Miami-Luken, Inc. v. U.S. Drug Enforcement Admin., No. 17-3614

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtLARSEN, Circuit Judge.
Citation900 F.3d 738
Parties MIAMI-LUKEN, INC., Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 17-3614
Decision Date17 August 2018

900 F.3d 738

MIAMI-LUKEN, INC., Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION, Respondent.

No. 17-3614

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

Argued: May 4, 2018
Decided and Filed: August 17, 2018


ARGUED: Jennifer D. Armstrong, MCDONALD HOPKINS, LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, for Petitioner. Peter J. Phipps, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent. ON BRIEF: Jennifer D. Armstrong, Richard H. Blake, MCDONALD HOPKINS, LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, for Petitioner. Peter J. Phipps, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

Before: CLAY, STRANCH, and LARSEN, Circuit Judges.

LARSEN, Circuit Judge.

The Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an order purporting to quash an administrative subpoena issued to the agency by one of its own administrative law judges. The order to quash came at a remarkable time—after a federal district court had ordered the agency to comply with the subpoena. The parties dispute the Administrator’s authority to issue the order. We lack authority to resolve the matter, however, because the Administrator’s order was not a "final decision" within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 877. Accordingly, we DISMISS the petition for review for lack of jurisdiction.

I.

Miami-Luken, Inc., is a registered controlled substances pharmaceutical wholesaler. On November 23, 2015, the DEA ordered Miami-Luken to show cause why its registration should not be revoked, accusing the company of failing to maintain effective controls against the diversion of oxycodone and hydrocodone and failing to disclose suspicious orders thereof. During the adjudicatory hearing in front of the Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), Miami-Luken requested that the ALJ issue a subpoena requiring the DEA to produce various documents. The ALJ granted the motion in part and ordered the DEA to produce the following categories of documents:

(2) all records, including investigative reports, regarding routine audits and/or cyclic investigations conducted by the Government towards Respondent from 2008–present, along with Government
900 F.3d 740
comments, communications (both oral and written), and all notifications of any kind directed at Respondent, its agents, employees, and representatives in relation to such reports, audits, and investigations;

(3) all records regarding briefings provided by DEA Headquarters and/or DEA local office-personnel as part of the DEA’s Distributor Initiative; and

(4) all records, including investigative reports, from 2008–present, documenting that Respondent violated the applicable controlled substances laws and regulations, including but not limited to documents related to suspicious orders and all records, including investigative reports, to evidence that Respondent’s conduct created the potential for the diversion of controlled substances.

The DEA objected to the breadth of the subpoena and moved for reconsideration or, in the alternative, to certify the question for interlocutory appeal to the Administrator pursuant to 21 C.F.R. § 1316.62. When the ALJ denied both requests, the DEA immediately filed a notice declaring that it would not comply with the subpoena.

In response, Miami-Luken filed an emergency motion to enforce the ALJ’s subpoena in district court. On April 21, 2017, over the DEA’s objection, the district court adopted the magistrate’s recommendation to enforce the subpoena in part. See Miami-Luken, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Drug Enf’t Admin. , No. 1:16-mc-00012 (S.D. Ohio April 21, 2017) (order). In doing so, the district court eliminated one category of subpoenaed documents, narrowed another, and permitted the DEA "to provide Miami-Luken with reasonably redacted versions" to account for its concern that "there may be sensitive information in the investigative reports not relevant to the findings as they relate to Miami-Luken."

On May 12, 2017, the Administrator determined that the district court’s enforcement order, by permitting the DEA to make reasonable redactions to the documents, also permitted the DEA to review the validity of the subpoena itself. Reviewing the subpoena, the Administrator found that the requested categories of documents were not "necessary to conduct" the hearing as would be required for disclosure under 21 C.F.R. § 1316.52(d) and, therefore, ordered the subpoena quashed. The efficacy of this DEA order is at the root of all subsequent litigation.

On the basis of its own order, the DEA moved to stay the district court’s April 21 order enforcing the subpoena pending further judicial review. On May 16, 2017, the district court granted the DEA’s motion to stay. Shortly thereafter, the DEA filed in the district court a motion for relief from judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5).

Miami-Luken then initiated the case before us, petitioning this court to review directly the DEA’s order quashing the subpoena. While this case was pending here, the district court ruled on the DEA’s 60(b) motion in the separate litigation. The DEA had argued that, because the Administrator’s order had quashed the subpoena at issue, the district court’s April 21 order enforcing the subpoena was no longer equitable. The magistrate disagreed, reasoning that:

the key here is that review of this Court’s Orders is appropriate only by an appellate court. An agency that has been directed to comply with a district court’s order has no authority to simply disregard it through use of a procedural end-run. The DEA’s Rule
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4 practice notes
  • Rafferty v. Trumbull Cnty., No. 17-4223
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • February 15, 2019
    ...this court ‘jurisdiction of appeals from all final decisions of the district courts.’ " Miami-Luken, Inc. v. U.S. Drug Enf’t Admin. , 900 F.3d 738, 741 (6th Cir. 2018) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1291 ). "[A] denial of summary judgment is generally not a final judgment." Devlin v. K......
  • Advanced Integrative Med. Sci. Inst., PLLC v. Garland, 21-70544
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • January 31, 2022
    ...Id. at 566–67 (citation omitted). Our conclusion is also consistent with the Sixth Circuit's analysis. See Miami-Luken, Inc. v. DEA , 900 F.3d 738, 743 (6th Cir. 2018). Although the Sixth Circuit primarily relied on the Supreme Court's interpretation of 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (providing jurisdict......
  • Advanced Integrative Med. Sci. Inst. v. Garland, 21-70544
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • January 31, 2022
    ...Id. at 566-67 (citation omitted). Our conclusion is also consistent with the Sixth Circuit's analysis. See Miami-Luken, Inc. v. DEA, 900 F.3d 738, 743 (6th Cir. 2018). Although the Sixth Circuit primarily relied on the Supreme Court's interpretation of 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (providing jurisdicti......
  • Miami-Luken, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, Case No. 1:16-mc-012
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • October 24, 2018
    ...17, 2018, the Sixth Circuit issued a published opinion in the related case, Miami-Luken, Inc. v. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 900 F.3d 738 (6th Cir. 2018). The first paragraph contains the holding:The Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") iss......
4 cases
  • Rafferty v. Trumbull Cnty., No. 17-4223
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • February 15, 2019
    ...this court ‘jurisdiction of appeals from all final decisions of the district courts.’ " Miami-Luken, Inc. v. U.S. Drug Enf’t Admin. , 900 F.3d 738, 741 (6th Cir. 2018) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1291 ). "[A] denial of summary judgment is generally not a final judgment." Devlin v. Kalm , 630 F. Ap......
  • Advanced Integrative Med. Sci. Inst., PLLC v. Garland, 21-70544
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • January 31, 2022
    ...Id. at 566–67 (citation omitted). Our conclusion is also consistent with the Sixth Circuit's analysis. See Miami-Luken, Inc. v. DEA , 900 F.3d 738, 743 (6th Cir. 2018). Although the Sixth Circuit primarily relied on the Supreme Court's interpretation of 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (providing jurisdict......
  • Advanced Integrative Med. Sci. Inst. v. Garland, 21-70544
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • January 31, 2022
    ...Id. at 566-67 (citation omitted). Our conclusion is also consistent with the Sixth Circuit's analysis. See Miami-Luken, Inc. v. DEA, 900 F.3d 738, 743 (6th Cir. 2018). Although the Sixth Circuit primarily relied on the Supreme Court's interpretation of 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (providing jurisdicti......
  • Miami-Luken, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, Case No. 1:16-mc-012
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • October 24, 2018
    ...17, 2018, the Sixth Circuit issued a published opinion in the related case, Miami-Luken, Inc. v. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 900 F.3d 738 (6th Cir. 2018). The first paragraph contains the holding:The Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") issued an ord......

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