United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Western Division
MICHAEL W. RONDINI, as Administrator and Personal Representative for the Estate of Megan Elizabeth Rondini, deceased, Plaintiff,
TERRY J. BUNN, JR., Defendant.
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on Defendant's Motion to Quash
and Motion for Protective Order (Doc. # 112) and Supplemental
Motion to Quash and Protective Order. (Doc. # 117). The
Motions have been fully briefed (Docs. # 114, 118-120) and
are ripe for decision. After careful review, and for the
reasons explained below, the court concludes that
Defendant's Motions (Docs. # 112, 117) are due to be
granted in part and denied in part.
Michael Rondini brings this wrongful death action as the
Personal Representative of the Estate of Megan Rondini, his
deceased daughter. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
intentionally imprisoned and sexually assaulted the decedent
on the evening of July 1, 2015, which led to the
decedent's eventual suicide on February 26, 2016.
(See generally Doc. # 100).
discovery, Plaintiff issued Notices of Intent to serve
non-party subpoenas on (1) the Tuscaloosa Police Department,
the Tuscaloosa Sheriff's Department, the Northport Police
Department, and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation; and (2)
nineteen medical providers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where
Defendant may have sought treatment. (Docs. # 112 at 2; 117 at
1). The subpoenas directed at the law enforcement agencies
request the following information:
Your entire file, including, but not limited to, all records,
writings, documents, photos, videos, audio recordings,
reports, or other written material contained in your file, in
your possession or under your control of TERRY JACKSON BUNN,
JR. (DOB xx/xx/xxxx, SSN: xxx-xx-xxxx) listed as a Witness,
Person of Interest, Suspect, and/or Defendant.
(Docs. # 112 at 3; 117 at 2). The subpoenas issued to the
Tuscaloosa medical providers seek:
Your entire file, including but not limited to, all medical
records in entirety, third-party records, admission/discharge
records, medication/pharmacy records, films, scans, photos,
videos, audio recordings, writings/notes, laboratory and test
results, documents, reports, alcohol/drug abuse records,
Psychiatric records, sexually transmitted disease records, or
other written material contained in your file, in your
possession or under your control of TERRY JACKSON BUNN, JR.
(DOB xx/xx/xxxx, SSN: xxx-xx-xxxx).
(Doc. # 112 at 5).
urges the court to quash the subpoenas and issue a protective
order because the requests are unlimited in time and scope
and seek irrelevant and privileged information. (See
generally Doc. # 112). Prior to the filing of this
Motion, counsel discussed their relative positions on the
proposed subpoenas on at least two occasions, but no
agreement was reached. (Doc. # 112 at 1-2).
he has not framed his arguments in these terms, the court
gathers that Defendant objects to the issuance of the
subpoenas pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
45(d)(3)(A)(iii)-(iv). (See generally Docs. # 112,
117). These provisions mandate that a court quash or modify a
subpoena that either “requires disclosure of privileged
or other protected matter, if no exception or waiver
applies” or “subjects a person to undue
burden.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3)(A)(iii)-(iv). Generally,
a party does not have standing to challenge a non-party
subpoena. See Barger v. First Data Corp., 2018 WL
6591883, at *3 (N.D. Ala. Dec. 14, 2018). However, standing
may be established based on that party's personal right
or privilege over the subpoenaed information. Id.
Furthermore, that party's right must be balanced against
the relevance and proportionality of the requested records to
the needs of the case. Id.
also requests the entry of a protective order pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c), which states that a
“court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a
party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or
undue burden or expense, including…forbidding inquiry
into certain matters, or limiting the scope of disclosure or
discovery to certain matters.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(c)(1)(D). “The party seeking a protective order has
the burden to demonstrate good cause, and must make ‘a
particular and specific demonstration of fact as
distinguished from stereotyped and conclusory statements'
supporting the need for a protective order.” Meide
v. Pulse Evolution Corp., 2019 WL 1518959, at *5 (M.D.
Fla. Apr. 8, 2019) (citing Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Se.
Floating Docks, Inc., 231 F.R.D. 426, 429-30 (M.D. Fla.
2005)). Unlike a Motion to Quash, “[t]he decision to
enter a protective order is within the court's discretion
and does not depend on a legal privilege.” Id.
scope of discovery that may be sought through a Rule 45
non-party subpoena is the same permissible scope under