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James Bowen, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly v. William E. Groome and Vicki L. Groome
January 17, 2012
JAMES BOWEN, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
WILLIAM E. GROOME AND VICKI L. GROOME, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Williams, Magistrate Judge:
Four non-parties have been served with subpoenas to produce ten years' worth of "[a]ny and all documents" related to Defendants William and Vicki Groome and three other individuals. At a telephonic conference on January 6, 2012, the parties, who had in good faith conferred to resolve the dispute without court action, were directed to brief the Court on the discoverability of the information covered by the subpoenas. Now before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Quash Plaintiffs' Subpoenas, which the Court construes as a Motion for a Protective Order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c).
Under Rule 26(c), a protective order may be entered for good cause in
order to limit the scope of disclosure or discovery to certain
matters. FED.R.CIV.P. 26(c)(1)(D). The scope of discovery in federal court is
limited to non-privileged, relevant material. See FED.R.CIV.P. 26(b). While the
information sought by Plaintiffs is relevant to the case insofar as it pertains to
possible punitive damages, the subpoena is overbroad. So to make the scope
of the disputed subpoenas congruent with the scope of discoverable information,
the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendants' motion, and rules as follows.
The subpoenaed third parties (Citation Oil & Gas Corp.; Plains Marketing, L.P.; Bi-Petro, Inc.; and Countrymark Refining and Logistics, LLC/Countrymark Cooperative, LLP/Countrymark Cooperative Holding Corp.) SHALL comply with the subpoenas to the extent they are commanded to produce (1) only documents related to William E. Groome and Vicki L. Groome, and (2) only documents dated within the last two years, and (3) only documents pertaining to ownership interest of and payments made to Defendants William and Vicki Groome, including all royalty check detail statements, division orders or any other documents evidencing payment to Defendants or Defendants' ownership in any royalty interest or working interest. Plaintiff SHALL immediately provide a copy of this order to the subpoenaed third parties. Further, documents responsive to this order SHALL NOT be provided to anyone except counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants, until the parties agree (or the Court orders) otherwise.
STEPHEN C. WILLIAMS United States Magistrate Judge
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