including but not limited to the Swiss Prosecutor's Office, the United States Department of Justice, the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California or any other United States Attorney's Office, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the London Stock Exchange.

(Doc. #315, p. 4; Doc. #526, pp. 3-4.) Plaintiffs asserted the following objection to request for production number 24:

Plaintiffs object to Document Request No. 24 because it is overly broad, unduly burdensome, and redundant of other Document Requests. Plaintiffs further object to Document Request No. 24 to the extent it calls for the production of documents regarding matters that are not relevant to the claims or defenses of any party to this action or proportional to the needs of the case, or calls for the production of documents or information protected from disclosure by the work product doctrine, and to the extent responsive documents are available in the Swiss files, to which Devine has equal access. To the extent Plaintiffs have provided documents to a governmental or enforcement agent ...

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