Ms. Hagar Abdo Hassan, who lives in Egypt, is seeking spousal support in the Egyptian courts from her ex-husband. Her ex-husband, living and working in Michigan, chose not to participate in the Egyptian proceedings. The Egyptian Family Court sent a letter rogatory to the U.S. Department of State, seeking information about the ex-husband’s income for use in the Egyptian proceeding. The letter rogatory was transmitted to the DOJ, who then petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for the evidence of Mr. Mohamed Samy Mohamed Abyeleinien’s income with the University of Michigan. The court granted the request, issued a subpoena for the records, and DOJ then served the university with the subpoena (Case No. Case No. 2:21-mc-51058). Mr. Abyeleinien filed a motion to quash the subpoena. He argued that: (1) he did not have proper notice of the subpoena prior to it being served, and (2) the subpoena sought private information and he has a valid interest in prohibiting its release for public use.
Service: Parties must be served with a subpoena before it is served on those from whom the documents are sought under Rule 45. Two weeks before the Government petitioned the court for the income information, a DOJ attorney spoke to Mr. Abyeleinien by phone about the subpoena and alerted him to the opportunity to file a motion to quash. On the day the application was granted, the same DOJ attorney called him and left a voicemail explaining that the subpoena was going to be issued to the university promptly. The DOJ did not indicate whether a copy of the subpoena was actually served on Mr. Abyeleinien, but the court concluded that he did not suffer any identifiable prejudice, and, in addition to the 2 phone calls by the DOJ, he contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office several times the day the Government issued the subpoena.
Privacy: Mr. Abyeleinien is employed at a public university. His salary information is publicly available. The information is not private. Further, the Egyptian family court is not gathering evidence for public use, but for a private spousal support dispute.
Mr. Abyeleinien doesn’t make any further arguments. He doesn’t try to argue that the discretionary factors that a court must consider were not met. He doesn’t argue that the statutory requirements that permit discovery are not met. This falls squarely within 28 U.S.C. 1782. His motion to quash is denied.