United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
L. PRYOR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the Motion to Quash Subpoena
to Chase Bank aka JPMorgan Chase Bank and Request for Hearing
(Dkt. 1), filed on October 3, 2018 and the Motion for Oral
Hearing (Dkt. 12), filed on January 8, 2019. These Motions
were referred to the Undersigned for ruling and, for the
reasons that follow, are hereby DENIED.
August 16, 2016, Peter Szanto (hereinafter “the
Debtor” or “Mr. Szanto”), filed a voluntary
chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the District of Oregon. On
December 5, 2017, the bankruptcy court converted the Chapter
11 case to a Chapter 7 case. In order to evaluate the
bankruptcy petition, the United States Trustee issued various
subpoenas to banks and financial institutions, including a
subpoena to JPMorgan Chase Bank (“Chase Bank”).
Mr. Szanto filed a Motion to Quash the subpoena to Chase Bank
in this Court on October 3, 2018. The United States Trustee
filed a response on December 11, 2018 and Mr. Szanto filed a
reply on January 8, 2019.
Rule 45, a court must quash or modify a subpoena if it fails
to allow a reasonable time to comply; requires a person who
is neither a party nor a party's officer to travel more
than 100 miles; requires disclosure of privileged or other
protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies; or
subjects a person to undue burden. Malibu Media, LLC v.
John Does 1-14, 287 F.R.D. 513, 516 (N.D. Ind. 2012);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(c)(3)(A)(i)-(iv). The party seeking to quash
a subpoena under Rule 45(c)(3)(A) bears the burden of
demonstrating that the information sought is privileged or
subjects a person to an undue burden. Id.
determining whether to enforce a discovery request, the court
must weigh the need for the information, the breadth of the
request, the time period the discovery covers, the
particularity of the documents, and the burden imposed.
United States Securities and Exchange Commission v.
Haab, No. 1:15-cv-00659-JMS-MJD, 2016 WL 6610851, at *2
(S.D. Ind. Nov. 9, 2016) (citing Charles v. Quality
Carriers, Inc., No. 1:08-cv-00428-RLY-JMS, 2010 WL
396356, at *1 (S.D. Ind. Jan. 28, 2010)).
a party lacks standing to move to quash a subpoena served on
a third party, but an exception exists when the party claims
some personal right or privilege in respect to the subject
matter of a subpoena duces tecum directed to a nonparty.
Noble Roman's Inc. v. Hattenhauer Distrib. Co.,
314 F.R.D. 304, 306 (S.D. Ind. 2016) (citing United
States v. Raineri, 670 F.2d 702, 712 (7th Cir. 1982));
HTG Capital Partners, LLC v. Does(s), No. 15 C
02129, 2015 WL 5611333, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 22, 2015). As
with other discovery issues, deciding whether to grant a
motion to quash lies within the sound discretion of the
district court. Sullivan v. Gurtner Plumbing, Inc.,
No. 11-cv-6261, 2012 WL 896159, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 13,
2012) (citing United States v. Ashman, 979 F.2d 469,
496 (7th Cir. 1992)).
Szanto argues that his motion to quash should be granted
because 1) the subpoena to Chase Bank was not properly served
on Mr. Szanto by the United States; 2) the copy of the proof
of service that Mr. Szanto received was blank, which
indicates that Chase Bank was not properly served with the
subpoena either; and 3) the subpoena subjects Mr. Szanto to
an undue burden due to the disclosure of his financial
information without adequate notice or service. The Court
will address each argument in turn.
Proper Service on the Debtor
Szanto argues that the subpoena to Chase Bank should be
quashed because it was not properly served on him, as
required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(a)(4). Rule
45(d)(3) lays out the various circumstances under which a
court may quash a subpoena; failing to properly serve a party
with a copy of the subpoena is not one of those
circumstances. Regardless, the Trustee filed two declarations
from Carla McClurg, attorney for the United States Trustee,
and Michael Connolly, United States Trustee Paralegal
Specialist, that indicate the Debtor was served with the
Chase Bank subpoena via United States Mail and via email. The
Court is satisfied with the Trustee's evidence regarding
service of the subpoena on Mr. Szanto.
the Debtor has apparently had little difficulty filing the
present Motion to Quash and asserting his arguments related
to the subpoena to Chase Bank -- given the extent of his
prosecution, there has been no undue burden on the Debtor.