United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
ORDER AND OPINION
RICHARD MARK GERGEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to quash
deposition notice and for a protective order (Dkt. No. 78).
For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and
denies in part the motion.
Juanita Hart had an automobile insurance policy with
Defendant Safeco Insurance or Defendant First National
insurance, setup so that monthly premiums would be charged
electronically to her Wells Fargo checking account.
Plaintiffs claim Defendants did not attempt to charge her
bank account for the auto insurance premium due January 4,
2016, resulting in a loss of coverage just before an
automobile accident. On February 14, 2017, the Court held
Plaintiffs had produced no evidence to controvert
Defendant's affidavit from a receivables manager, who
swears that that she did attempt to charge Ms. Hart's
Visa and that the attempted charge was declined. The Court
therefore held Defendants are entitled to judgment as a
matter of law because Plaintiffs failed to show genuine
issues of fact that, if decided for Plaintiffs, could
establish a prima facie case for relief. (Dkt. No.
62 at 4-9); see also Celotex Corp, v, Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (providing summary judgment standard).
then moved for reconsideration based on additional materials
not available when the motion for summary judgment was
briefed. Although the Court found those materials
unpersuasive, it recognized that Defendants had moved for
summary judgment well before the close of discovery. The
Court therefore placed the order granting summary judgment
into abeyance until the scheduled end of discovery to permit
Plaintiffs a full opportunity to develop their prima
facie case. (Dkt. No. 74 at 2-3.) Defendants now move to
quash a subpoena for a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of
"Safeco/First National." (Dkt. No. 78.)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that, unless
otherwise limited by court order, "[p]arties may obtain
discovery regarding any non-privileged 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 stake 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 of expense of
the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). "The court may, for good cause,
issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense"
by forbidding or limiting the scope of discovery.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). "The scope and conduct of
discovery are within the sound discretion of the district
court." Columbus-Am. Discovery Grp. v. Atl. Mut.
Ins. Co., 56 F.3d 556, 568 n.16 (4th Cir. 1995); see
also United States ex rel. Becker v. Westinghouse Savannah
River Co., 305 F.3d 284, 290 (4th Cir. 2002) (stating
that district courts are afforded "substantial
discretion... in managing discovery").
gives parties broad leave to depose "any person"
who may have relevant information in a case. Fed. R, Civ. P.
30. When a party subpoenas attendance at a deposition, the
party receiving the subpoena may move to quash the subpoena
under Rule 45, which requires that a district court must
quash or modify a subpoena that:
(i) fails to allow a reasonable time to comply;
(ii) requires a person to comply beyond the geographical
limits specified in Rule 45(c);
(iii) requires disclosure of privileged or other protected
matter, if no exception or waiver applies; or
(iv) subjects a person to undue burden.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(d)(3)(A).