G'Friend Motions to Quash Subpoenas (Doc 18)
One of the big hurdles of my case to increase child support payments was getting to ABC Gear's records.
All of Mr. Ex's hidden income was in their records.
This is the company that Mr. Ex had transferred to his girlfriend in order to hide that income from child support.
The Motion is below. You'll see that ABC Gear is listed almost as an after-thought because they are a non-party to this case.
The case really involved Mr. Ex and myself, and of course, our son.
So records, testimony, or anything that we would need from ABC Gear and/or the G'friend, had to go through the step of proving enough of a link between Mr. Ex and ABC Gear that the Judge would let us see the records.
At this point in the process, we had evidence linking them, but the Judge hadn't given his full stamp of approval to proceed.
When we issued the subpoenas to ABC Gear, we knew that they'd comply or push us into court for the Judge to decide. They chose the latter.
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF XXXXXXXXX COUNTY, XXXXXXXXX COUNTY DEPARTMENT, DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION
SUBPOENA RESPONDENT AND NON-PARTY, G'FRIEND'S MOTION TO QUASH OR ALTERNATIVELY LIMIT SUBPOENA REQUESTS AND FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER SUPERVISING DISCOVERY
NOW COMES the Subpoena Respondent, XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX, individually and on behalf of XXXXXXXXX by and through her attorneys XXXXXXXXX, and pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 201, Section 1101, of the XXXXXXXXX Code of Civil Procedure and the relevant case law hereinafter presented, move this Court to quash or alternatively limit the Subpoena in a Civil Matter (the "Subpoena") directed at XXXXXXXXX by the Respondent, XXXXXXXXX, and in support thereof states as follows:
Upon information and belief, on or about March 3, 2009, this Court entered an order dissolving the marriage between the parties to this matter, XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXX. On or about May 3, 2014, XXXXXXXXX filed an Amended Petition for Modification of Child Support seeking to increase XXXXXXXXX's child support obligation. In the process of prosecuting her Amended Petition, XXXXXXXXX has issued certain subpoenas that invade the personal, private information of persons and entities not involved in this dispute and XXXXXXXXX has correspondingly escalated her behavior outside of the courtroom resulting in police involvement and ultimately, the instant Motion.
Note: This section is the background of Mr. X and G'friend's relationship and such.
1) In 2010, the Subpoena Respondent, XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXX entered into a romantic relationship following a long friendship, and in May 2012, they ultimately decided to share a residence.
2) Throughout their relationship and continuing to the present, XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXX have maintained a strictly separate financial relationship. Each has made a clear commitment to paying their respective share of any residential expenses and each has maintained entirely separate financial accounts and records with no overlapping of income or assets.
Note: If I start to chip away at the bullshit Mr. X and G'friend sign off on in this document, I'd fill pages and pages. So I won't. But just for the record, this document is pretty much all lies. As below, G'friend states she's been a business owner. And yet she hasn't owned a business - ever - before filing the EIN for ABC Gear. This was her own admission on the stand.
3) XXXXXXXXX has been a business owner throughout her adult life. In 2013, following the suggestion of her son, she decided to open a sound equipment rental business. At no time has XXXXXXXXX ever been involved as an owner or employee of the XXXXXXXXX business. While he may provide referrals as a result of his profession as a film crew person, he does not profit from the referrals or otherwise profit in any manner from the revenues generated by the business.
4) Notwithstanding the fact that XXXXXXXXX has repeatedly informed XXXXXXXXX has no interest in or right to income from her company, this has not stopped XXXXXXXXX from engaging in a relentless pattern of behavior designed solely to harass XXXXXXXXX and destroy her business relationship with her customers and to repeatedly invade her privacy. These actions have included posting negative internet blogs about XXXXXXXXX, being involved with leaving harassing messages on XXXXXXXXX phone, potentially letting air out of XXXXXXXXX tires, harassing XXXXXXXXX clients and now subpoenaing her business for all its financial records.
5) On or about June 2, 2014, XXXXXXXXX caused a subpoena to be served on XXXXXXXXX seeking "Copies of all business records for XXXXXXXXX from 1/1/12 to date; all monthly bank statements with deposit and withdrawal details, complete tax documents for 2012 and 2013, names of all employees, contractors or any other compensation persons or entities, copies of accounts receivable and payable, copies of all invoices, copies of all business registrations, including, but not limited to EIN registration, business licenses, business registrations (all records 1/1/12 through present date)." A copy of said subpoena is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
Note: By signing this document with above #5, G'friend admits that she ignored the initial subpoena, the one that she never complied with but apparently received. While she may not have accepted the certified copy via mail, I also sent it as an email, which she obviously got. You'll see in Karl's response to this that he called her out with "Unclean Hands."
Also, we served 3 subpoenas on ABC Gear. I served two Pro Se and then Karl sent them one through a professional service agency - the kind where the strange dude approaches you tosses an envelope at you and says, "You've been served."
The one referenced above was a wide reaching subpoena, the second of my Pro Se subpoenas. With Karl's assistance, I mailed it with appropriate checks and emailed to the ABC Gear as back up. They never accepted the mailed version, but here they reference it in this motion.
6) Subsequently, on or about June 27, 2014, XXXXXXXXX caused a subpoena to be served on XXXXXXXXX DBA XXXXXXXXX seeking "Copies of the following business records involving XXXXXXXXX all business records involving XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXX, including invoices, copies of payment, call sheets, email correspondence and business contracts or agreements from January 1, 2014 through March 1, 2014; copies of all cancelled checks issued to XXXXXXXXX issued from September 1, 2013 to present." A copy of said subpoena is attached hereto as Exhibit B.
Note: Finally, G'friend's attorney accepted our subpoena.
7) Despite being clearly notified of the fact that XXXXXXXXX has no interest in XXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXX has insisted on harassing XXXXXXXXX's clients via the issuance of separate subpoenas as well as approaching them personally.
8) XXXXXXXXX has consistently demonstrated that she is obsessed with XXXXXXXXX and her business and will go to whatever extreme as may be necessary to harm her both personally and professionally. In recent weeks, XXXXXXXXX has been the victim of an unknown person letting the air out of her tires along with telephone harassment originating from XXXXXXXXX's phone. A copy of the police report detailing the phone harassment is attached hereto as Exhibit C.
Note: My initial reaction was to defend myself from the accusation of "harassment." Karl, on the other hand, reassured me that it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it was. This is what I mean about the emotional "punch" legal documents can have you read them.
Petitioner Has No Interest in Nor Income From XXXXXXXXX
9) XXXXXXXXX is a sole proprietorship owned entirely by XXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXX has no interest therein and receives no income or other perquisites therefrom. The company does not own any equipment, but arranges for the rental of film equipment to various other production companies. The rental rates are set by XXXXXXXXX and controlled by XXXXXXXXX alone. The revenues generated by the business are received by XXXXXXXXX and only XXXXXXXXX.
Note: Something you'll see in the chapter that covers the trial on is how this document that G'friend signed was used against her. During the trial, she could not explain how her operation worked. She wasn't able to give any specific information about the equipment, clients, rental rates, or jobs. Additionally, it became clear that all of ABC Gear's business came through Mr. X.
10) XXXXXXXXX is a self-employed film crew person. Based upon information and belief, he is independently hired by production companies and, while he may from time to time refer business to XXXXXXXXX, he does not benefit from these referrals in any way. Any income XXXXXXXXX earns as a film crew person is his and his alone. His earnings are not shared with XXXXXXXXX or with XXXXXXXXX.
11) Attached hereto as Exhibit D and incorporated herein for all purposes is the affidavit of XXXXXXXXX setting forth the exact nature of the relationship between herself, her business, and XXXXXXXXX.
Court's Authority to Quash Subpoenas and Supervise Discovery
12) Supreme Court Rule 201(c) provides in relevant part as follows:
(1) Protective Orders. The court may at any time on its own initiative or on motion of any party or witness, make a protective order as justice requires, denying, limiting, conditioning, or regulating discovery to prevent unreasonable annoyance, expense, embarrassment, disadvantage, or oppression.
(2) Supervision of Discovery. Upon the motion of any party or witness, on notice to all parties, or on its own initiative without notice, the court may supervise all or any part of any discovery procedure. SCR 201(c).
13) Further, Section 1101 of the XXXXXXXXX Civil Practice Act states in pertinent part that a court may, on motion, quash or modify any subpoena, "for good cause shown." 735 ILCS 5/2/1101.
14) "A subpoena is reasonable where (1) the document sought is relevant to the inquiry and (2) the specification of the document to be produced is adequate but not excessive for the purpose of the relevant inquiry." A.G.Edwards Inc. V Sec. Of State, 331 ILL.App.3d 1101, 1107, 772 N.E.2d 362, 368 (5th Dist. 2002). A subpoena should be quashed where "the material requested is irrelevant or immaterial but also when the request is oppressive." People V Teller, 207 ILL. App. 3d 346, 565 N.E.2d 1046 (2nd Dist. 1991).
15) It is well-established law in XXXXXXXXX that "in order to compel a witness to produce his books there must be a showing that the books called for contain matter material to the issues in the cause in which they are intended to be used." Bentley V People, 107 ILL App. 245 (1 Dist. 1903).
16) The established "test" for determining the reasonableness and enforceability of a subpoena is to determine first whether the document sought is relevant to the inquiry and then determine whether the "specification of the document to be produced is adequate but not excessive for the purpose of the relevant inquiry. People V Jackson, 116 ILL.App.3d 430, 435-36, 72 Ill. Dec. 153, 452 N.E.2d 85, 89 (1983). A.G. Edwards Inc. V Sec of State Dept. of Sec of State of Ill., 331 ILL. App. 3d 1101, 1107, 772 N.E.2d 362, 368 (5 Dist. 2002)
Good Cause Exists to Quash the Subpoenas
17) Good cause exists to quash or limit the subpoena issued to XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXX in that:
A) The information requested by the subpoena requests are irrelevant to the proceedings at bar. The subpoenas seek to obtain information regarding private entities and related persons that are not a party to this action and who have a clear right to maintain the privacy of their financial information.
B) Further, the scope of the requests is overly burdensome and requires the production of documents wholly irrelevant to XXXXXXXX inquiry. No grounds exist which would make these inquiries relevant to the instant proceedings.
18) As such, the scope of the requests are overly broad, unduly burdensome, vague, unreasonable, seek information not relevant to the instant matter, and call for privileged or confidential and protected information. Pursuant to Section 2-1101 of the XXXXXXXX Civil Practice Act, these requests should be quashed in their entirety.
Note: Here Karl did have a point about narrowing the focus of the subpoena to just include very specific dates surrounding the Keystone Job.
This Court Should Enter a Protective Order Concerning All Information Relating to XXXXXXXX and/or XXXXXXXX, Which Has Been Subpoenaed, or Otherwise Disclosed in this Matter
19) Neither XXXXXXXX nor XXXXXXXX has any interest in these proceedings. Any information disclosed or obtained by subpoena from any other sources should be kept private in order to prevent "...unreasonable annoyance, expense, embarrassment, disadvantage or oppression."
20) XXXXXXXX has already demonstrated her willingness and proclivity to discuss these private matters, including private matters specifically relating to XXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX and to impugn the integrity of XXXXXXXX on her blog and publish false comments over the internet. Upon information and belief, she has also publicly discussed this information with professional contacts and other members of XXXXXXXX's community potentially threatening professional relationships and business revenue.
21) There is absolutely no justification for XXXXXXXX to be able to spread this information outside of these proceedings and imposing a protective order regarding any and all information made available to her through these proceedings causes XXXXXXXX no harm or prejudice.
22) Further, XXXXXXXX is requesting that this Court conduct an in camera review of documents produced prior to their delivery to any party in this action to make an initial determination as to the relevancy of the production to the issues in this proceeding. If the Court determines, after said review, that the information is neither relevant nor would likely lead to relevant and admissible information, the Court should quash the subpoena before the production is provided or disclosed to XXXXXXXX.
23) Further, based upon XXXXXXXX demonstrated disregard for XXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX 's privacy, this Court should restrict XXXXXXXX from contacting the customers, clients and business associates of XXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX in any fashion outside of the supervision of this Court.
WHEREFORE, XXXXXXXX, respectfully prays that this Court enter an Order providing as follows:
A) Quashing the Subpoena to XXXXXXXX DBA XXXXXXXX;
B) Conduct an in camera review of the production of documents;
C) Issue a protective order establishing and protecting the confidentiality of any documents ultimately produced;
D) Enjoin XXXXXXXX from having any contact with any of XXXXXXXX or XXXXXXXX professional clients, customers or other professional associates; and
E) Providing such other and further relief as the Court deems appropriate.