Universitas Education v. Nova Group

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman

Nova Group—fiduciary, sponsor and trustee of Charter Oak Trust Welfare Benefit Plan—has not paid, and resists efforts to collect, a $30.1 million judgment following confirmation of an arbitral award for Universitas Education. To enforce judgment, Universitas subpoenaed TD Bank for account information about three firms to whom certain life insurance proceeds held by Charter Oak Trust were allegedly transferred. On the firms' behalf, Nova's attorneys claimed Connecticut General Statutes §36a-43 bars compliance because Universitas did not serve copies of its subpoenas on the firms at least 10 days before the requested disclosure. The court ordered TD Bank's compliance with Universitas's subpoena. As a judgment creditor Universitas's subpoenas to TD Bank were expressly authorized by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 45(a) and 69 (a)(2). Thus disclosure pursuant to the subpoenas was required by federal law and the limitations of §36a-43 were inapplicable. Further, any limitations imposed by 36a-43 must yield, under the supremacy clause, to Universitas's lawfully issued federal subpoenas. Application of 36a-43 impedes the timely, expeditious process of discovery in aid of execution contemplated by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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