United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA
DUCES TECUM AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER
S. SNEED, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Quash
Subpoena Duces Tecum and Motion for Protective Order (Dkt.
16), and Defendant's response in opposition (Dkt. 17).
For the reasons that follow, the Motion is granted in part
and denied in part.
sues Defendant, her employer, alleging that she was
discriminated against on the basis of her sex and her age.
(Dkt. 1 ¶¶ 1, 4.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges
that after working for Defendant for seventeen years and
being promoted twice, she was not chosen for the position of
department manager. (Id. ¶¶ 13-14.) The
person who was chosen to be department manager, Plaintiff
alleges, subjected Plaintiff to verbal abuse because of her
age and sex beginning in 2011. (Id. ¶¶
17-20.) These discriminatory acts, Plaintiff contends, caused
her to suffer depression and to take short-term disability
leave. (Id. ¶ 25.)
brings claims for violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, alleging that
Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her
sex and age “by stripping her of her duties” and
hiring a younger, male employee to assume them; harassed
Plaintiff on the basis of her sex and age; created a hostile
work environment for Plaintiff, “causing her to suffer
major depression”; and paid her less than a male
employee with the same experience under similar work
conditions. (Id. ¶¶ 80, 84-87, 95,
100-105, 111, 117, 121.) She seeks damages for, in relevant
part, her emotional distress and pain and suffering.
(Id. at 15.) In its answer, Defendant asserts that
all actions taken against Plaintiff were for legitimate,
non-discriminatory business reasons. (Dkt. 8 at 10.)
Motion, Plaintiff moves the Court to quash subpoenas
duces tecum served on non-parties Debra Lubronovich
of the Crisis Center of Tampa and Dr. Jessica G.
Rausch-Medina, or alternatively, for a protective order.
(Dkt. 16.) According to Defendant, Plaintiff disclosed Ms.
Lubronovich and Dr. Rausch-Medina in her initial disclosures
as individuals with information relevant to Plaintiff's
diagnosis and treatment, as well as in response to
interrogatories, naming them as individuals who treated
Plaintiff for her alleged work-related depression. (Dkt. 17
at 2.) The subpoenas to Ms. Lubronovich and Dr. Rausch-Medina
are identical and request the following:
Each and every document within your possession or control,
including, but not limited to, all medical records, notes,
charts, diagrams, prescriptions, depositions, opinions
rendered, reports, prescriptions, diagnoses, or X-rays, which
reflect or refer to service, counseling, treatment,
diagnosis, benefit or care provided to the above-named
individual during the past six years.
(Dkt. 16 at 2.)
contends that Defendant has already requested these medical
records from her in a request for production, to which
Plaintiff responded at the same time she filed the Motion.
(Id. at 3.) She therefore argues that
Defendant's seeking these records from other sources is
unreasonably duplicative. (Dkt. 16 at 3.) Further, Plaintiff
argues that the subpoenas are overly broad in timeframe and
that “Plaintiff need only provide relevant medical
records at issue in the lawsuit and not a broad and sweeping
authorization for all medical records dating back to an
arbitrary date.” (Id. at 3.) Plaintiff states
that she will provide the medical records for the relevant
timeframe. (Id. at 4.)
Plaintiff argues that the requests seek irrelevant
information because although Plaintiff “placed her
mental health at issue in the lawsuit, [she] has not alleged
aggravation of a pre-existing mental health condition.”
(Id. at 2.) Also, these medical records are
confidential and protected by the physician-patient
privilege. (Id.) Thus, Plaintiff requests that the
subpoenas be quashed, that a protective order be issued, and
the Court “conduct an in-camera review of medical
records reflecting treatment which occurred during
Plaintiff's discrimination and harassment for the
redaction of specific irrelevant information, ”
including confidential information reflecting
“Plaintiff's past medical history.”
(Id. at 4.)
response, Defendant argues that Plaintiff waived any
psychotherapist-patient privilege in the medical records by
placing her mental condition at issue. (Dkt. 17 at 3.) The
subpoenas are not overly broad, Defendant argues, because
Defendant subpoenaed Dr. Rausch-Medina and Ms. Lubronovich
after Plaintiff disclosed them as individuals with
information relevant to Plaintiff's diagnosis and
treatment of work-related depression. (Id. at 2, 3.)
Further, Defendant argues that the requested timeframe of the
subpoenas align with Plaintiff's allegations of
Defendant's discriminatory acts beginning in 2011.
(Id. at 4.)
maintain great discretion to regulate discovery.
Patterson v. U.S. Postal Serv., 901 F.2d 927, 929
(11th Cir. 1990). The court has broad discretion to compel or
deny discovery. Josendis v. Wall to Wall Residence
Repairs, Inc., 662 F.3d 1292, 1306 (11th Cir. 2011).
Through discovery, parties may obtain materials that are
within the scope of discovery, meaning they are
nonprivileged, relevant to any party's claim or defense,
and proportional to the needs of the case. Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). Courts consider the following factors: (1)
“the importance of the issues at stake in the action,
” (2) “the amount in controversy, ” (3)
“the parties' relative access to relevant
information, ” (4) “the parties' resources,
” (5) “the importance of the discovery in
resolving the issues, ” and (6) “whether the
burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its
likely benefit.” Id.
must quash or modify a subpoena that “requires
disclosure of privileged or other protected matter, if no
exception or waiver applies.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
45(d)(3)(A)(iii). A party has standing to move to quash a
subpoena served on a non-party if the party alleges a
“personal right or privilege” with respect to the
subpoenas. Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Se. Floating