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Michael v. Concern - Professional Services For Children

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

June 27, 2017

HARLEY MICHAEL AND EMILY BILLHEIM, co-administrators of the estate of Cameron Harold Michael, a deceased minor, Plaintiffs,
v.
CONCERN - PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES; COUNTY OF BERKS; REBECCA KELLER; JESSICA WAGNER; KATHRYN ACKER; SHANNON ELYSE; NATHAN MOORE; and SHAWNA M. MOORE, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs Harley Michael and Emily Billheim served a subpoena on nonparty Pennsylvania State Police, seeking to obtain records relating to the death of their son Camron. They also submitted by letter a supplemental request for discovery to Defendant County of Berks, Pennsylvania, requesting that the County produce any recordings or transcripts of certain 911 calls. Both parties refused to comply and, in response, Plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the subpoena against the State Police and to compel production from the County. For the following reasons, the State Police and the County are directed to supply Plaintiffs and the Court with additional information in support of their assertion that the evidence sought by Plaintiffs is protected by the “law enforcement privilege.”

         I. Background

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiffs are co-administrators of the estate of their deceased child, Camron Michael. At the time of his death, Camron was in the care of foster parents, Defendants Nathan and Shawna Moore. In April 2015, Camron suffered a traumatic brain injury, among other injuries, and succumbed to his condition a week later. The cause of Camron's injuries is yet unknown, but his death is currently being investigated by the State Police and the County's District Attorney's Office. Plaintiffs filed this civil action against the Moores, the County, and other Defendants.

         B. Plaintiffs' Subpoena Duces Tecum and the Pennsylvania State Police's Response

         On December 28, 2016, Plaintiffs served a subpoena duces tecum upon the State Police, a nonparty to this lawsuit, seeking the following:

1. All documents and communications referring or relating to any complaints made regarding or against Nathan Moore or Shawna Moore.
2. All documents and communications referring or relating to any investigations by the State Police of Nathan Moore or Shawna Moore.
3. All documents and communications referring or relating to Camron Michael, including but not limited to, memoranda, investigation or interview notes, voicemail messages, e-mails, letters, police reports, investigation reports, subpoenas, warrant applications, affidavits of probable cause, warrants, and documents and communications sent to or received from BCCYS, DHS, Concern, Susan Quirits, Sharon Scullin, or any medical examiner or coroner.
4. All documents and communications referring or relating to any investigation regarding the injuries to or the death of Camron Michael, and the current status of any such investigation.
5. All documents and communications referring or relating to any charges that have been filed against Nathan Moore or Shawna Moore in connection with the death of Camron Michael; and, if no such charges have been filed, any documents and communications referring or relating to the reasons why no such charges have been filed.
6. All documents and communications referring or relating to Harley Michael or Emily Billheim.
7. All reports of suspected child abuse to law enforcement officials (CY-104) referring or relating to Camron Michael, ...

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