Karen Pannone asserted a shareholder’s derivative action on behalf of Airport Fuel Enterprises, Inc. (“AFE”) and Semoran Liquors, LLC (“Semoran”) against her husband, Charles Letchworth. Pannone propounded her first Request for Production on Letchworth seeking thirteen separate categories of documents containing financial information, and Letchworth objected on the grounds that the Requests were  irrelevant, immaterial, unduly burdensome, designed solely for the purpose of harassment, and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Pannone set the matter for hearing, and the trial court entered an order denying Respondent’s motion to compel as to nine of the thirteen requests.  The lower court, however, granted the motion to compel as to four of the requests after determining that the information and materials sought were relevant to the litigation. On certiorari, the Fifth District agreed finding financial information is discoverable when it is related to the pending issues in the case. Bd. of Tr. of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund v. Am. Educ. Enter., LLC, 99 So.3d 450, 457–58 (Fla. 2012) The Court found that the disclosure of financial information generally cannot be reviewed by certiorari, but an exception lies when personal, financial information is required to be disclosed by a person who is not a party to the litigation. See, Bradstreet v. Taraschi, 529 So.2d 809, 810 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988).

The Court granted certiorari for the limited purpose of permitting Lectchworth to identify, describe, and list on a privilege log any specific documents from the joint accounts that disclosed financial transactions or assets involving only Lectchwroth’s wife and/or children (non-parties) for an in-camera inspection to determine admissibility.

The complete opinion may be found at: http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2015/062215/5D14-4459.op.pdf

 

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