United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ARNOLD SANSONE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Edward Walker Hardin, Leasing Resources of America 4, Inc.
(Leasing Resources), and Cohesive Networks, Inc. (Cohesive)
(collectively, the defendants) move to quash subpoenas served
on Bank of America, N.A., Wells Fargo, N.A., Cohen &
Grieb, P.A., and Morgenstern, Phifer & Messina, P.A.
(Docs. 331, 332). In the alternative, the defendants request
a protective order preventing the subpoenaed discovery.
(Id.). Zurich American Insurance Company (Zurich)
moves to compel the defendants to produce Hardin's
financial records. (Doc. 335).
obtained judgments against Leasing Resources for over $4.7
million following a jury trial and verdict in Zurich's
favor. (Docs. 162, 173, 178). Zurich alleges it collected
only a small fraction on the judgments because Hardin, the
sole owner of Leasing Resources, depleted Leasing
Resources' assets and transferred Leasing Resources'
business to Cohesive, another entity owned by Hardin. (Doc.
306). Zurich initiated these supplementary proceedings
seeking to hold John Hardin and Cohesive responsible for
Leasing Resources' debt based on the doctrines of alter
ego and successor liability. (Docs. 298, 305).
served subpoenas requesting Hardin's bank account
statements and related records from Bank of America and Wells
Fargo. (Doc. 331, Exs. 2, 3). Zurich also served subpoenas
seeking Mr. Hardin's accounting records from two separate
accounting firms. (Doc. 332, Exs. 2, 3). The defendants moved
to quash the subpoenas or for a protective order preventing
disclosure of the requested financial records. (Docs. 331,
332). Zurich opposes the defendants' motions to quash
subpoenas or for a protective order. (Docs. 333, 334).
According to the defendants' supplemental statement,
after a partial resolution of the two motions to quash or for
a protective order, the only issue remaining in dispute is
whether these banks and accounting firms must produce
Hardin's financial statements, tax returns, bank records,
and credit card statements to Zurich. (Doc. 336, p. 2).
separate motion, Zurich moves to compel production of
Hardin's financial records in response to Zurich's
document request nos. 11, 17, 37, and 41. (Doc. 335). The
defendants oppose Zurich's motion to compel. (Docs. 337,
The Defendants' Motions to Quash Subpoenas or for a
Protective Order (Docs. 331, 332)
defendants move to quash the subpoenas under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 45 or for a protective order under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c). (Docs. 331, 332). Zurich
argues the defendants lack standing to quash the third-party
subpoenas and failed to establish good cause for a protective
order. (Docs. 333, 334).
Rule 45, the “court for the district where compliance
is required must quash or modify a subpoena that: (i) fails
to allow a reasonable time to comply; (ii) requires a person
to comply beyond the geographical limits specified in Rule
45(c); (iii) requires disclosure of privileged or other
protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies; or (iv)
subjects a person to undue burden.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
45(d)(3)(A). Ordinarily a party lacks standing to quash a
subpoena served on a third party unless the party seeks to
quash based on a “personal right or privilege with
respect to the materials subpoenaed.” Brown v.
Braddick, 595 F.2d 961, 967 (5th Cir.
1979); see also Maxwell v. Health Ctr. of
Lake City, Inc., No. 3:05-CV-1056-J-32MCR, 2006 WL
1627020, at *2 (M.D. Fla. June 6, 2006) (same).
challenging a subpoena seeking the party's financial
records from another source lacks standing to move to quash
the subpoena under Rule 45. See Popoli v. Ft. Myers Lodge
#1899 Loyal Order of Moose, Inc., No.
2:15-cv-311-FtM-29CM, 2015 WL 9031929, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Dec.
16, 2015) (collecting cases). In Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v.
Southeast Floating Docs, Inc., the defendants moved to
quash third-party subpoenas requesting the defendants'
financial records. 231 F.R.D. 426, 428 (M.D. Fla. Sep. 28,
2005). The court concluded the
financial records sought are business records of non-parties.
Defendants have not established any expectation of privacy in
their business transactions with other corporations and have
not made any factual showing that the records are
confidential or proprietary. Therefore Defendants fail to
establish a “personal right” regarding the
records . . . Therefore, Defendants do not have standing
under rule 45 to quash the subpoenas regarding financial
Id. at 429.
court's knowledge, third-parties Bank of America, N.A.,
Wells Fargo, N.A., Cohen & Grieb, P.A., and Morgenstern,
Phifer & Messina, P.A. have not objected to or otherwise
opposed production of the Hardin's financial records.
Like the defendants in Auto-Owners Ins. Co., the
defendants have not proven a personal right or privilege in
the documents sought and lack standing to challenge the
third-party subpoenas. Thus, the defendants' motion to
quash the subpoenas at issue is denied.
Good Cause for a Protective Order
the defendants lack standing to challenge the subpoenas under
Rule 45, they have standing to move for a protective order
under Rule 26 if the subpoenas seek irrelevant information.
Auto-Owners, 231 F.R.D. at 429. Under Rule 26(c),
“the court where the action is pending . . . may, for
good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from
annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). When evaluating
whether a movant has satisfied his burden of establishing
good cause for a protective order, a court should balance the
non-moving party's interest in ...