United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
NAVAJO NATION HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION; PEGGY PHILLIPS; MARK MARYBOY; WILFRED JONES; TERRY WHITEHAT; BETTY BILLIE FARLEY; WILLIE SKOW; and MABEL SKOW, Plaintiffs,
SAN JUAN COUNTY; JOHN DAVID NIELSON, in his official capacity as San Juan County Clerk; and PHIL LYMAN, BRUCE ADAMS, and REBECCA BENALLY, in their official capacities as San Juan County Commissioners, Defendants.
PARRISH DISTRICT JUDGE.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION TO
QUASH, STRIKING CURRENT DEPOSITION DATE AND GRANTING MOTION
TO EXTEND DISCOVERY
C. WELLS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Judge Jill Parrish Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells Defendants
seek an order quashing the subpoena Plaintiffs have served on
Edward Tapaha. Mr. Tapaha was San Juan County's
liaison to the Navajo Nation until he recently retired. Mr.
Tapaha is also listed in Defendants' Initial Disclosures
as an individual likely to have discoverable
information. The current discovery cutoff is January
12, 2018, which Plaintiffs allege is why they selected that
date for Mr. Tapaha's deposition.
initially raised five reasons for quashing the subpoena but
after Plaintiffs fixed some deficiencies in the subpoena
there remains only three: (1) the reasonableness of written
notice given to Defendants; (2) the timing for compliance
with the subpoena; and (3) the location of the subpoena. The
subpoena was served on Mr. Tapaha Monday January 8th and
required him to appear for a deposition on Friday January
12th. Four days' notice for a deposition is not a best
practice and is not in the court's view “reasonable
written notice” under the Federal Rules. Even with the
discovery deadline fast approaching a better reasoned
approach would have been to first seek an extension of the
discovery deadline and then work out the timing for Mr.
Tapaha's deposition. However, Plaintiffs state they are
“willing to work with counsel” and Mr. Tapaha to
find a “mutually available time.” The court
therefore will strike the current date for the deposition,
Friday January 12th as unreasonable, and order the parties to
find a mutually agreeable time. In addition the parties are
to comply with the distance requirements found in Rule 45 so
an undue burden is not placed on Mr. Tapaha.
Tapaha is listed on Defendants' Initial Disclosures and
given his prior role as a liaison to the Navajo Nation the
court finds under the applicable discovery standards that his
deposition should move forward. Thus, the court will not quash
the subpoena in its entirety denying Plaintiffs the
opportunity to depose Mr. Tapaha.
January 10, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Extend Fact
Discovery. Both Plaintiffs' counsel and
Defendants' counsel appear to be cooperating on extending
the fact discovery deadline to complete depositions. As such
the court finds there is no need to await a response to the
motion by Defendants. To help facilitate the needed discovery
in a timely manner the court will grant the Motion to Extend
Fact Discovery and extend fact discovery by 30 days from the
current deadline of January 12, 2018 to Monday February 12,
2018 to allow the taking of depositions.
reasons set forth above it is HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion
to Quash is DENIED.
FURTHER ORDERED that the current deposition date for January
12, 2018 is STRICKEN.
IT IS ORDERED that the Motion to Extend Fact Discovery is
GRANTED. The new fact discovery deadline is February 12,
 Docket no. 188.