United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
CHAMPION PRO CONSULTING GROUP, INC., and CARL E. CAREY, JR., PH.D., Plaintiffs,
IMPACT SPORTS FOOTBALL, LLC, MITCHELL FRANKEL, TONY FLEMING, and MARVIN AUSTIN, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. PATRICK AULD, Magistrate Judge.
This case comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge on Non-Parties Robert Quinn and Christina White's Motion to Quash and for a Protective Order (Docket Entry 58). For the foregoing reasons, the Court will deny the instant Motion.
Movants, former Defendants in this action, ask that the Court "quash deposition subpoenas served on them by Plaintiffs pursuant to [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure] 45(c)(3)... [and issue] a protective order pursuant to [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure] 26(c)...." (Docket Entry 58 at 1.) "On timely motion, the court for the district where compliance is required must quash or modify a subpoena that... subjects a person to undue burden." Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3)(A) (emphasis added). In the instant case, the subpoenas order compliance in the Eastern District of Missouri (see Docket Entry 56); that court thus resolves motions requesting quashing or modifying a subpoena. However, Movants contend the following:
Although motions to quash subpoenas generally are brought in "the court for the district where compliance is required, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3)(A), "Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45... does not alter the broader concept that the district court in which an action is pending has the right and responsibility to control the broad outline of discovery." Vilma v. Goodell, 12-cv-1283, 2012 WL 4926993, at *3 (E.D.La. Oct. 16, 2012) (denying plaintiff's efforts to subpoena non-parties in different jurisdictions than where action was pending), citing Fincher v. Keller Indus., Inc., 129 F.R.D. 123, (M.D. N.C. 1990) (same); see also Static Control Components, Inc. v. Darkprint Imaging, 201 F.R.D. 431 (M.D. N.C. 2001) (same). Pursuant to the Court's inherent right to control discovery in this matter, it is empowered to enter an order preventing certain discovery from taking place, including non-party depositions such as those at issue here. Id.
(Docket Entry 59 at 8 n.4.) Plaintiffs do not respond to this argument. (See Docket Entry 61 at 1-14.) Although the authority Movants cite predates recent changes to Rule 45,  the rationale concerning a court's "right and responsibility" to direct the course of discovery in cases before it remains valid. Thus, to the extent Movants seek a protective order under Rule 26(c), this Court will address their instant Motion.
Under the Rule:
A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the court where the action is pending.... The court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:
(A) forbidding the disclosure or discovery;
(C) prescribing a discovery method other than the one selected by the party seeking discovery;
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1).
Movants in the instant case assert that Plaintiffs have previously deposed Movant Quinn twice in connection with an action in Missouri state court (Docket Entry 59 at 5; see also Docket Entry 59-1 at 113-34, 155-77), and Movant White once in connection with the same proceeding (Docket Entry 59 at 6; see also Docket Entry 59-1 at 139-51). Movant Quinn also testified at a hearing in connection with a grievance Plaintiff Carl E. Carey, Jr. initiated with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). (Docket Entry 59 at 6 (citing Docket Entry 59-1 at 29-111).) Movants contend that they "have testified at length concerning the process by which [Movant] Quinn chose to terminate [Plaintiff] Carey and retain ...