Case of the Day: Sergeeva v. Tripleton International

The case of the day is Sergeeva v. Tripleton International Ltd. (11th Cir. 2016). Sergeeva brought an action in Russia against her husband, Mikhail Leopoldovich Dubin, for a division of marital assets. Sergeeva claimed that Dubin was “concealing and dissipating” marital assets “through and with the assistance of ‘offshore companies’ around the world.”

According to the court, Dubin “dodged, delayed, and opposed” Sergeeva’s attempts to obtain discovery in various forums. In the US, Sergeeva brought a § 1782 action seeking discovery from Gabriella Pugh, who worked for Trident Corporate Services, Inc., and from Trident itself. She claimed that the discovery would show that Dubin had a beneficial interest in Tripleton, a Bahamian company. The court granted the ex parte application and authorized issuance of a subpoena. Trident objected to the subpoena, arguing, among other things, that it called from the production of documents located outside the United States and that it required Trident to obtain documents from a third party. There was an issue about sanctions—the court found Trident in contempt and ultimately entered a judgment in favor of Sergeeva for $234,000 as a sanction—that I won’t consider here.

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