United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION and OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS, Plaintiffs,
LIFE MANAGEMENT SERVICES OF ORANGE COUNTY, LLC, LOYAL FINANCIAL & CREDIT SERVICES, LLC, IVD RECOVERY, LLC, KWP SERVICES, LLC, KWP SERVICES OF FLORIDA LLC, LPSOFFLA LLC, LPSOFFLORIDA L.L.C., PW&F CONSULTANTS OF FLORIDA LLC, UAD SECURE SERVICES LLC, UAD SECURE SERVICE OF FL LLC, URB MANAGEMENT, LLC, YCC SOLUTIONS LLC, YFP SOLUTIONS LLC, KEVIN W. GUICE, CHASE P. JACKOWSKI, LINDA N. MCNEALY, CLARENCE H. WAHL, KAREN M. WAHL, ROBERT GUICE and TIMOTHY WOODS, Defendants.
E. MENDOZA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court on Respondent Heather Cline's
Motion to Quash Subpoena (“Motion to Quash, ”
Doc. 323). As set forth in this Court's October 29, 2019
Order (Doc. 311), Ms. Cline has already failed to appear,
without good cause, for her previously-scheduled deposition.
(Id. at 1). As a result, this Court held a
telephonic hearing, where Ms. Cline appeared, and the gravity
of her actions was explained. (See Min. Entry, Doc.
304). She then agreed to attend an in-person deposition on
December 10, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. at the Office of the Attorney
General, 135 W. Central Blvd. Suite 1000, Orlando, Florida
32801. (Status Update, Doc. 306, at 1). In the subsequent
Order, this Court warned Ms. Cline that failure to appear and
fully participate in her deposition would “result in
the imposition of sanctions, including but not limited to
civil contempt and incarceration until Ms. Cline
complies.” (Doc. 311 at 1-2 (citing Shillitani v.
United States, 384 U.S. 364, 370 (1966) (“Where
contempt consists of a refusal to obey a court order to
testify at any stage in judicial proceedings, the witness may
be confined until compliance.”))). Ms. Cline was served
by the United States Marshal on October 30, 2019, with the
Court's Order and a copy of the subpoena commanding her
presence at the deposition. (Proof of Service, Doc. 312).
mere days before her deposition, Ms. Cline has filed her
Motion to Quash. Ms. Cline asserts that she has Crohn's
Disease and therefore cannot travel and represents that the
Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has refused to
make special accommodations for her. However, Ms. Cline has
never requested any accommodations from this Court or from
the FTC other than to not appear at the deposition.
(See Response, Doc. 325, at 2 n.2). Further, Ms.
Cline provides absolutely no evidence of any medical problem
that would prevent her from appearing at her deposition on
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(d)(3)(A)(iv), a subpoena
must be quashed if it “subjects a person to undue
burden.” Ms. Cline fails to establish that her
deposition would subject her to undue burden. As noted, Ms.
Cline fails to provide any medical documentation, and her
vague description of her health problems fails to explain
“whether her health would be jeopardized by submitting
to a deposition. Such broad and conclusory statements alone
do not merit a complete bar to a deposition.” Falin
v. Condo. Ass'n of La Mer Estates, Inc., No.
11-61903-CIV, 2012 WL 13005987, at *2 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 12,
2012) (denying motion for protective order of deposition of
party with dementia).
Cline's requests that she be permitted to answer
questions in writing or attend the deposition telephonically
are denied. Ms. Cline presents no evidence that such
accommodations are necessary. Thus, the FTC may conduct an
in-person deposition of Ms. Cline, as set forth in the
subpoena and this Court's previous Order. (Doc. 311 at 2;
Subpoena, Doc. 306-2). See also In re Chevron Corp.,
No. 11-24599-CV, 2012 WL 3636925, at *13 (S.D. Fla. June 12,
2012) (decision of discovery method to use “lays
exclusively” with party seeking discovery, absent
authority to the contrary).
Ms. Cline is again warned that failure to appear and
fully participate in her deposition will result in civil
contempt and incarceration until she complies.
it is ORDERED and ADJUDGED
that Respondent Heather Cline's Motion to Quash Subpoena
(Doc. 323) is DENIED. Given the immediacy of
the deposition, the FTC is directed to send a copy of this
Order to its most recent e-mail address for Ms. Cline, and if
possible, notify Ms. Cline by phone that the Motion to Quash
has been denied.