United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
RONALDO DESIGNER JEWELRY, INC. PLAINTIFF
JAMES B. COX and CATHERINE A. COX, d/b/a JC DESIGNS, d/b/a WIRE N RINGS DEFENDANTS
ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO QUASH
A. SANDERS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court are Defendants'  Motion to Quash the
Subpoena Served on Arvest Bank and  Motion to Quash the
Subpoena Served on PayPal Holdings, Inc. Upon due
consideration, the Court finds that the motions are not
well-taken and are therefore DENIED.
a just and appropriate balance in the discovery process is
one of the key responsibilities of the Court, and ‘[i]t
is well established that the scope of discovery is within the
sound discretion of the trial court.'” Willis
v. City of Hattiesburg, No. 2:14-cv-89-KS-MTP, 2016 WL
918038, *2 (S.D.Miss. Mar. 10, 206) (quoting Freeman v.
United States, 556 F.3d 326, 341 (5th Cir.
2009)). When reviewing discovery motions, the Court adheres
to Rule 26(b)(1), which provides in relevant part:
Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of
discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery
regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of
the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake
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
discovery outweighs its likely benefit.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).
proportionality, and relative access are the key issues here.
Plaintiff issued a subpoena to Arvest Bank requesting an
index of all accounts on file for which Defendants are
signatories along with detailed monthly statements for all
business checking and savings accounts, credit card
processing services, investment accounts, business loans, and
federal tax statements associated with such accounts from
January 1, 2000, to the present. A similar subpoena was
issued to PayPal Holdings, Inc. Defendants object to these
subpoenas as being overly broad, unduly burdensome, and not
reasonably calculated to result in admissible evidence.
argue they have already provided the information sought by
other means. For instance, they produced a list of
three-years of gross credit card transaction sales along with
their tax returns for those years. Defendants note that they
do not keep records for individual items sold and to whom
they were sold. A detailed list of credit card transactions
for gross sales does not identify the particular product nor
does it identify a particular customer, only the total
purchase price. Thus, access to previous years' credit
card transaction history from Arvest Bank and PayPal would
not yield the information Plaintiff seeks.
counters that the information sought by subpoena is relevant
and necessary. As Defendants concede, their personal records
are scant. While Defendants assert broad categories of
deductions and expenses, they fail to identify specific
amounts and have not produced any documents relating to their
claimed deductions. In their depositions, Defendants
acknowledged they reported their gross revenues and
deductions to the IRS through their tax returns. However, the
amount of revenue identified on their tax returns is
identical to the amount of gross credit card sales
Defendants disclosed. Thus, Plaintiff argues, the records
from Arvest Bank and PayPal are necessary to aid in
accounting for cash sales and deductions, as
Defendants conceded they made cash sales. Per Defendants'
depositions, the Arvest account is a separate business
account, the statements of which they consult in reporting to
acknowledges that, in the ordinary case, a defendant's
bank records are not necessary. However, the Court agrees
with Plaintiff that this is not the ordinary case. Defendants
claim to have scant sales records and have not produced their
gross sales figures (only gross credit card sales), and have
provided no documentation for gross sales figures. With no
other evidence to support an amount of cash sales, the Court
agrees that analyzing Defendants' bank records is
relevant and is not overly broad or unduly burdensome.
the PayPal subpoena, Defendants assert that “records
obtained from PayPal would not disclose information about
cash deposits from product sales, so Plaintiff Ronaldo's
Subpoena based on that reason is misplaced.”
as Plaintiff points out, Defendants testified that, at some
point, they accepted payments through PayPal. It is unclear
whether Defendants used PayPal for other financial purposes
in the course of their business. And it is unclear whether
Defendants included their PayPal sales in the gross credit
card transaction figures. Moreover, PayPal records could
potentially provide a “snap-shot” of sales
numbers as well as price differentials, and are a potential
source of information regarding the purchase of supplies and
materials (deductions). Although Defendants argue PayPal
records would not disclose information about cash deposits,
PayPal offers such services, similar to traditional banking.
It remains unclear whether Defendants used such services.
Under the facts of this case, Plaintiff is entitled to find
out. There is also the possibility that PayPal records would
disclose some of Defendants' customers, which could in
turn disclose the type and quality of products sold by
Defendants. Therefore, the requested records are relevant and
are not overly broad or unduly burdensome.
THEREFORE, ORDERED that Defendants'  Motion to Quash
the Subpoena Served on Arvest Bank and  Motion to Quash
the Subpoena ...