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Collins v. Trans Union, LLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 28, 2015

MICHAEL A. COLLINS, Plaintiff,
v.
TRANS UNION, LLC, EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC., and EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES LLC, Defendants.

ORDER ON MOTION TO QUASH

NINA Y. WANG, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Wakefield & Associates, Inc.'s ("Wakefield") Motion to Quash Subpoena to Produce Issued to Wakefield and Associates, Inc. ("Motion to Quash"). [#105, filed January 28, 2015]. Pursuant to the Order Referring Case dated September 18, 2014 [#50] and the memorandum dated January 29, 2015 [#106], the matter was referred to this Magistrate Judge. For the reasons addressed below, the Motion to Quash is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Michael A. Collins initiated this lawsuit proceeding pro se on March 12, 2014, by filing a Complaint for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. , as to Defendants Trans Union, LLC ("Trans Union"), Experian Information Solutions, Inc. ("Experian"), and Equifax Information Services, LLC ("Equifax"), alleging that these Defendants had falsely reported his credit history to third parties. [#1]. The action was assigned to Magistrate Judge Boland pursuant to the Pilot Program to Implement the Direct Assignment of Civil Cases to Full Time Magistrate Judges. [#3]. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on June 26, 2014, adding LexisNexis Risk Data Retrieval Services, LLC ("LexisNexis") as a Defendant along with the following claims: violation of the FCRA as to LexisNexis; Negligence as to LexisNexis; "Invasion of Privacy by Intrusion upon Seclusion" as to LexisNexis; Emotional and Mental Distress as to LexisNexis; Negligence Per Se as to all Defendants; Negligent Misrepresentation as to Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax; False Representation as to Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax; Fraudulent Misrepresentation as to Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax; Fraud in the Inducement as to Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax; Fraudulent Concealment as to Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax; Violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act as to all Defendants; and a request for a Temporary Restraining Order as to all Defendants. [#7].

Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian filed Answers to the Amended Complaint on July 24, 2014 [#15, #17, and #19]. Plaintiff, Trans Union, and Experian filed a Stipulated Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction on July 30, 2014 [#21], which Judge Boland granted on August 7, 2014. [#23]. LexisNexis filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint on August 14, 2014. [#26]. Plaintiff filed a Response to this Motion on September 4, 2014 and filed an Amended Response eight days later. [#34, #38]. LexisNexis filed a Reply in support of its Motion to Dismiss on September 19, 2014. [#53].

On September 15, 2014, the Parties declined to consent to the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge [#46 and #47], and the case was reassigned to District Judge Jackson. [#49]. Judge Boland presided over a Scheduling Conference held October 14, 2014, at which he ordered the Parties to complete discovery by January 30, 2015 and file dispositive motions on or before March 6, 2015. [#69 and #70].

On November 24, 2014, with leave of court, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") omitting the claim for Negligence Per Se and adding Greystone Alliance, LLC ("Greystone") as a Defendant. [#84]. Plaintiff also added the following claims as to Greystone: violations of the FCRA; violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. ; violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act; and for negligence. On December 8, 2014, Trans Union and Experian filed an Answer to the SAC [#87 and #89] and LexisNexis filed a Motion to Dismiss [#88]. Equifax filed an Answer to the SAC on December 11, 2014. [#90]. Plaintiff and LexisNexis filed a Stipulated Motion to Dismiss the Case with Prejudice on December 31, 2014 [#98], which the court granted on January 2, 2015. [#100].

On December 31, 2014, Plaintiff moved for Entry of Default as to Greystone. [#97]. The Clerk of Court entered default as to Greystone on January 5, 2015. [#101]. Plaintiff subsequently moved for default judgment on January 15, 2015 [#102], and the court set a hearing on damages.[1] [#103 and #104].

Wakefield filed the pending Motion to Quash on January 28, 2015. On January 30, 2015, Experian, Equifax, Trans Union, and Plaintiff filed a Joint Stipulation and Unopposed Motion for Extension of the Discovery Cut-Off for Depositions and Pending Written Discovery. [#112]. The court granted the Motion and extended the discovery cut-off date to February 27, 2015. [#116]. On February 9, 2015, this matter was reassigned to the undersigned Magistrate Judge. [#119].

Trans Union filed an Unopposed Motion to extend the date by which to file dispositive motions to April 28, 2015 [#120], which this court granted. [#122]. On February 18, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for an Extension of Time to respond to Wakefield's Motion to Quash. [#123]. Wakefield filed a Response opposing the Motion for Extension of Time. [#124]. This court granted the Motion [#127] and Plaintiff filed his Response on February 25, 2015 [#126]. Wakefield did not file a Reply.[2]

ANALYSIS

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) authorizes discovery of "any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense-including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter." Relevancy is broadly construed, and a request for discovery should be considered if there is "any possibility" that the information sought may be relevant to the claim or defense of any party. See, e.g., Sheldon v. Vermonty, 204 F.R.D. 679, 689-90 (D. Kan. 2001). When the discovery sought appears relevant, the party resisting the discovery has the burden to establish the lack of relevancy by demonstrating that the requested discovery either does not come within the scope of relevance as defined under Rule 26(b)(1), or it is of such marginal relevance that the potential harm occasioned by discovery would outweigh the ordinary presumption in favor of broad disclosure. Simpson v. Univ. of Colo., 220 F.R.D. 354, 359 (D. Colo. 2004) (citations omitted). This second prong reflects the principle of proportionality that is inherent in the Federal Rules, and governs all discovery. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1) and (b)(2)(C)(i)-(iii). It is incumbent upon the court to consider how much discovery is reasonable in a given case in light of the claims and defenses asserted, the significance of the discovery sought to the propounding party, and the costs and burden to the producing party. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C)(i)-(iii). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure also permit a court to restrict or preclude discovery when justice requires in order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c). Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se , I afford his materials a liberal construction but do not act as his advocate. Yang v. Archuleta, 525 F.3d 925, 927 n. 1 (10th Cir. 2008).

On January 15, 2015, Plaintiff served a subpoena duces tecum (the "Subpoena") on Wakefield via certified mail requesting:

Any and all documents in your possession, custody or control relating to or concerning [Plaintiff], including your complete credit and debt collection file for Wakefield & Associates, Inc., ...

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