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Apex Colors, Inc. v. Chemworld International Limited, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

December 16, 2014

APEX COLORS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
CHEMWORLD INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, INC., CHEMWORLD INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, LLC, ATUL MODI, and MANOJ MODI, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

PAUL R. CHERRY, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on a Motion to Quash or Modify Nine (9) Subpoenas or for Protective Order [DE 44], filed by Defendants on November 21, 2014. Plaintiff filed a response on November 25, 2014, and Defendants filed a reply on December 3, 2014. This matter is also before the Court on a Motion to Quash or Modify Subpoena to Polymer Concentrates or for Protective Order [DE 71], filed by Defendants on December 9, 2014. Because the more recent motion is identical in almost all material respects to the original motion, with one exception discussed below, the Court rules on both without further briefing on the latter.

On September 28, 2014, Defendants filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Brief in Support, and Affidavits of Craig Weadon and Paul Bykowski, the former president of Plaintiff. The Court has stayed briefing on the Motion for Summary Judgment and has set a deadline of January 15, 2015, for limited discovery related to the pending Motion for Preliminary Injunction and to allow the parties to attempt private mediation or other alternative dispute resolution. Although Defendants' November 21, 2014 Motion to Quash implies that no protective order had been entered in this case, on November 18, 2014, the Court issued an Agreed Protective Order presented by the parties.

On November 6 and 7, 2014, Plaintiff served nine non-party subpoenas. On December 1, 2014, Plaintiff served a tenth non-party subpoena. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(d)(3) sets out the requirements for moving to quash a subpoena:

(3) Quashing or Modifying a Subpoena.
(A) When Required. On timely motion, the court for the district where compliance is required must 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 or waiver applies; or
(iv) subjects a person to undue burden.
(B) When Permitted. To protect a person subject to or affected by a subpoena, the court for the district where compliance is required may, on motion, quash or modify the subpoena if it requires:
(i) disclosing a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information; or
(ii) disclosing an unretained expert's opinion or information that does not describe specific occurrences in dispute and results from the expert's study that was not requested by a party.
(C) Specifying Conditions as an Alternative. In the circumstances described in Rule 45(d)(3)(B), the court may, instead of quashing or modifying a subpoena, order appearance or production ...

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