Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Allred’s move to quash subpoena in Oklahoma church case

Jeffrey and Stephani Allred, through their attorneys, have filed separate motions to quash a subpoena seeking their financial records.
Earlier this month, attorneys for the Journey Church and the church’s elder board issued a subpoena to the National Bank of Sallisaw, demanding the bank produce the financial records of Jeffrey Allred and records pertaining to Hope Trailer Sales, owned by Allred.
Jeffrey Allred, the former pastor of Journey Church, is the subject of a criminal embezzlement investigation by the Sallisaw Police Department and civil action brought by Journey Church and its elder board.
Allred is accused of using a Journey Church credit card for personal purposes. The civil action by the church is an attempt to recoup some of the money lost in the credit card purchases allegedly made by Allred. A criminal embezzlement complaint was filed against Allred by a church member after an audit discovered the discrepancies.
Stephani Allred is not a party to either of the actions, but submitted a special appearance and objection to the subpoena seeking the financial records for the reason that she is a non-party.
The Allreds are represented by attorneys S. Greg Pittman and Wesley Carter of Winters and King, Inc., of Tulsa.
On Stephani Allred’s behalf, the attorneys claim the financial records sought by the church will illegally disclose non-party financial records in violation of the Oklahoma Financial Privacy Act.
The motion says Stephani Allred has not been served with the subpoena as required by Oklahoma statutes.
Under those statutes, the attorneys argued a financial institution is prohibited from giving, releasing or disclosing any financial record to any government authority unless it has written permission from the customer for the specific record requested, or it has been served with a subpoena issued for the specific record requested.
Stephani Allred is a non-party to the lawsuit and has not given written consent for her financial records to be released to the plaintiff (church), attorneys argued. They further said the church has not complied with requirements of Oklahoma statutes that requires a copy of the subpoena to be served or mailed to the customer (Allred) on or before the date the subpoena is served on the financial institution.
“Plaintiff has not served the subpoena on Ms. Allred, much less served her before plaintiff served the subpoena on National Bank of Sallisaw as is required by law,” the motion said.
The attorney’s asked the court to quash the subpoena and that a protective order be issued protecting her from the “unauthorized and illegal” release and disclosure of her financial records.
The attorneys filed a similar motion to quash the subpoena on behalf of Jeffrey Allred.
“Although the basis for plaintiff’s claims is that the defendant allegedly misused plaintiff’s corporate credit card by making unauthorized purchases, plaintiff seeks in excess of five years of defendant’s personal records including bank statements, investment statements and loan records. These records are neither relevant, nor could they potentially lead to relevant evidence,” the motion read.
Allred’s attorneys argue in the motion that the subpoena is overly broad and seeks information that is far outside the scope of discovery.
“Plaintiff lists seven broad categories of documents sought including 48 sub-categories. Plaintiff’s subpoena further indicates that the information sought by the subpoena includes, but is not even limited to, the 48 sub-categories,” attorneys argued.
The attorneys said the amount if information sought in the subpoena is “staggering and greatly exceeds information that is reasonably calculated to lead to evidence relevant to the plaintiff’s claim.”
The relevant information, or documents for discovery, according to Allred’s attorneys, are the church’s credit card statements and the documents related to the purchases made with the credit card.
“There is no basis for plaintiff’s need for the entirety of defendant’s financial records and documents, and such an onerous intrusion into defendant’s personal and private information appears designed to harass and annoy defendant,” the motion said.
Because all loans and accounts are jointly held by Jeffrey Allred and Stephani Allred, their attorneys argued the subpoena should be quashed because Stephani Allred is a non-party to the actions and has not given her permission for the records to be released.

In addition to asking that the subpoena be quashed, the attorneys also sought a protective order for Jeffrey Allred.

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