United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER GRANTING IN PART MOTIONS TO ENFORCE SUBPOENA,
DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA, DIRECTING
PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SETTING DEADLINE FOR OBJECTIONS,
SCHEDULING STATUS CONFERENCE, AND DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE
MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge.
March 28, 2017, Plaintiff Allan Teasel, a patient at a mental
health institution initiated this case on his behalf and on
behalf of other similarly situated patients. His complaint
alleges that the State of Michigan and the Department of
Health and Human Services have violated his substantive due
process rights by forcing his caregivers to work excessive
overtime. Compl., ECF No. 1. On July 17, 2017, Teasel filed
an amended complaint which names Rose Laskowski, the director
of the mental health institution housing Teasel, as the only
Defendant. Am. Compl., ECF No. 30. Several days after filing
the amended complaint, Teasel filed a motion for a
preliminary injunction. ECF No. 32. On August 25, 2017,
Lawskowski filed a motion to dismiss the suit for lack of
standing. ECF No. 43. A hearing on the two motions was held
on November 7, 2017. On December 15, 2017, the Court issued
an opinion and order denying the motion to dismiss and
directing attention to certain issues at the next hearing on
the motion for a preliminary injunction. ECF No. 60.
January 3, 2018, Teasel filed two apparently identical
emergency motions to enforce a subpoena. ECF Nos. 62, 63. The
subpoena at issue was broadly focused on information relevant
to the issues the Court had identified in its December 15,
2017, opinion and order. On January 19, 2018, Teasel filed a
motion to quash a subpoena issued by Defendant. ECF No. 67.
In that subpoena, Defendant seeks documents retained by Ms.
Judd and Ms. Goyette, two individuals who provided affidavits
to Teasel which support allegations made in the complaint.
January 22, 2018, the Court held a second hearing on the
motion for a preliminary injunction. Discussion on the record
quickly centered on the ongoing discovery disputes, and
Teasel acknowledged that additional disclosures were required
before he could complete his proofs regarding the requested
preliminary injunction. After a short recess, the parties and
Court conducted an informal status conference to address the
pending discovery motions. This order is meant to formalize
the understandings reached in that status conference.
Court summarized Teasel's factual allegations in the
December 15, 2017, opinion and order. That summary will be
adopted in full.
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(d)(1) provides that “[a]
party may not seek discovery from any source before the
parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f), except . .
. when authorized by these rules, by stipulation, or by court
order.” Teasel seeks a court order authorizing early
discovery. In reviewing such requests, courts typically
impose a “good cause standard.” 8A Charles Alan
Wright and Arthur R. Miller, 1993 Discovery Moratorium
Pending Discovery Plan, Fed. Prac. & Proc. Juris.
§ 2046.1 (4d ed.). Several decisions within the Sixth
Circuit provide some guidance. In In re Paradise Valley
Holdings, Inc., the bankruptcy court explained that
“‘[g]ood cause may be found where the
plaintiff's need for expedited discovery outweighs the
possible prejudice or hardship to the defendant.'”
No. 03-34704, 2005 WL 3841866, at *2 (Bankr. E.D.
Dec. 29, 2005) (quoting Metal Bldg. Components, LP v.
Caperton, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28854, at *10 (D.N.M.
Apr. 2, 2004)). Further, “[g]ood cause is usually found
in cases involving requests for injunctive relief, challenges
to personal jurisdiction, class actions, and claims of
infringement and unfair competition.” Id. The
Paradise Valley Holdings opinion also emphasizes
that Rule 26(d) “‘protects defendants from
unwarily incriminating themselves before they have a chance
to review the facts of the case and to retain counsel. This
important protection maintains the fairness of civil
litigation.'” Id. (quoting Notaro v.
Koch, 95 F.R.D. 403, 405 (S.D.N.Y.1982)). See also
USEC Inc. v. Everitt, No. 3:09-CV-4, 2009 WL 152479, at
*3 (E.D. Tenn. Jan. 22, 2009) (adopting the analysis in
Paradise Valley Holdings); Whitfield v.
Hochsheid, No. C-1-02-218, 2002 WL 1560267, at *1 (S.D.
Ohio July 2, 2002) (imposing a good cause standard).
district courts have also identified certain relevant
factors. In Yokohama Tire Corp. v. Dealers Tire Supply,
Inc., the district court specified four factors:
(1) irreparable injury, (2) some probability of success on
the merits, (3) some connection between expedited discovery
and the avoidance of the irreparable injury, and (4) some
evidence that the injury that will result without expedited
discovery looms greater than the injury that the defendant
will suffer if the expedited relief is granted.
202 F.R.D. 612, 613 (D. Ariz. 2001) (quoting Notaro
and noting that Notaro borrowed the test for
granting a preliminary injunction and applied it to a request
for expedited discovery).
in Meritain Health Inc. v. Express Scripts, Inc.,
the district court enumerated a different five factors that
(1) whether a preliminary injunction is pending; (2) the
breadth of the discovery requests; (3) the purpose for
requesting the expedited discovery; (4) the burden on the
defendants to comply with the requests; and (5) how far in