AND ANOTHER ONE! TCPA CLASS DISCOVERY LIMITED: Third Party Subpoena Restricted to National and Internal DNC Complaints ONLY!  

Happy hump day TCPA World!!  

Bringing you a case out of the Western District of Washington limiting discovery again! So, let’s dig in…

In Devivo, the Court ruled on Defendant’s Motion for a Protective Order and to Quash Third Party Subpoena. Devivo v. Sovereign Lending Group, Inc., No. C22-5254RSM, 2022 WL 17547270 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 9. 2022) 

From two non-party – Better Business locations, Plaintiff Devivo sought “all documents related to complaints regarding Sovereign Lending Group, Incorporated,” from January 1, 2018, to the present. Alternatively, Defendant moved to limit responses to complaints involving individuals who claimed they were on the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNCR) and were called without consent and calls to individuals who claimed they were called after they made a Do Not Call (DNC) request to Defendant. Also, Defendant moved to block BBB from disclosing the identities for consumers who submitted complaints.  

The Court found that Defendant did not have a claim of any privilege or protectable interest and therefore, had no standing to quash the subpoena under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45. However, the Court held that the requested relief was proper under a Motion for Protection Order under Rule 26(c).  

Even though neither BBB location filed anything with the Court, Defendant still argued that BBB would be burdened by the subpoena production. While the Court was not persuaded on that argument, it found that Plaintiff’s request was relevant to the needs of the case but was also, overbroad.  

So, the Court agreed with Defendant’s alternative request and held that the production was limited to complaints involving calls to individuals who claimed they were on the NDNCR and were called without consent by Defendant and calls to individuals who claimed that they were called after they had made a DNC request to Defendant.  

What’s the difference then? Well, Plaintiff requested all documents related to complaints and the Court said all is overbroad but, complaints involving calls from individuals who claimed they were on the DNC and were still called and calls from individuals who made a DNC request to Defendant are relevant.  

Kinda the same thing, right? No!  

Defendant succeeded in limiting Plaintiff’s access! Instead, production will be limited as mentioned above, to include words like: “Do Not Call,” “Do Not Call Registry,” or the like, which according to this Court are relevant.  

Just yesterday, we talked about Martin requesting class member identities from third parties prior to certification. Here’s another example! 

Stay safe out there, TCPA World!! Until next time, Countess 😊  

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