United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
JEFFREY J. MAURER PLAINTIFF
SARAH JONES DEFENDANT
OPINION AND ORDER
KING, MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Judge Thomas B. Russell referred this matter to Magistrate
Judge Lanny King for ruling on all discovery motions. (Docket
# 11). This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Jeffrey
Maurer's Motion to Compel regarding various financial
inquiries of Defendant Sarah Jones' financial assets, as
well as those owned by her husband, Charles ‘Chuck'
Jones. (Docket # 47). Defendant Jones filed a Response on
June 25, 2019. (Docket # 52). Fully briefed, this matter is
ripe for adjudication.
reasons detailed below, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel is
GRANTED. (Docket # 47).
August 16, 2018, Judge Russell entered an Order and Judgment
in favor of Plaintiff Maurer. (Docket # 24). The subject of
this Judgment was a debt incurred by Defendant Jones, her
husband, Charles Jones, and other related entities stemming
from a prior consent judgment. (Id.). Mr. Jones is
currently the subject of a proceeding in Bankruptcy Court for
the Western District of Kentucky, styled C.A. Jones Inc.,
et al., v. Mayson Capital Partners, LLC, et al., Case
No. 5:14-cv-74; Adversary No. 16-05012.
served Defendant with a set of post-judgment discovery
requests on October 17, 2018. (Docket # 39-1). Following
multiple telephonic status conferences and show cause
hearings, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to file a motion
to compel answers to his discovery requests regarding the
assets of her husband, Charles “Chuck” Jones.
(Docket # 45).
first page, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel states that he
seeks “to obtain discovery on the location and nature
of assets that may be owned or controlled by Defendant either
individually or jointly with her spouse.” (Docket # 47
at 1). This is inconsistent with the Court's Order
granting leave to file the Motion to Compel. Assets
“owned or controlled by Defendant either individually
or jointly with her spouse” were addressed by the Court
in a previous Order. (Docket # 45). Plaintiff's
descriptions of discovery requests propounded upon Defendant
also seek information about the assets held by Defendant,
Sarah Jones or other entities. Again, this is inconsistent with
the Court's Order (Id.).
properly frames the issue addressed in this Order on the
second page of his Motion to Compel, “Pursuant to this
Court's Order entered on June 5, 2019, Plaintiff was
granted leave to file this Motion to Compel regarding
Defendant's obligations to provide information known or
obtainable by Defendant regarding the assets of C.
Jones.” (Docket # 47 at 2). This Order only addresses
those assets held by Defendant's husband, Charles
“Chuck” Jones, as contemplated in the previous
Order and does not address those assets in which Defendant
Jones holds an interest.
argues that he should be entitled to discovery regarding the
assets held by Mr. Jones of which Mrs. Jones has control or
knowledge. Specifically, he argues that information regarding
the assets of a judgment debtor's spouse is within the
bounds of post-judgment discovery, primarily to avoid issues
of hidden assets in anticipation of a judgment.
(Id.). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant is obligated
“to provide information known or obtainable by
Defendant regarding the assets of C. Jones.”
responds that she has fully answered Plaintiff's
discovery requests and that he seeks to compel the production
of additional information not within her control. (Docket #
52 at 3). She contends that Plaintiff is indeed entitled to
the additional information, but that she cannot provide it.
(Id.). She believes that the proper path for
Plaintiff to pursue is through discovery requests directed at
a third party, her husband, Mr. Jones. (Id. at 5).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide a mechanism for
discovery by a creditor in the post-judgment stage of
litigation. Rule 69(a)(2) states that “in aid of the
judgment or execution, the judgment creditor … may
obtain discovery from any person-including the judgment
debtor-as provided in these rules or by the procedure of the
state where the court is located.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
69(a)(2). Compared to discovery during litigation,
post-judgment discovery is “very broad.”
United States v. Conces, 507 F.3d 1028, 1040 (6th
Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). District courts in other
jurisdictions have found that the creditor may “utilize
the full panoply of federal discovery measures”
provided for under federal and state law to obtain
information from parties and non-parties alike,
including information about assets on which execution can
issue or about assets that have been fraudulently
transferred. Magnaleasing, Inc. v. Staten Island
Mall, 76 F.R.D. 559, 561 (FN 1) (S.D.N.Y. 1977)
(emphasis added) (judgment creditor was entitled to discovery
on parts of settlement agreement relating to existence or
transfer of defendants' assets, where it was alleged that
the agreement involved improper transfers of those assets).
judgment creditor is entitled to obtain information regarding
a judgment debtor's spouse in the course of post-judgment
discovery. Andrews v. Raphaelson, No. 2009 WL
1211136, at *3 (E.D. Ky. Apr. 30, 2009). “It is beyond
question that a judgment creditor is allowed to ask a
judgment debtor for asset and financial information relating
to the debtor's spouse or other family members.”
Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh v. Van
Waeyenberghe, 148 F.R.D. 256, 256-57 (N.D. Ind. 1993);
see also United States v. Cimino, 219 F.R.D. 695,
696-97 (N.D. Fla. 2003) (requiring production of joint bank
account records of judgment debtor and husband); Compare
G-Fours, Inc. v. Miele, 496 F.2d 809, 811-12 (2nd Cir.
1974) (martial communications privilege did not preclude
disclosure of judgment debtor's bank accounts, property,
and recent transfers of money and property to his wife in a
collection action). This information is broadly relevant, as
it may lead to discovery of assets recoverable to satisfy
judgments, or it may show that assets or funds were
improperly transferred to avoid the reach of creditors.
Id. (affirming trial court's order holding
judgment debtor's spouse in contempt for ...