Case Details


Are State Agencies Parties For Discovery Purposes In Federal Court Proceedings?

Filing State



U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York




No. 13-MD-2446 (S.D.N.Y., Feb. 26, 2014)


State agencies are third-parties for purposes of discovery proceedings in federal court

Case Description

A number of states filed consumer protection cases against the rating agency Standard & Poor’s in their state courts, seeking injunctive and equitable relief, but not damages.  The cases were removed by the defendants to federal court, and the states have moved for remand.  The court is considering those motions.  In the meantime, discovery is proceeding, and the defendants have sought discovery from state agencies under FRCP 34, which governs discovery from parties.  The states argued that state agencies are not parties to this action, because the attorneys general are not seeking damages on their behalf, and in fact, some states are not able to represent state agencies in law enforcement proceedings.  The court agreed with the states, holding that state agencies should be treated as non-parties for purposes of discovery.