United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
HARRY BENION, ZACHARY GOODGALL, DAMON FRANKLIN, and LESLIE MORGAN, Plaintiffs,
LECOM, INCORPORATED, and LECOM COMMUNICATIONS, INC., Defendants. DAVID BENTLEY, CECIL MCNEIL, DEVON HALL, KEON PERSON, KUWAND CARPENTER, and LEONARD O. HINES, JR. Plaintiffs,
LECOM, INCORPORATED, LECOM COMMUNICATIONS, INC., DETROIT COMMUNICATIONS DIRECT, LLC, EPIC SOLUTIONS LLC, and JARELLE HANNAH, Defendants.
K. Majzoub, Magistrate Judge
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, HOLDING
GREAT LINK COMMUNICATIONS, LLC IN CONTEMPT, AND AWARDING
PLAINTIFFS REASONABLE COSTS AND ATTORNEY FEES
M. LAWSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
November 2, 2017, Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub issued a
report recommending that the Court grant the plaintiffs'
motion to hold Great Link Communications, LLC (“Great
Link”) in contempt and award plaintiffs reasonable
costs and attorney fees associated with this matter. The
Court has reviewed the record of proceedings and the
magistrate judge's report, and the Court finds that the
plaintiffs' motion should be granted, Great Link should
be held in contempt for failing to comply with the
plaintiffs' subpoena and failing to appear at the October
19, 2017 show cause hearing, and the plaintiffs should be
awarded reasonable costs and attorney fees in the amount of
$2, 358.00 associated with enforcing the Great Link subpoena.
the report stated that the parties to this action could
object to and seek review of the recommendation within
fourteen days of service of the report, no objections have
been filed thus far. The parties' failure to file
objections to the report and recommendation waives any
further right to appeal. Smith v. Detroit Fed'n of
Teachers Local 231, 829 F.2d 1370, 1373 (6th Cir. 1987).
Likewise, the failure to object to the magistrate judge's
report releases the Court from its duty to independently
review the matter. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149
(1985). However, the Court agrees with the findings and
conclusions of the magistrate judge. Because the ultimate
sanction sought by the motion was an order of contempt, the
magistrate judge did not issue a final order on the motion,
but she made findings of fact based on the record submitted
by the parties, which are reproduced below. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(e)(6)(B).
On March 9, 2017, Plaintiffs' process server personally
served upon Great Link a subpoena to produce documents and/or
information pursuant to Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. (Docket no. 74, Exs. 1, 2.) In the subpoena,
Plaintiffs sought communications between Great Link and
Defendants regarding the maintenance, operation, supervision
and assignment of cable installation technicians, as well as
personnel files regarding certain Plaintiffs. (Id.
at Ex. 1.)
Plaintiffs submit that on March 22, 2017, a representative of
Great Link appeared at the office of Plaintiffs'
attorneys in order to question the subpoena, but that Great
Link thereafter failed to comply with the subpoena or to file
an objection thereto. On May 10, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a
motion to compel Great Link to comply with a subpoena and
order Great Link to show cause why it should not be held in
contempt. (Docket no. 74.) The undersigned granted
Plaintiffs' motion and directed Great Link to either
produce the materials sought by Plaintiffs or appear before
the Court on October 19, 2017 to show cause why it should not
be held in contempt of court for failing to comply with
Plaintiffs' subpoena. (Docket no. 85). The Order
expressly reserved the right to impose sanctions and costs
against Great Link, as requested by Plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs filed an affidavit showing that on October 4,
2017, after three attempts to personally serve Great Link
with the Order, a copy of the Order was placed inside the
front door at 19166 Pinehurst in Detroit, MI, the address at
which the subpoena was served in March of 2017. (Docket no.
88.) Plaintiffs then filed an additional affidavit stating
that on October 17, 2017, the Order was served personally on
a person named Jules Palms, who accepted service on behalf of
Great Link. (Docket no. 91.) Nevertheless, Great Link failed
to appear as ordered on October 19, 2017. As of that date,
Great Link had failed to comply with the subpoena or to file
an objection with this Court regarding its obligation to
comply with the subpoena.
record of proceedings also includes a certificate of service
filed by the plaintiffs on November 15, 2017, which indicates
that the magistrate judge's report and recommendation
that recommended granting the plaintiffs' motion to hold
Great Link in contempt was served on Great Link's
resident agent by certified mail, return receipt requested,
on November 9, 2017. No objections to the report and
recommendation have been filed by any party, and the time for
doing so now has passed. To date, Great Link has not filed
any papers with the Court or offered any explanation for
their failure to honor the subpoena.
on the record of proceedings and the magistrate judge's
findings, the Court finds that non-party witness Great Link
has failed to comply with the plaintiffs' subpoena and
failed to appear at the October 19, 2017 hearing. The Court
“may hold in contempt a person who . . . fails without
adequate excuse to obey [a] subpoena.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
45(g). The Court therefore will hold Great Link in contempt
and order Great Link's representative to appear and
explain why s/he should not be imprisoned until Great Link
complies with the subpoena.
it is ORDERED that the magistrate
judge's report and recommendation [dkt. #97] is
further ORDERED that Great Link
Communications, LLC is HELD IN CONTEMPT for
its failure to comply with the plaintiffs' subpoena and
failure to appear at the October 19, 2017 hearing.
further ORDERED that an authorized
representative of Great Link MUST APPEAR
before the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan, presided over by the undersigned in his
courtroom in the United States Courthouse in Courtroom 716,
231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, Michigan, 48226, on
January 3, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. to explain why s/he
should not be IMPRISONED until Great Link
complies with the plaintiffs' subpoena. The Court hereby
advises Great Link's authorized representative that if
s/he fails to appear as directed, then the Court will issue a
WARRANT FOR HIS/HER ARREST by officers of
the United States Marshal Service.
further ORDERED that the defendants'
attorney must serve a copy of this order to appear on Great
Link's resident agent by personal service on or