United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION United States District Judge
the court is plaintiff Randall Manufacturing, Inc's
(“Randall's”) motion to compel discovery
responses to its request for production of documents in this
post-judgment, enforcement action. (Doc. 17). The
plaintiff seeks information to show that the defendant, Pier
Components, LLC (“Pier”), and its owner,
non-party Fred Piermattei, operated a scheme or artifice to
defraud creditors whereby Pier is the mere alter-ego of Mr.
Piermattei. Although discovery in aid of execution of a
judgment is quite broad, the discovery the plaintiff seeks
goes beyond the parameters of supplemental proceedings under
Pennsylvania law. Thus, the plaintiff's request will be
January 16, 2014, a consent judgment in the amount of $300,
000.00 was entered in favor of Randall and against Pier in
the Northern District of Illinois pursuant to the terms of a
settlement agreement between the parties. (See Doc.
2). Pier is a limited liability company organized
under the laws of Pennsylvania. It is owned and managed by
Mr. Piermattei. However, Mr. Piermattei was not a party to
the action in the Northern District of Illinois and was not a
party to the consent judgment and is not named in this
10, 2014, the plaintiff's consent judgment was filed and
registered in this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1963 for purposes of executing on the judgment.
The plaintiff was able to recover $33, 256.66 against
garnishee Susquehanna Bank. (See Doc. 14).
On August 16, 2016, the court issued a turnover order against
garnishee Santander Bank in the amount of $2, 450.05. (Doc.
16). As of the date of the plaintiff's motion,
the plaintiff believed it could recover that amount without
issue. Thus, to date the amount alleged to be due and owing
under the consent judgment is $264, 293.29.
September 14, 2016, the plaintiff filed the current motion to
compel. (Doc. 17). On October 28, 2016, the
plaintiff filed a brief in support of its motion. (Doc.
19). On November 14, 2016, the defendant filed a
brief in opposition. (Doc. 21). The plaintiff
requests that this court compel the defendant to release
“all state and federal tax returns for the last seven
(7) years for the individual, [sic] Fred Piermattei.”
(Doc. 17 ¶5). The plaintiff also requests
“all financial statements, loan applications,
memoranda, or other records reflecting [the]
[d]efendant's financial status prepared or compiled
within the last seven (7) years whether prepared by [the]
[d]efendant or others.” (Id. ¶6). The
plaintiff seeks this information for the purpose of proving
that Pier, the judgment debtor, is the alter-ego of Mr.
Piermattei. (Id. ¶7). The plaintiff asserts
that the relationship between Pier and Mr. Piermattei
“warrant[s] a motion to pierce the corporate veil of
April 10, 2017, the court issued an order directing the
parties to file supplemental briefs addressing whether the
Pennsylvania rule governing relief in supplemental
proceedings, Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure
3118, allows for veil-piercing. (Doc. 24). On
April 24, 2017, in accordance with the court's order,
both parties filed supplemental briefs. (Docs.
25-27). The plaintiff believes that the
court can pierce the corporate veil in supplementary
proceedings used to enforce a judgment or, in the
alternative, even if not allowed, the court should compel
discovery responses from Mr. Piermattei so that the plaintiff
may determine whether a separate action should be commenced.
The defendant maintains that the plaintiff's attempt to
pierce the corporate veil goes beyond the scope of Rule 3118
and that the plaintiff must file a separate action in equity.
The court agrees with the defendant that the plaintiff cannot
pierce the corporate veil in this proceeding, rendering the
plaintiff's discovery request improper in this action.
Rule of Civil Procedure 69 governs the execution process
in federal court, including discovery in aid of execution.
With respect to procedure, Rule 69 provides as
The procedure on execution-and in proceedings supplementary
to and in aid of judgment or execution-must accord with the
procedure of the state where the court is located, but a
federal statute governs to the extent if applies.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a)(1). Rule 69 also,
specifically, allows for discovery in aid of execution.
In aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment creditor or
a successor in interest whose interest appears of record may
obtain discovery from any person-including the judgment
debtor-as provided in these rules or by procedure of the
state where the court is located.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a)(1). Thus, with respect to the procedure
of supplementary proceedings, the federal rule directs the
court's attention to the procedures of the state where
the court sits-here, Pennsylvania. With respect to discovery,
the federal rule directs compliance with other federal rules
on the subject, in addition to the procedural rules of the
state where the court sits. Pennsylvania law also,
explicitly, allows for discovery in aid of execution.
See Pa. R. Civ. P. 3117.
district court has discretion when granting or denying
discovery in aid of execution. See Ohntrup v. Makina Ve
Kimya Endustrisi Kurumu,760 F.3d 290, 296 (3d Cir.
2014). The scope of discovery in civil proceedings is,
generally, quite broad. “Parties may obtain discovery
regarding nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of
the case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Similarly,
Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 3117 is broad
and allows a judgment creditor to obtain information
necessary to locate any assets of the judgment debtor and
begin the process of execution or attachment of that
property. PaineWebber, Inc. v. Devin,658 A.2d 409,
412 (Pa. Super Ct. 1995). “[P]laintiffs are not
restricted to ...