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Carter v. H2r Restaurant Holdings, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

August 30, 2017

SAMANTHA CARTER, Plaintiff,
v.
H2R RESTAURANT HOLDINGS, LLC, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAVID L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This case has been referred to the United States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of reference from United States District Judge David C. Godbey. See Dkt. No. 102.

         Plaintiff Samantha Carter filed a Motion to Enforce Subpoena against Travelers Lloyd Insurance Company (“Travelers”), a non-party who insures one or more defendants. See Dkt. No. 224. At the Court's direction, see Dkt. No. 226, Travelers filed a response, see Dkt. No. 238, and Ms. Carter filed a reply, see Dkt. No. 239.

         For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff Samantha Carter's Motion to Enforce Subpoena [Dkt. No. 224].

         Background

         Ms. Carter issued a subpoena to Travelers in which she appears to seek “[s]ettlement offers and/or [r]esolution [a]ttempts through corresponden[ce] made to Samantha Carter on Cause 3:16 CV 1554 N BN with claim number EVG5521 for Travelers Lloyd Insurance Company, Fireman's Fund claim 00512018200 and North American Claim number EP 12000368.” See Dkt. No. 227, Ex. A.

         She contends that Travelers only sent her one non-responsive document and subsequently filed a Motion to Enforce Subpoena to compel it to fully respond. See Dkt. No. 224 at 1-2.

         Travelers responds by noting that Ms. Carter's request, as written, only “seeks documents, electronically stored information and objects regarding ‘Settlement Offers and/or Resolution Attempts through correspondence made to Samantha Carter on Cause No.3:16 CV 1554 BN with claim number EVG5221 for Travelers Lloyd (sic) Insurance Company.'” Id. at 2-3. And it contends that it has fully responded to this request by producing the one responsive document on the matter. This document appears to discuss settlement negotiations between Ms. Carter and a defendant that Travelers insures. See Dkt. No. 238, Ex. B.

         In her reply, Ms. Carter reiterates that this document is not responsive. She then refers the Court to Nationwide E&S/Specialty's (“Nationwide”) response to the exact same request as one example of how she believes Travelers could and should have responded.

         Nationwide responded by stating that “[it] has not made any formal offers of settlement or resolution. As such, Nationwide does not have any documents responsive to the above-referenced subpoena.” Dkt. No. 239, Ex. 11.

         By referring to Nationwide's response to her request, Ms. Carter appears to suggest that Travelers should have responded by clearly stating whether or not it has formally offered her a settlement.

         Legal Standards

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45, a party may serve a subpoena commanding a nonparty “to whom it is directed to ... produce designated documents, electronically stored information, or tangible things in that person's possession, custody, or control.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(a)(1)(A)(iii).

         “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 ‘explicitly contemplates the use of subpoenas in relation to non-parties' and governs subpoenas served on a third party ... as well as motions to quash or modify or to compel compliance with such a subpoena.” Am. Fed'n of Musicians of the U.S. & Canada v. SKODAM Films, LLC, 313 F.R.D. 39, 42 ...


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