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State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Elite Health Centers, Inc.
United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
August 26, 2019
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
ELITE HEALTH CENTERS, INC., ELITE CHIROPRACTIC, P.C., ELITE REHABILITATION, INC., MIDWEST MEDICAL ASSOCIATES, INC., PURE REHABILITATION, INC., DEREK L. BITTNER, D.C., P.C., MARK A. RADOM, DEREK LAWRENCE BITTNER, D.C., RYAN MATTHEW LUKOWSKI, D.C., MICHAEL P. DRAPLIN, D.C., NOEL H. UPFALL, D.O., MARK J. JUSKA, M.D., SUPERIOR DIAGNOSTICS, INC., CHINTAN DESAI, M.D., MICHAEL J. PALEY, M.D., DEARBORN CENTER FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY, L.L.C., MICHIGAN CENTER FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY, INC., and JAYSON ROSETT, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING NON-PARTY MICHAEL J.
MORSE'S OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE
JUDGE'S OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART STATE FARM'S MOTION TO COMPEL (DOC.
COHN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an insurance fraud case. Before the Court is nonparty Michael
J. Morse's Objections to the Magistrate Judge's
Opinion and Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part State
Farm's Motion to Compel. (Doc. 561). The issue is whether
the magistrate judge's decision that Michael Morse be
compelled to comply with State Farm's document requests
is clearly erroneous or contrary to the law? See
Doc. 535. The answer is no.
several months, State Farm has tried to get documents from
Morse about the true nature of his role in, and knowledge of,
Defendants' fraud scheme. On November 15, 2019, State
Farm filed a motion to compel Morse to produce documents
responsive to State Farm Subpoena and described important
evidence obtained from Defendants and third-parties that
Morse played a critical role in facilitating Defendants'
scheme starting in 2010. In July of 2019, the magistrate
judge ruled on State Farm's motion and ordered Morse to
produce documents relevant to his role and involvement in the
activities at the heart of this case, including: (1) his
financial arrangements with, or payments made to or received
from, Defendants and related third parties; (2)
communications with Defendants and related third parties
regarding topics relevant to the scheme; (3) documents
related to patients whose services are at issue in this case;
(4) documents related to MRI entities Horizon, Superior and
M1. In his objections, Morse offers no new law or evidence or
argument, but simply says that the magistrate judge's
order was clearly erroneous and contrary to law. Morse's
objections do not carry the day.
decision and order of a non-dispositive motion by a
magistrate judge will be upheld unless it is clearly
erroneous or contrary to law. See 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); Massey v. City of
Ferndale, 7 F.3d 506, 509 (6th Cir. 1993). A district
judge shall consider such objections and may modify or set
aside any portion of the magistrate judge's order found
to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law. Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(a). “The ‘clearly erroneous' standard
applies only to the magistrate judge's factual findings;
legal conclusions are reviewed under the plenary
‘contrary to law' standard.... “ Haworth,
Inc. v. Herman Miller, Inc., 162 F.R.D. 289, 291 (W.D.
Mich. 1995) (citing Gandee v. Glaser, 785 F.Supp.
684, 686 (S.D. Ohio 1992)). Clear error has occurred when the
reviewing court “is left with the definite and firm
conviction that a mistake has been committed.”
United States v. Caseer, 399 F.3d 828, 840 (6th Cir.
2005) (citations omitted). “An order is contrary to law
when it fails to apply or misapplies relevant statutes, case
law, or rules of procedure.” Ford Motor Co. v.
United States, 2009 WL 2922875, at *1 (E.D. Mich. Sept.
Court has reviewed the magistrate judge's order and
papers relating to Morse's objections. Nothing in the
magistrate judge's ruling is clearly erroneous or
contrary to law. No further explanation is necessary.
the magistrate judge's order granting State Farm's
motion to compel is AFFIRMED. Morse's objections are
Upon review of the parties' papers,
the Court deems this matter appropriate for decision without
oral argument. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b); E.D. Mich. LR
7.1(f)(2). However, the matter was discussed during a status