United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
MONIQUE GRIMES, as Personal Representative of the Estate of DAMON GRIMES, Deceased, Plaintiff,
TROOPER MARK BESSNER, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO QUASH AND GRANTING IN PART
MOTION TO STAY [#19] AND STAYING ACTION UNTIL DECEMBER 31,
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Non-Party State of Michigan and the
Michigan State Police's (“MSP”) Motion to
Quash the Plaintiff's October 4, 2017 Subpoena and Stay
this Action, filed on October 18, 2017. Plaintiff filed a
Response in Opposition on November 6, 2017, and the MSP filed
a Reply on October 9, 2017. A hearing was held on November
14, 2017. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny
MSP's Motion to Quash and will grant in part the
MSP's request to stay the instant proceedings.
son was killed during an encounter with former MSP Trooper,
Defendant Mark Bessner, on August 26, 2017. Bessner deployed
his Taser directly at Plaintiff's son, who was riding an
ATV at the time. The Taser caused Plaintiff's son to lose
control of the ATV and he was propelled into the rear end of
as well as reportedly two other officers, have resigned from
the MSP as a result of this incident. Investigations by the
Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the
Wayne County Prosecutor's Office are purportedly ongoing.
initiated the instant lawsuit on August 30, 2017 asserting
Fourth Amendment claims against Bessner. Also, on August 30,
2017, Plaintiff sent FOIA letters to the City of Detroit and
the MSP requesting that all evidence be preserved and
requesting that all records relating to the case be produced
to Plaintiff's counsel.
September 27, 2017, the MSP responded to Plaintiff's FOIA
letter and indicated that the request was granted as to
“existing, non-exempt records in the possession of the
Michigan State Police that fall within the scope of your
request.” The MSP further advised that a processing fee
of $5, 331.20 to search, retrieve, review, examine and exempt
material and upon payment of half of this amount, the MSP
would begin processing the request. The MSP estimated that it
would take 90 days to produce the documents that were subject
to the FOIA request.
also sought the name of the MSP Trooper who was in the car
with Bessner during the incident on August 27, 2017. The MSP,
however, failed to provide this information to
Plaintiff's counsel, which resulted in Plaintiff's
counsel having to prepare and file a Motion to Perpetuate
Testimony of MSP Lietenant Neil Donahue for the limited
purpose of identifying the MSP Trooper who was in the car
with Bessner. The MSP has since provided the name to
Plaintiff's counsel and Plaintiff has withdrawn the
Motion to Perpetuate Testimony.
the astronomical fee amount requested by the MSP to process
Plaintiff's FOIA request, Plaintiff served Rule 45
Subpoenas on the MSP and the State of Michigan seeking the
same information and documents sought in the FOIA letter. The
MSP moved to quash the subpoenas on October 18, 2017.
LAW & ANALYSIS
Motion to Quash
Rule of Civil Procedure 45(d)(3) governs quashing or
modifying a subpoena and obligates the district court to
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 ...