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Blair v. Transam Trucking, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

February 16, 2017

LARRY BLAIR and CHARLIE DAVIS, On Behalf Of Themselves And All Other Persons Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
TRANSAM TRUCKING, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER ON MOTION TO QUASH THIRD-PARTY SUBPOENA AND FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

          KENNETH G. GALE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Now before the Court is Plaintiffs' “Motion to Quash Subpoena to Mary Hoyt and for Protective Order.” (Doc. 372.) Having reviewed the submissions of the parties, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs' motion.

         FACTS

         This is a class action case alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Kansas Wage Payment Act (“KWPA”). Plaintiffs contend that Defendant “has misclassified its Leased Drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees, and has violated the [FLSA] by failing to pay the Leased Drivers minimum wages and the [KWPA] by failing to pay Leased Drivers all wages due and otherwise made unlawful deductions of pay.” (Doc. 363, at 1-2.)

         The facts of this case were recently summarized in this Court's Order on Defendant's motion to strike Plaintiff's supplemental Rule 26 disclosures. (Doc. 403.) That summary is incorporated herein by reference.

         The present motion relates to the third-party deposition subpoenas duces tecum Defendant served on its former employees Mary Hoyt, Hillary Armknect, Laticia Raine, and Christine Falkner, all of whom were listed in Plaintiff's Rule 26 initial disclosures. Plaintiffs object that the witnesses should not be required to bring “[a]ll documents received or created as a result of your employment” with Defendant. (Doc. 372, at 1-2.) Plaintiff states that this issue is moot as all four individuals have been deposed “and either brought with them the limited number of documents that they had relating to [Defendant], or testified that they were not aware of any documents in their possession relating to [Defendant].” (Doc. 394, at 1.)

         As to Ms. Hoyt, however, Defendant has also subpoenaed her to bring a current archive of her Facebook account. (Doc. 372, at 2; Doc. 372-1, at 4.) This category of documents remains at issue between the parties.

         ANALYSIS

         Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b) states that

[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at state in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

         As such, the requested information must be both nonprivileged and relevant to be discoverable.

         Fed.R.Civ.P. 45 governs subpoenas, with section (d) of that Rule relating to “protecting a person subject to a subpoena” as well as “enforcement.” Subsection (d)(1) of the Rule states that

[a] party or attorney responsible for issuing and serving a subpoena must take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to the subpoena. The court for the district where compliance is required must enforce this duty and impose an appropriate sanction - which may include lost earnings ...

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