United States District Court, D. Nevada
NANCY J. KOPPE, Magistrate Judge.
Pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Quash Subpoenas. Docket No. 62. The Court finds this matter is properly resolved without oral argument. See Local Rule 78-2. The Court has considered the Motion, Response, and Reply. Docket Nos. 62, 68, 72. The Motion to Quash is hereby DENIED.
This case involves various fraudulent conveyance causes of action brought by Plaintiff Wells Fargo. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Yoel and Tikva Iny, the Y&T Iny Family Trust, Noam and Rachel Schwartz, and the Noam Schwartz Trust (collectively, "Guarantors") are the guarantors of two loans from Plaintiff which have matured and not been repaid. See Docket No. 1. Plaintiff maintains that the Guarantors initiated fraudulent transfers to the other named Defendants in this case. Docket No. 55, at 2. Plaintiff brings claims for fraudulent conveyance of property, fraudulent conveyance of cash and securities, and fraudulent transfer of property. Docket No. 1, at 6-13. Plaintiff seeks to recover damages, including attorneys' fees and costs, and seeks to void and set aside certain stock transfers. Id.
The pending matter before the Court relates to Plaintiff's subpoenas, which were served on several banks and financial institutions seeking financial records. Defendants object to those subpoenas. Defendants filed an initial motion to quash those subpoenas only a few days prior to the deadline for the banks to respond to them. Docket No. 57. On April 9, 2014, the Court denied without prejudice this initial motion to quash on the ground that the parties did not make a showing of adequate meet and confer efforts as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1). Docket No. 61. The parties subsequently met and conferred in a manner sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). Docket No. 62, at 6; Docket No. 62-1, at 6.
The parties were still unable to resolve their differences with respect to the subpoenas, however, and Defendants filed the instant Motion to Quash on April 10, 2014. Docket No. 62. Plaintiff filed its Response to the Motion to Quash on April 22, 2014. Docket No. 68. Defendants filed their Reply in Support of their Motion to Quash on April 28, 2014. Docket No. 72.
"The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern discovery in civil actions brought in the federal district courts." See, e.g., Sneirson v. Chem. Bank, 108 F.R.D. 159, 160-161 (D. Del. 1985). The Court's focus in deciding a motion to quash non-party subpoenas is whether the discovery sought is proper under Fed.R.Civ.P. 45, which governs discovery of non-parties through subpoenas. See, e.g., Gonzales v. Google, Inc., 234 F.R.D. 674, 679 (N.D. Cal. 2006).
Defendants seek to quash these subpoenas on the ground that they seek Defendants' bank and financial institution records. Defendants discuss the threshold issue as to whether Defendants have standing to move to quash subpoenas issued to third-party banks, but cite no Ninth Circuit authority in support of Defendants' contention that they possess such standing. As a general rule, a party has no standing to seek to quash a subpoena issued to a non-party to the action. See, e.g., Sneirson, 108 F.R.D. at 160 n.2. Nonetheless, some courts have found that a party has standing to move to quash subpoenas where the party has "some personal right or privilege" in the documents sought. See, e.g., Crispin v. Christian Audigier, Inc., 717 F.Supp.2d 965, 973 (C.D. Cal. 2010); but see In re: Rhodes Cos., 475 B.R. 733, 740-41 (D. Nev. 2012) (Pro, J.) (declining to adopt a "personal right or privilege" standing rule and holding that "only the party subject to the subpoena may bring a motion to quash under Rule 45(c)(3)(A)") and Salem Vegas, L.P. v. Guanci, 2013 WL 5493126, *2-3 (D. Nev. Sept. 30, 2013) (following Rhodes ).
Moreover, assuming the Court does find that standing exists where "some personal right or privilege" is identified, it is unclear whether Defendants have such a personal right or privilege in their bank records. Once again, the case law is mixed. Some courts have found that standing does not exist. See, e.g., United States v. Gordon, 247 F.R.D. 509, 510 (E.D. N.C. 2007) ("Typically, a party has no standing to challenge a subpoena issued to his or her bank seeking discovery of financial records because bank records are the business records of the bank, in which the party has no personal right"); see also Painters Joint Comm. v. Emp. Painters Trust Health & Welfare Fund, 2011 WL 4573349, *4 (D. Nev. Sept. 29, 2011) (discussing Gordon in dicta ), amended on other grounds, 2011 WL 5854714 (D. Nev. Nov. 21, 2011). But other courts have found a sufficient interest to establish standing. See, e.g., Transcor, Inc. v. Furney Charters, Inc., 212 F.R.D. 588, 590-91 (D. Kan. 2003) (finding the movant had a sufficient "personal right" in its bank records to provide standing).
Because the Court has not located clear guidance from the Ninth Circuit, the Court leaves for another day resolution of these standing issues. The Court will assume for purposes of this pending motion that standing exists and will address the motion on its merits.
B. Motion to Quash
In analyzing any motion, the Court must determine the applicable standards. As noted above, this Court applies the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and Fed.R.Civ.P. 45 governs discovery of nonparties through subpoenas. "It is... well established that the party [moving to quash a subpoena] bears the burden of showing why a discovery request should be denied." Painters Joint Comm., 2011 WL 4573349, at *5 (citing Blankenship v. Hearst Corp., 519 F.2d 418, 429 (9th Cir. 1975)). Generally speaking, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow parties to ...