Boston Restoration Resources, Inc. v. Pitts, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-026-18)



SUFFOLK, ss                                                                                                                                    SUPERIOR COURT

  1. 17-1142-C





                                    BOSTON RESTORATION RESOURCES, INC.




                                LORENZO PITTS, INCORPORATED, WILLETTA

                                 PITTS-GIVENS, REBECCA MAUTNER, LESLIE

                                   BOS, and JAMAICA PLAIN NEIGHBORHOOD

                                              DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION




                                MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON

                                PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO QUASH DEPOSITION

                                      SUBPOENA TO KEEPER OF RECORDS OF

                                       UNITED HOUSING MANAGEMENT, LLC



Plaintiff Boston Restoration Resources, Inc. (“BRI”) has brought a Rule 45(d) motion to quash a document subpoena served on non-party United Housing Management, LLC.  The thrust of BRI’s motion is that the subpoena is unreasonably over-broad and burdensome, and seeks documents relevant only to a previously asserted theory of damages it has since abandoned.  United Housing Management has to date defied the subpoena served upon it, but has not joined this motion.


Mass. R. Civ. P. 45(f)(3) provides that “[a]ny person subject to a subpoena under this rule may move the court (A) for a protective order under rule 26(c) or (B) to be deemed entitled to any protection set forth in any discovery or procedural order previously entered in the case.”  Inasmuch as BRI is not “the person subject to subpoena” under Rule 45, and does not maintain that production of the documents sought thereby would invade any legal right or privilege it has in the same, it lacks standing to assert objections on behalf of United Housing Management.  See In re Stone & Webster Securities Litigation, 2006 WL 2818489, at *2-3 (D. Mass. 2006) (a party has no standing to object to a subpoena directed to a non-party); Langford v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 513 F.2d 1121, 1126 (2d Cir. 1975) (“In the absence of a claim of privilege a party usually does not have standing to object to a subpoena addressed to a non-party witness.”).  See generally P. Lauriat et al., Discovery, 49A Mass. Practice _ 8:23, at 289 and n.21 (3d ed. 2017) (“In general a party has no standing to assert objections to a subpoena on behalf of a non-party.”).

It is true, as BRI points out, that “[a] party has standing to quash a subpoena served on a non-party if he or she has a personal right or privilege with respect to the requested information.”  Enargy Power (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. v. Xiaolong Wang, 2014 WL 2048416, at *2 n.4 (D. Mass. May 6, 2014).  See also P. Lauriat, supra, 49A Mass. Practice _ 8:23, at 289 (“A party may assert objections as to a subpoena served on a non-party … where the objections relate to rights of that party rather than the non-party.”).  This is not the case in BRI’s present motion.  BRI does not contend that the subpoena served upon United Housing Management invades any cognizable privacy right or legal privilege it has in the requested documents, but instead insists that the subpoena burdensomely seeks the production of records having only marginal relevance to the claims in litigation.  BRI lacks standing to assert such objections.  See Collins v. Does 1-38, 941 F. Supp. 2d 153, 159-60 (D. Mass. 2013) (“As a general rule, a party lacks standing to quash a subpoena issued to a nonparty unless the party has a claim of privilege attached to the information sought or unless it implicates a party’s privacy interests.”)(quotations omitted).


Accordingly, plaintiff BRI’s Motion to Quash Deposition Subpoena shall be, and hereby







                                       Robert B. Gordon

Justice of the Superior Court




Dated: March 16, 2018






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