SUZLON ENERGY LTD. v. MICROSOFT CORP.
671 F.3d 726 (2011)
SUZLON ENERGY LTD., Petitioner-Appellant, and
Rajagopalan Sridhar, Intervenor-Defendant-Appellee,
MICROSOFT CORPORATION, Respondent-Appellee.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted August 3, 2011.
Filed October 3, 2011.
Before: JOHN T. NOONAN and MILAN D. SMITH, JR., Circuit Judges, and ANDREW J. GUILFORD,* District Judge.
GUILFORD, District Judge:
While the parties in this case raise issues of international policy, constitutional rights, and the fortuities of the Internet age, this case ultimately turns on the plain language of the relevant statute. Suzlon Energy Ltd. ("Suzlon") has demanded that Microsoft Corp. ("Microsoft") produce documents from the Microsoft Hotmail email account of Rajagopalan Sridhar, an Indian citizen imprisoned abroad. Microsoft objected to the production and the district court agreed, finding that Sridhar was entitled to the protection of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2522, even though he was a foreign citizen. We affirm.BACKGROUND
The facts of this case are straightforward and largely undisputed, with any disputed facts not affecting the resolution of this case. Suzlon sought emails under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to use in a civil fraud proceeding pending against Sridhar and others in the Federal Court of Australia (the "Australian Proceedings"). Although Sridhar is a citizen of India and is imprisoned abroad, the relevant emails are stored on a domestic server by a domestic corporation, Microsoft. The district court initially granted Suzlon's petition for production of documents ("Production Order"). In response, Microsoft filed objections that the district court deemed to be a motion to quash.
Microsoft and Sridhar raised several arguments below to support the motion to quash. First, Microsoft argued that the documents sought must be discoverable in the foreign proceeding. The district court rejected this argument based on Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 542 U.S. 241, 124 S.Ct. 2466, 159 L.Ed.2d 355 (2004), which held that nothing in the text of § 1782 imposed such a limitation. Id. at 260, 124 S.Ct. 2466. Second, Microsoft argued that the subpoenas must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. But § 1782 states that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure only apply to the extent the order granting discovery does not provide other procedures, and the Production Order specified a procedure. Thus, the district court rejected the second argument as well. Third, Microsoft and Sridhar argued that production of the emails would violate the ECPA. The district court agreed with this third argument, held that the plain terms of the statute applied the ECPA to all persons, and granted the motion to quash ("Quash Order"). Suzlon now appeals the district court's finding that the ECPA applies to foreign citizens such as Sridhar, focusing on the third argument. Suzlon also argues that Sridhar's DISCUSSION
participation in this suit is an implied consent to the production of documents.