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Federal Trade Commission v. Adept Management, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division

April 20, 2018

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
ADEPT MANAGEMENT INC., et al, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MARK D. CLARKE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This case comes before the Court on a motion (#251) by the plaintiff Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") for an expedited protective order to prevent defendants Hoyal & Associates, Inc., Jeffrey Hoyal. and Lori Hoyal (collectively, "Hoyal Defendants") deposition of FTC under Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6).

         BACKGROUND

         A brief history of the Hoyal Defendants discovery requests and the FTC's responses and disclosures in this case is a helpful starting place in considering this motion. On March 20, 2017 the Hoyal Defendants propounded a First Set of Discovery Requests to the FTC that included interrogatories and requests for production. Decl. FTC Counsel Krista K. Bush Supp. FTC's Mot. Protective Order ("Bush Decl."), ¶ 4, #252. It included expansive document requests, such as:

REQUEST NO. 2: Every Document referring or relating to the Subscription Business from January 1, 2010 to the present.
REQUEST NO. 3: Every Communication referring or relating to the Subscription Business from January 1, 2010 to the present. . . .
REQUEST NO. 8: Every Communication between You and the publisher of any magazine or newspaper from January 1, 2010 to the present referring or relating to the Subscription Business.
REQUEST NO. 9: Every consumer complaint referring or relating to the Subscription Business from January 1, 2010 to the present. . . .
REQUEST NO. 11: Every Document referring or relating to any injury suffered by consumers as a result of the Defendants' alleged conduct complained of in the FTC's Complaint.
REQUEST NO. 12: Every Document referring or relating to the amount of restitution sought by the FTC as a result of the Defendants alleged conduct complained of in the FTC's Complaint.

         Bush Decl., Attach. 2, 7-8. The First Set of Discovery Requests to the FTC also included interrogatories generally requesting the FTC to identify every consumer who was allegedly injured; every person, publisher, or consumer who had communicated with the FTC regarding the defendants' business or the defendants' alleged conduct: and, the amount and methods for computation of the restitution sought by the FTC. Bush Decl. Attach. 2, 8-9.

         On April 28, 2017. the Hoyal Defendants sent a Second Set of Discovery Requests to the FTC, which also included both interrogatories and a request for document production. Bush Decl., Attach. 3, 10. The document request asked for ''[e]very document used, referenced, or relied upon by you to respond to any of the Hoyal Defendants' Interrogatories." Bush Decl., Attach. 3, 7. The interrogatories requested the FTC to provide factual bases for various allegations against the Hoyal Defendants contained in the complaint, as well as to "identify any misrepresentations or deceptive omissions of material fact made by any of the Hoyal Defendants that [the FTC] allege[s] are the subject of this case." See Bush Decl. Attach. 3, 7-9.

         On December 2. 2016. the FTC provided the Hoyal Defendants with the FTC's Initial Disclosures. Decl. FTC Counsel Krista K. Bush Supp. FTC's Resp. Opp'n Hoyal Defs.' Mot. Compel ("Second Bush Decl."), ¶ 1, #259. On January 29, 2018, the FTC provided Amended Initial Disclosures. Second Bush Decl., ¶ 2. On April 20, 2017, the FTC provided written responses to the Hoyal Defendants' First Set of Discovery Requests. Second Bush Decl., ¶ 6. On June 29, 2017, the FTC provided written responses to the Hoyal Defendants' Second Set of Discovery Requests. Second Bush Decl., ¶ 7. The FTC has also indicated that it will amend responses to the interrogatories in both the First and Second Set of Discovery Requests before the close of fact discovery on May 1, 2018. Second Bush Decl., ¶¶ 7-8. "The FTC began producing documents in response to the Hoyal Defendants' discovery requests on April 21. 2017. ...


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