United States District Court, E.D. California, Sacramento
MILLER MARITAL DEDUCTION TRUST, by and through its trustees, Helen Miller and James Morris; and HELEN MILLER, an individual, Plaintiffs,
ESTATE OF MARK B. DUBOIS, et al., Defendants.
ORDER QUASHING SUBPOENA
STANLEY A. BASTIAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are Central Mutual Insurance Company's
(“Central”) Motion to Quash or Modify Subpoena
Issued by Plaintiff, ECF No. 49, and Notice of Intent to
Request Redaction, ECF No. 57. The motions were heard without
requests the Court quash or modify the subpoena issued by the
Miller Marital Deduction Trust (the “Miller
Trust”) on the basis of undue burden. Additionally, to
the extent Central must comply with the discovery request,
Central seeks leave to redact certain private, third-party
information from the documents it would produce. Having
reviewed the parties' briefings on the matter, the Court
grants Central's motion to quash, and denies as moot
Central's motion to redact.
approximately 1956 to 1985, a dry cleaning business known as
the Glo Dry Cleaning System operated on the property located
at 6054 Pacific Avenue in Stockton, California (the
“Property”). This action arises from the
environmental contamination to the Property, and the areas to
which the contamination has migrated outside the boundaries
of the Property (the “Site”). The parties to this
action are the former owners and operators of the dry
cleaning business, and the former owners of the Property. The
Miller Trust is the current owner of the Property, and
obtained title to it following the death of Jack Miller. The
Estate of Jack Miller (the “Estate”) was the
previous owner of the Property.
Estate has been sued under California Probate Code
§§ 550, et seq., a statutory scheme that
allows a plaintiff to recover against a decedent's
estate, to the extent the decedent was covered by insurance.
In this case, Jack Miller, deceased, has insurance policies
issued through Allianz Insurance Company and Zurich American
Insurance Company (“the Insurers”). The Insurers
are providing a defense on behalf of the Estate. As part of
that defense, the Estate has put forward several affirmative
defenses related to insurance coverage.
the initial stages of discovery, the Miller Trust received a
form which indicated that Central may have issued an
insurance policy to Jack Miller from 1974 to 1976. Upon
receiving this information, the Miller Trust served a
subpoena to Central on November 27, 2017, seeking various
types of documents to determine if Central has any records of
any type of INSURANCE POLICY that may establish insurance
coverage for any “PRP.” ECF No. 49-1, Ex. A. The
term “PRP” means each, and the term
“PRPs” means all, of the following: Mark B.
DuBois; Mary DuBois; John Ruby; Katherine Ruby; Vance H. Van
Gorp; Helen Van Gorp; Richard Calhoun; Dorothy Carolyn
Calhoun; Rudolph Marengo; Lucille M. Marengo; Joseph Marengo;
Meryle M. Marengo; Jack Miller; and any of the following
entities: Glo Cleaners; Glo Dry Cleaning; and Glo Dry
Cleaning System; and/or any other business operating at 6054
Pacific Avenue, Stockton, California.
relevant are subpoena request nos. 13, 14, and 16, which
13. A blank copy of each standard form of comprehensive
general liability, or commercial general liability, insurance
policy that YOU offered for sale to PERSONS from 1956 to and
including 1986, or any portion of that time period.
14. A blank copy of each standard form package of insurance
policies that YOU offered for sale to PERSONS from 1956 to
and including 1986, or any portion of that time period.
16. Each and every WRITING that RELATES TO any WRITING demanded by the
attached Subpoena as set forth in this Attachment A, but that
has been destroyed, discarded, recycled, or lost.
Shortly after receiving the discovery request, Central filed
the present motions.
Rule 45(d), the Court must quash or modify a subpoena that,
among other things, “subjects a person to undue
burden.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(d)(3). To determine whether a
subpoena poses an undue burden, “courts ‘weigh
the burden to the subpoenaed party against the value of the
information to the serving party.'” Amini
Innovation Corp. v. McFerran Home Furnishings, Inc., 300
F.R.D. 406 (C.D. Cal. 2014) (quoting Moon v. SCP Pool
Corp., 232 F.R.D. 633, 637 (C.D. Cal. 2005). Courts
consider factors such as “relevance, the need of the
party for the documents, the breadth of the document request,
the time period covered by it, the particularity with which
the documents are described and the burden imposed.”
Moon, 232 F.R.D. at 637 (quoting U.S. v.
Int'l Bus. Mach. Corp., 83 F.R.D. 97, 104 (S.D.N.Y.
1979)). Additionally, while discovery is a valuable ...