Sines v. Kessler

The court denies the defendant’s motion to quash the plaintiffs’ subpoenas to Twitter, GoDaddy.com, Cloudflare, and Hatreon. Construing the motion to quash as a protective order, the magistrate found that the defendant couldn’t claim any hardship under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26.

The defendant never raised the argument to the magistrate that the subpoenas in question infringe on his and his supporters’ associational rights under the First Amendment. But the associational-privilege argument is without merit. The subpoenas at issue here do not seek information courts have previously found covered by the First Amendment’s associational privilege, such as the identities of rank and file members of an advocacy organization, mailing lists and lists of conference attendees, contributor lists, or past political activities of the members of an organization.

The magistrate’s opinion denying the defendant’s motion to quash is neither plainly erroneous nor contrary to law.

Sines v. Kessler, No. 3:17cv72, Feb. 19, 2019. WDVA at Charlottesville (Moon).



Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Western District of Virginia

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