Case of the Day: In re Application of Gazprom

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The case of the day is In re Gazprom Latin America Servicios, CA (S.D. Tex. 2016). Gazprom Latin America, a Venezuela company, brought a § 1782 application seeking discovery from Jean-Marc Pivert. The court granted the application ex parte, and then moved to compel and for contempt. Privert then moved to vacate the original order.

The main issue in the case was whether Privert resided or was found in Texas, as the statute requires. “Found” has been construed to permit tag service, see, e.g., In re Application of Edelman, 295 F.3d 171 (2nd Cir. 2002), but Privert was not personally served in Texas. Privert owned a home in Texas but claimed that he resided in Venezuela. Gazprom argued that Privert’s argument was really an argument about domicile, not about residency. The court noted some fuzziness about the definition of residency (as opposed to domicile, which is a fairly well-defined term), but since Privert had lived in Venezula for years and had not been in Texas, except for a temporary visit, since 2013, he could not be considered a resident.

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