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Russell v. Nebo School District

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

December 21, 2016

COLLETTE C. RUSSELL, Plaintiff,
v.
NEBO SCHOOL DISTRICT, BRUCE MOON, ANGIE KILLIAN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          DAVID SAM SENIOR JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Defendant Bruce Moon has filed a Motion for Protective Order (Doc. #28) seeking to prevent Plaintiff Collette Russell from serving his former and current employers and his cell phone provider with subpoenas. Mr. Moon asserts that the proposed subpoenas are irrelevant and/or overly broad.

         Ms. Russell has filed claims against Mr. Moon for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress based on an incident or incidents that allegedly occurred in late 2013, and which Mr. Moon contends were part of a consensual affair he had with Ms. Russell. Mr. Moon has counterclaimed against Ms. Russell alleging that she “interfered with his employment with Nebo School District by making untrue statements to Nebo School District and the Salem Police Department which caused his termination.” Mem. Opp'n at 8.

         In the proposed subpoenas[1] Ms. Russell requests Moon's former and current employers produce the following documents.

1. All correspondence, documents and communications (including emails, faxes, social media posts, text messages and letter) relating to or concerning or any complaints, grievances, reports, disciplinary actions or records, citations, personnel evaluations, or termination notices identifying or concerning Bruce Moon;
2. All job applications, interview notes, investigation files, internal discussions, emails, texts [sic] messages, instant messages, social media messages, voice recordings, and video recordings concerning or relating to Bruce Moon:
3. All correspondence, documents and communications in Bruce Moon's personnel file maintained by you during the period of his employment with you'
4. All correspondence, documents and communications in relating to or concerning any communications between you and any third-part concerning or relating to Bruce Moon.

See Doc. Entries 22, 24, 25, & 26. From Mr. Moon's cell phone provider Ms. Russell requests “text messages, phone messages, data records, billing statements, invoices, purchases, transactions and related documents” for Mr. Moon's phone from August, 2013 to the present, and correspondence between Mr. Moon and his provider during the same time period. See. Doc. Entry 23. Id. at 7.

         II. STANDARDS FOR DISCOVERY

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) governs protective orders and provides in part as follows. “A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the court where the action is pending .... The court may for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense....” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c).[2]

         The general scope and limits of discovery is set forth in Rule 26(b)(1).[3]

Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering, the importance of the issus at state in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed ...

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