United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
In re Enforcement of Subpoena to Produce Documents in a Served Upon K.M.A. SUNBELT TRADING CO., D/B/A INTERNATIONAL DIAMOND CENTER, and KEITH LECLERC.
ARNOLD SANSONE United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is Movants' Motion to Transfer and Motion to
Compel Third Party Production of Documents from Keith LeClerc
and KM. A. Sunbelt Trading Co. d/b/a International Diamond
Center (Doc. 1), and response thereto (Doc. 5).
Blank and The Diamond Consortium d/b/a The Diamond Doctor
(collectively, "Plaintiffs"), filed the underlying
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas, Sherman Division, against Brian Manookian,
Brian Cummings, and Cummings Manookian, PLC (collectively,
"Movants"), claiming that Movants were involved in
a scheme of extortion. (See Case No. 4:16-cv-00094,
Doc. 131). In support of that allegation, Plaintiffs alleged
that Movants engaged in this same scheme against third
parties Keith LeClerc and K.M.A. Sunbelt Trading Co. d/b/a
International Diamond Center (collectively,
"Non-Movants"). Movants served subpoenas upon
Non-Movants seeking documents pertaining to communications
with Plaintiffs, as well as communications between
Non-Movants and certain third parties. (Doc. 1, Ex. B).
Non-Movants provided a limited production of documents, but
asserted a common interest privilege as to certain documents.
(Id., Ex. A). Movants contend that the common
interest privilege is inapplicable.
brought this motion to compel third party production of
documents pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
45(d)(2)(B)(i), seeking an order compelling the documents
referenced above. In addition, Movants request that the Court
transfer this motion to the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, where the
underlying action is pending. Non-Movants filed a response in
opposition to the motion (Doc. 5). Accordingly, this matter
is ripe for review.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45, a subpoena must issue
from the court where the action is pending. Fed.R.Civ.P.
45(a)(2). However, challenges to a subpoena, including
motions to quash or modify a subpoena, are to be heard by the
district court where compliance with the subpoena is
required. Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3). Additionally, if the court
where compliance is required did not issue the subpoena, then
the court may transfer a subpoena-related motion to the
issuing court if the person subject to the subpoena consents
or if the court finds exceptional circumstances. Fed.R.Civ.P.
45(f). Exceptional circumstances include transferring a
motion to “avoid disrupting the issuing court's
management of the underlying litigation, as when the court
has already ruled on issues presented by the motion, ”
because transfer would promote consistent outcomes and
judicial economy. Edwards v. Maxwell, No.
16-61262-MC-GOODMAN, 2016 WL 7413505, at *1 (S.D. Fla. Dec.
22, 2016) (finding exceptional circumstances existed to
the court where compliance is required is the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa
Division. The issuing court is the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.
The Eastern District of Texas is also the court overseeing
the underlying litigation. The underlying complaint in this
action is 50 pages, and the record contains 248 filings to
date. (See Case No. 4:16-cv-00094, Doc. 131).
Because the underlying litigation has been extensive, the
Eastern District has intimate knowledge of the underlying
litigation, parties, facts, and prior rulings.
addition, the current deadline for filing motions in limine
and the Joint Pretrial Statement is June 21, 2017. (Case No.
4:16-cv-00094, Doc. 248). Jury instructions are due by July
7, 2017. (Id.). The trial term is scheduled from
August 14, 2017 to September 1, 2017. (Case No.
4:16-cv-00094, Doc. 129). Considering these impending
deadlines as well as the trial schedule, transfer is
warranted to “avoid disrupting the issuing court's
management of the underlying litigation.” See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(f) advisory committee's note to 2013,
see also Pfizer, Inc. v. Mylan Inc., No.
8:16-mc-47-T-17JSS, 2016 WL 3021911, at *1 (M.D. Fla. May 26,
2016) (where parties consented to transfer but court also
found transfer warranted to “avoid disrupting the
issuing court's management of the underlying
contrast, although Non-Movants are physically located in
Florida, the Eastern District of Texas has conducted
telephonic hearings in this matter, which would permit
Non-Movants to participate without great burden from Florida.
In addition, the documents sought could likely be produced
electronically. Indeed, according to Movant, Non-Movants have
already produced documents electronically.
light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that transferring
the instant motion (Doc. 1) would promote consistent rulings
and avoid undermining the presiding judge's management of
the underlying litigation. Considering these exceptional
circumstances and the limited burden imposed on Non-Movants,
transfer of this action to the Eastern District of Texas is
and upon consideration, it is ORDERED that:
Motion to Transfer and Motion to Compel Third Party
Production of Documents from Keith LeClerc and K.M.A. Sunbelt
Trading Co. d/b/a International Diamond Center (Doc. 1) be
GRANTED in part. The Clerk is directed to transfer this
motion (Doc. 1) to the United States District ...