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Walker v. North Las Vegas Police Department

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 27, 2017

THOMAS WALKER, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
NORTH LAS VEGAS POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          NANCY J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge

         Pending before the Court is Non-Party Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's (“LVMPD”) amended motion to quash Plaintiffs' subpoena. Docket No. 118. Plaintiffs filed a response, and LVMPD filed a reply. Docket Nos. 122, 129. The Court finds this motion properly resolved without oral argument. See Local Rule 78-1. For the reasons discussed below, LVMPD's amended motion to quash, Docket No. 118, is hereby GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 11, 2014, Plaintiffs filed the instant action against the North Las Vegas Police Department and North Las Vegas Police Officers Paul Maalouf and Travis Snyder. Docket No. 1.[1]Plaintiffs allege, inter alia, that Officers Maalouf and Snyder shot and killed their two pet pit pull dogs while executing a search warrant on their property. Docket No. 88 at 5-6. On March 9, 2017, Plaintiffs served a subpoena to produce certain documents on LVMPD's Custodian of Records. Docket No. 118 at 10-13. On March 29, 2017, LVMPD filed the instant amended motion to quash subpoena. Docket No. 118.

         II. ANALYSIS

         i. Meet and Confer

         As a preliminary matter, Plaintiffs submit that the Court should deny LVMPD's amended motion to quash because LVMPD failed to meet and confer with them before filing it. Docket No. 122 at 4-5. LVMPD submits that it was not required to do so. Docket No. 129 at 3-4. Even assuming, arguendo, that a meet and confer was required in this instance, “the Court ultimately retains discretion to decide discovery matters even where no proper meet and confer has been conducted.” Aevoe Corp. v. AE Tech Co., Ltd., 2013 WL 4714273, at *2 (D. Nev. Aug. 30, 2013) (citing Fifty-Six Hope Rd. Music, Ltd. v. Mayah Collections, Inc., 2007 WL 1726558, at *6 (D. Nev. June 11, 2007)). The Court therefore exercises its discretion to address the merits of LVMPD's amended motion to quash subpoena.

         ii. Motion to Quash Subpoena

         Rule 45 governs the issuance of subpoenas requiring non-parties to produce designated documents. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(a)(1)(A)(iii). A court must grant a timely motion to quash or modify a subpoena that fails to allow reasonable time to comply, requires a person to comply beyond the geographical limits specified in Rule 45(c), requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies, or subjects a person to undue burden. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(d)(3)(A). The movant seeking to quash a subpoena bears the burden of persuasion. Green v. Baca, 226 F.R.D. 624, 653 (C. D. Cal. 2005) (internal quotations and citations omitted).

         Whether a subpoena is unduly burdensome depends on the facts of each specific case. Green, 226 F.R.D. at 653 (internal quotations and citation omitted). Additionally, “courts have incorporated relevance as a factor when determining motions to quash a subpoena, particularly when considering whether there is an undue burden.” Bird v. PSC Holdings I, LLC, 2013 WL 12108107, at *1 (S. D. Cal. Nov. 20, 2013) (internal quotations and citation omitted). “‘It is well established that the scope of discovery under a subpoena issued pursuant to Rule 45 is the same as the scope of discovery allowed under Rule 26(b)(1).'” Paws Up Ranch, LLC v. Green, 2013 WL 6184940, at *4 (D. Nev. Nov. 22, 2013) (quoting Painters Joint Comm. v. Emp. Painters Tr. Health & Welfare Fund, 2011 WL 4573349, at *5 (D. Nev. Sept. 29, 2011)). “Generally speaking, the Federal Rules allow parties to obtain discovery that is . . . relevant to a claim or defense of any party.” Paws Up Ranch, LLC, 2013 WL 6194940, at *3 (internal citation omitted).

In this instance, Plaintiffs subpoenaed LVMPD to produce:
1. Any and all police reports and search warrant plans from 2010 to the present where officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics team served a search warrant and a dog or dogs were present at the location of the search warrant.
2. Any and all policies and procedures referencing the use of force against dogs and other animals by police officers in effect from 2010 to present.
3. Any and all training materials, and requirements for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers that reference use of force against dogs and other animals by police ...

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