United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division
P. WATTERS United States District Judge
the Court is nonparties Tim and Connie Peterson's Motion
to Quash subpoenas issued by Hector Gonzalez, or in the
alternative, for a protective order. (Doc. 25). For the
following reasons, the Court grants in part and denies in
part the motion.
March 14, 2017, Gonzalez filed a Petition for Return of Child
to Petitioner pursuant to the 1980 Hague Convention on the
Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the
International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42U.S.C.
§§ 11601-11610. (Doc. 1). Gonzalez's petition
alleges Whitney Peterson, his wife, wrongfully removed the
couple's two children from their habitual residence in
Mexico City, Mexico. (Doc. 1 at 5). At the time of filing, it
was Gonzalez's belief that Whitney was holding the
children at her parent's home in Livingston, Montana.
(Doc. 1 at 7).
has been unable to locate Whitney to serve her with the
Petition. Gonzalez moved the Court for leave to conduct
discovery for the limited purpose of locating Whitney so that
she may be served. (Doc. 21). The Court determined good cause
existed to conduct limited discovery and granted
Gonzalez's motion. (Doc. 23). Gonzalez subpoenaed
Whitney's parents, Tim and Connie Peterson (the
Petersons), to attend depositions and produce documents and
communications concerning the Petersons' interactions
with Whitney over the past year. (Docs. 25-7 and 25-8).
Gonzalez scheduled the depositions to take place in
Livingston, where Tim and Connie Peterson live. (Doc. 25-8 at
1). Gonzalez made twelve specific requests for documents.
(Doc. 25-8 at 3-4). Document request numbers 1 and 2
contained the limitation "related to [Whitney's]
present whereabouts and her whereabouts over the course of
the previous year." (Doc. 25-8 at 3). Document request
numbers 3, 4, and 5, did not contain the limitation. (Doc.
25-8 at 3-4).
Petersons contacted Gonzalez and stated they have no
information regarding the whereabouts of Whitney and the
children. (Doc. 25-7). Gonzalez responded that he would
accept sworn affidavits in lieu of depositions. (Doc. 25-7).
Gonzalez provided the Petersons with prepared affidavits and
agreed to delay the depositions pending the Petersons'
response. (Doc. 25-7).
Petersons did not sign Gonzalez's prepared affidavits.
Instead, the Petersons filed a motion to quash the subpoenas
and submitted sworn declarations stating, among other things,
23. I do not have any reason to believe that Whitney has
traveled or intends to travel to Montana.
24. Whitney has not revealed her location (or that of the
children) to myself.
25. I do not know Whitney or the children's location or
where they intend to reside now or in the future.
(Doc. 25-3 at 5-6; Doc. 25-2 at 4-5).
discretion is vested in the trial court to permit or deny
discovery. Kobold v. Good Samaritan Regional Medical
Center, 832 F.3d 1024, 1047 (9th Cir. 2016).
timely motion, the court for the district where compliance is
required must quash or modify a subpoena that: (i) fails to
allow a reasonable time to comply; (ii) requires a person to
comply beyond the geographical limits specified in Rule
45(c); (iii) requires disclosure of privileged or other
protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies; or (iv)
subjects a person to undue burden. Fed.R.Civ.P.
45(d)(3)(A)(i-iv). Any person from ...