|9-13.100||Out of Court Identification Procedures|
|9-13.200||Communications with Represented Persons|
|9-13.400||News Media Subpoenas; Subpoenas for Telephone Toll Records of News Media; Interrogation, Arrest, or Criminal Charging of Members of the News Media|
|9-13.410||Guidelines for Issuing Grand Jury or Trial Subpoena to Attorneys for Information Relating to the Representation of Clients|
|9-13.420||Searches of Premises of Subject Attorneys|
|9-13.500||International Legal Assistance|
|9-13.510||Obtaining Evidence Abroad—General Considerations|
|9-13.512||Intended Use of the Evidence|
|9-13.516||Cost of Obtaining Evidence|
|9-13.520||Methods of Obtaining Evidence from Abroad|
|9-13.526||Forfeiture of Assets Located in Foreign Countries|
|9-13.534||Foreign Travel by Prosecutors|
|9-13.540||Assisting Foreign Prosecutors|
|9-13.600||Use of Hypnosis|
|9-13.800||Access to and Disclosure of Financial Records|
|9-13.900||Access to and Disclosures of Tax Returns in a Non-tax Criminal Case|
9-13.100 - Out of Court Identification Procedures
See the Criminal Resource Manual at 238 et seq. for a discussion of the law on lineups and showups, photographic lineups, fingerprinting, handwriting, voice exemplars and voice prints and other physical evidence issues.
[updated July 1998]
9-13.200 - Communications with Represented Persons
Department attorneys are governed in criminal and civil law enforcement investigations and proceedings by the relevant rule of professional conduct that deals with communications with represented persons. 28 U.S.C. Section 530B. In determining which rule of professional conduct is relevant, Department attorneys should be guided by 28 C.F.R. Part 77 (1999). Department attorneys are strongly encouraged to consult with their Professional Responsibility Officers or supervisors—and, if appropriate, the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office—when there is a question regarding which is the relevant rule or the interpretation or application of the relevant rule. See also the Criminal Resource Manual at 296 through 298.
[updated May 2005] [cited in Criminal Resource Manual 703]
9-13.300 - Polygraphs—Department Policy
The Department opposes all attempts by defense counsel to admit polygraph evidence or to have an examiner appointed by the court to conduct a polygraph test. Government attorneys should refrain from seeking the admission of favorable examinations that may have been conducted during the investigatory stage for the following reasons.
Though certain physiological reactions such as a fast heart beat, muscle contraction, and sweaty palms are believed to be associated with deception attempts, they do not, by themselves, indicate deceit. Anger, fear, anxiety, surprise, shame, embarrassment, and resentment can also produce these same physiological reactions. S. Rep. No. 284, 100th Cong., 2d Sess. 3-5 (1988). Moreover, an individual is less likely to produce these physiological reactions if he is assured that the results of the examination will not be disclosed without his approval. Given the present theoretical and practical deficiencies of polygraphs, the government takes the position that polygraph results should not be introduced into evidence at trial. On the other hand, in respect to its use as an investigatory tool, the Department recognizes that in certain situations, as in testing the reliability of an informer, a polygraph can be of some value. Department policy therefore supports the limited use of t he polygraph during investigations. This limited use should be effectuated by using the trained examiners of the federal investigative agencies, primarily the FBI, in accordance with internal procedures formulated by the agencies. E.g., R. Ferguson, Polygraph Policy Model for Law Enforcement,FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, pages 6-20 (June 1987). The case agent or prosecutor should make clear to the possible defendant or witness the limited purpose for which results are used and that the test results will be only one factor in making a prosecutive decision. If the subject is in custody, the test should be preceded by Miranda warnings. Subsequent admissions or confessions will then be admissible if the trial court determines that the statements were voluntary. Wyrick v. Fields, 459 U.S. 42 (1982); Keiper v. Cupp, 509 F.2d 238 (9th Cir. 1975).
See the Criminal Resource Manual at 259 et seq. for a discussion of case law on polygraph examinations.
9-13.400 - News Media Subpoenas; Subpoenas for Telephone Toll Records of News Media; Interrogation, Arrest, or Criminal Charging of Members of the News Media
2015 note. See the Attorney General's Updated Policy Regarding Obtaining Information From, or Records of, Members of the News Media; and Regarding Questioning, Arresting, or Charging Member of the News Media (January 20, 1015).
In recognition of the importance of freedom of the press to a free and democratic society, it is the Department's policy that the prosecutorial power of the Government should not be used in such a way that it impairs a reporter's responsibility to cover as broadly as possible controversial public issues. Accordingly, Government attorneys should ordinarily refrain from imposing upon members of the news media forms of compulsory process which might impair the news gathering function. In all cases, members of the Department must balance the public's interest in the free dissemination of ideas and information with the public's interest in effective law enforcement and the fair administration of justice. The policies, procedures and standards governing the issuance of subpoenas to members of the news media, subpoenas for the telephone toll records of members of the news media, and the interrogation, indictment, or arrest of members of the news media are set forth in 28 C.F.R. § 50.10.
The Attorney General's authorization is normally required before the issuance of any subpoena to a member of the news media or for the telephone toll records of a member of the news media. However, in those cases where the media member or his or her representative agrees to provide the material sought and that material has been published or broadcast, the United States Attorney or the responsible Assistant Attorney General may authorize issuance of the subpoena, thereafter submitting a report to the Office of Public Affairs detailing the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the subpoena. 28 C.F.R. § 50(e).
Before considering issuing a subpoena to a member of the news media, or for telephone toll records of a member of the news media, Department attorneys should take all reasonable steps to attempt to obtain the information through alternative sources or means. 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(b). In addition, Department attorneys contemplating issuing a subpoena to a member of the news media must first attempt negotiations with the media aimed at accommodating the interests of the trial or grand jury with the interests of the media. 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(c). Negotiations with the affected media member must also precede any request to subpoena the telephone toll records of any member of the news media, so long as the responsible Assistant Attorney General determines that such negotiations would not pose a substantial threat to the investigation at issue. 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(d).
Department attorneys seeking the Attorney General's authorization to issue a subpoena to a member of the news media, or for telephone toll records of a media member, must submit a written request summarizing the facts of the prosecution or investigation, explaining the essentiality of the information sought to the investigation or prosecution, describing attempts to obtain the voluntary cooperation of the news media through negotiation and explaining how the proposed subpoena will be fashioned as narrowly as possible to obtain the necessary information in a manner as minimally intrusive and burdensome as possible. Specific principles applicable to authorization requests for subpoenas to members of the news media are set forth in 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(f)(1)-(6), and for subpoenas for telephone toll records of members of the news media in 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(g)(1)-(4). The Department considers the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 50.10 applicable to the issuance of subpoenas for the journalistic materials and telephone toll records of deceased journalists.
Except in cases involving exigent circumstances, Department attorneys must also obtain the express approval of the Attorney General prior to the interrogation or arrest of a member of the news media for an offense which he or she is suspected of having committed during the course of, or arising out of, his or her coverage or investigation of a news story, or while he or she was engaged in the performance of his or her official duties as a member of the news media. The Attorney General's authorization must also precede the presentment of an indictment to a grand jury or the filing of an information against a member of the news media for any such offense. 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(h)-(l).
In cases or matters under the supervision of the Criminal Division, any request for the Attorney General's authorization pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 50.10, and any related questions or concerns, should be directed to the Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit of the Office of Enforcement Operations. See the form in the Criminal Resource Manual at 299. In cases or matters under the supervision of other Divisions of the Department of Justice, the appropriate Division should be contacted.
In light of the intent of the regulation to protect freedom of the press, news gathering functions, and news media sources, the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 50.10 do not apply to demands for purely commercial or financial information unrelated to the news gathering function. 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(m).
9-13.410 - Guidelines for Issuing Grand Jury or Trial Subpoena to Attorneys for Information Relating to the Representation of Clients
- Clearance with the Criminal Division. Because of the potential effects upon an attorney-client relationship that may result from the issuance of a subpoena to an attorney for information relating to the attorney's representation of a client, the Department exercises close control over such subpoenas. Such subpoenas (for both criminal and civil matters) must first be authorized by the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division before they may issue, unless the information sought falls into one of the exceptions set forth below. Unless one of the specified exceptions applies, authorization must be obtained even for a "friendly subpoena" for client-related information, that is, even in situations where the attorney witness is willing to provide the information but requests the formality of a subpoena.
- Preliminary Steps. When determining whether to issue a subpoena to an attorney for information relating to the attorney's representation of a client, the Assistant United States Attorney must strike a balance between an individual's right to the effective assistance of counsel and the public's interest in the fair administration of justice and effective law enforcement. To that end, all reasonable attempts shall be made to obtain the information from alternative sources before issuing the subpoena to the attorney, unless such efforts would compromise the investigation or case. These attempts shall include reasonable efforts to first obtain the information voluntarily from the attorney, unless such efforts would compromise the investigation or case, or would impair the ability to subpoena the information from the attorney in the event that the attempt to obtain the information voluntarily proves unsuccessful.
- Evaluation of the Request. In considering a request to approve the issuance of a subpoena to an attorney for information relating to the representation of a client, the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division applies the following principles:
- The information sought shall not be protected by a valid claim of privilege.
- All reasonable attempts to obtain the information from alternative sources shall have proved to be unsuccessful.
- In a criminal investigation or prosecution, there must be reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been or is being committed, and that the information sought is reasonably needed for the successful completion of the investigation or prosecution. The subpoena must not be used to obtain peripheral or speculative information.
- In a civil case, there must be reasonable grounds to believe that the information sought is reasonably necessary to the successful completion of the litigation.
- The need for the information must outweigh the potential adverse effects upon the attorney-client relationship. In particular, the need for the information must outweigh the risk that the attorney may be disqualified from representation of the client as a result of having to testify against the client.
- The subpoena shall be narrowly drawn and directed at material information regarding a limited subject matter and shall cover a reasonable, limited period of time.
- Common Factual Settings Outside of the Authorization Requirement. The authorization requirement applies only to proposed subpoenas to attorneys for testimony or documents relating to the attorney's representation of a client, and not to all subpoenas involving attorneys. For example:
- A subpoena directed to a bank for the records of an attorney's trust account does not require authorization because the subpoena is not directed to the attorney, and the information maintained at the bank is not a privileged attorney- client communication.
- While a subpoena which seeks client billing records requires authorization, a subpoena which seeks internal law office business documents (pay records of law office employees, law firm tax returns, etc.) does not, because it relates to the day-to-day business operations of the law firm, and not to the representation of a client.
- A subpoena seeking information regarding the attorney's personal activities, and not regarding his/her representation of a client, does not require authorization.
- A subpoena which seeks corporate business information, and which is directed to an attorney who serves as a corporate officer, does not require authorization. To make clear that the attorney is being subpoenaed in his/her capacity as a corporate officer, and that no attorney-client information is being sought, the subpoena should be addressed to "John Doe, in his capacity as secretary of the XYZ Corporation."
- Exceptions to the Authorization Requirement. Authorization is not required where the contemplated subpoena is limited to seeking one or more of the following categories of information, since such subpoenas do not raise concerns regarding the potential application of the attorney-client privilege or the potential for negative impact upon the attorney-client relationship:
- records of property transactions, including real estate closing statements, sales contracts, and payment records;
- publicly filed documents, including bankruptcy records, unavailable from other sources;
- testimony or documents necessary to respond to a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, including, but not limited to, petitions filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and D.C. Code § 23-110; and
- materials within the scope of an explicit and unchallenged waiver by the attorney's client.
- Submitting the Request. Requests for authorization should be submitted to the Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit (PSEU), Office of Enforcement Operations, Criminal Division, through the form set out in the Criminal Resource Manual at 264. When documents are sought in addition to the testimony of the attorney witness, a draft of the subpoena duces tecum, listing the documents sought, must accompany the completed form. Send the completed auto-email form and draft subpoena by email to PSEU@usdoj.gov or, if email is unavailable, fax it to (202) 305-0562.
- No Rights Created by Guidelines: These guidelines are set forth solely for the purpose of internal Department of Justice guidance. They are not intended to, do not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter, civil or criminal, nor do they place any limitations on otherwise lawful investigative or litigative prerogatives of the Department of Justice.
9-13.420 - Searches of Premises of Subject Attorneys
NOTE: For purposes of this policy only, "subject" includes an attorney who is a "suspect, subject or target," or an attorney who is related by blood or marriage to a suspect, or who is believed to be in possession of contraband or the fruits or instrumentalities of a crime. This policy also applies to searches of business organizations where such searches involve materials in the possession of individuals serving in the capacity of legal advisor to the organization. Search warrants for "documentary materials" held by an attorney who is a "disinterested third party" (that is, any attorney who is not a subject) are governed by 28 C.F.R. 59.4 and USAM 9-19.221 et seq. See also 42 U.S.C. Section 2000aa-11(a)(3).
There are occasions when effective law enforcement may require the issuance of a search warrant for the premises of an attorney who is a subject of an investigation, and who also is or may be engaged in the practice of law on behalf of clients. Because of the potential effects of this type of search on legitimate attorney-client relationships and because of the possibility that, during such a search, the government may encounter material protected by a legitimate claim of privilege, it is important that close control be exercised over this type of search. Therefore, the following guidelines should be followed with respect to such searches:
- Alternatives to Search Warrants. In order to avoid impinging on valid attorney-client relationships, prosecutors are expected to take the least intrusive approach consistent with vigorous and effective law enforcement when evidence is sought from an attorney actively engaged in the practice of law. Consideration should be given to obtaining information from other sources or through the use of a subpoena, unless such efforts could compromise the criminal investigation or prosecution, or could result in the obstruction or destruction of evidence, or would otherwise be ineffective.
NOTE: Prior approval must be obtained from the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division to issue a subpoena to an attorney relating to the representation of a client. See USAM 9-13.410.
- Authorization by United States Attorney or Assistant Attorney General. No application for such a search warrant may be made to a court without the express approval of the United States Attorney or pertinent Assistant Attorney General. Ordinarily, authorization of an application for such a search warrant is appropriate when there is a strong need for the information or material and less intrusive means have been considered and rejected.
- Prior Consultation. In addition to obtaining approval from the United States Attorney or the pertinent Assistant Attorney General, and before seeking judicial authorization for the search warrant, the federal prosecutor must consult with the Criminal Division.
NOTE: Attorneys are encouraged to consult with the Criminal Division as early as possible regarding a possible search of an attorney's office. Telephone No. (202) 305-4023; Fax No. (202) 305-0562.
To facilitate the consultation, the prosecutor should submit the attached form (see Criminal Resource Manual at 265) containing relevant information about the proposed search along with a draft copy of the proposed search warrant, affidavit in support thereof, and any special instructions to the searching agents regarding search procedures and procedures to be followed to ensure that the prosecution team is not "tainted" by any privileged material inadvertently seized during the search. This information should be submitted to the Criminal Division through the Office of Enforcement Operations. This procedure does not preclude any United States Attorney or Assistant Attorney General from discussing the matter personally with the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division.
If exigent circumstances prevent such prior consultation, the Criminal Division should be notified of the search as promptly as possible. In all cases, the Criminal Division should be provided as promptly as possible with a copy of the judicially authorized search warrant, search warrant affidavit, and any special instructions to the searching agents.
The Criminal Division is committed to ensuring that consultation regarding attorney search warrant requests will not delay investigations. Timely processing will be assisted if the Criminal Division is provided as much information about the search as early as possible. The Criminal Division should also be informed of any deadlines.
- Safeguarding Procedures and Contents of the Affidavit. Procedures should be designed to ensure that privileged materials are not improperly viewed, seized or retained during the course of the search. While the procedures to be followed should be tailored to the facts of each case and the requirements and judicial preferences and precedents of each district, in all cases a prosecutor must employ adequate precautions to ensure that the materials are reviewed for privilege claims and that any privileged documents are returned to the attorney from whom they were seized.
- Conducting the Search. The search warrant should be drawn as specifically as possible, consistent with the requirements of the investigation, to minimize the need to search and review privileged material to which no exception applies.
While every effort should be made to avoid viewing privileged material, the search may require limited review of arguably privileged material to ascertain whether the material is covered by the warrant. Therefore, to protect the attorney-client privilege and to ensure that the investigation is not compromised by exposure to privileged material relating to the investigation or to defense strategy, a "privilege team" should be designated, consisting of agents and lawyers not involved in the underlying investigation.
Instructions should be given and thoroughly discussed with the privilege team prior to the search. The instructions should set forth procedures designed to minimize the intrusion into privileged material, and should ensure that the privilege team does not disclose any information to the investigation/prosecution team unless and until so instructed by the attorney in charge of the privilege team. Privilege team lawyers should be available either on or off-site, to advise the agents during the course of the search, but should not participate in the search itself.
The affidavit in support of the search warrant may attach any written instructions or, at a minimum, should generally state the government's intention to employ procedures designed to ensure that attorney-client privileges are not violated.
If it is anticipated that computers will be searched or seized, prosecutors are expected to follow the procedures set forth in the current edition of Searching and Seizing Computers, published by CCIPS.
- Review Procedures. The following review procedures should be discussed prior to approval of any warrant, consistent with the practice in your district, the circumstances of the investigation and the volume of materials seized.
- Who will conduct the review, i.e., a privilege team, a judicial officer, or a special master.
- Whether all documents will be submitted to a judicial officer or special master or only those which a privilege team has determined to be arguably privileged or arguably subject to an exception to the privilege.
- Whether copies of all seized materials will be provided to the subject attorney (or a legal representative) in order that: a) disruption of the law firm's operation is minimized; and b) the subject is afforded an opportunity to participate in the process of submitting disputed documents to the court by raising specific claims of privilege. To the extent possible, providing copies of seized records is encouraged, where such disclosure will not impede or obstruct the investigation.
- Whether appropriate arrangements have been made for storage and handling of electronic evidence and procedures developed for searching computer data (i.e., procedures which recognize the universal nature of computer seizure and are designed to avoid review of materials implicating the privilege of innocent clients).
These guidelines are set forth solely for the purpose of internal Department of Justice guidance. They are not intended to, do not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter, civil or criminal, nor do they place any limitations on otherwise lawful investigative or litigative prerogatives of the Department of Justice.
See the Criminal Resource Manual at 265, for an attorney office search warrant form.
[updated October 2012] [cited in Criminal Resource Manual 265]
9-13.500 - International Legal Assistance
The Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs (514-0000) must be consulted before contacting any foreign or State Department official in matters relating to extradition of a fugitive or the obtaining of evidence in a criminal investigation or prosecution.
Any proposed contact with persons, other than United States investigative agents, in a foreign country for the purpose of obtaining the extradition of a fugitive or evidence should first be discussed with the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division.
Before attempting to do any act outside the United States relating to a criminal investigation or prosecution, including contacting a witness by telephone or mail, prior approval must be obtained from the Office of International Affairs.
See the Criminal Resource Manual at 266, for additional background regarding the Office of International Affairs.
[cited in USAM 9-11.140]
9-13.510 - Obtaining Evidence Abroad—General Considerations
Because virtually every nation enacts laws to protect its sovereignty and can react adversely to American law enforcement efforts to gather evidence within its borders as a violation of that sovereignty, contact the Office of International Affairs initially to evaluate methods for securing assistance from abroad and to select an appropriate one. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 267 et seq.
9-13.512 - Intended Use of the Evidence
When a country grants assistance for a particular purpose, contact the Office of International Affairs (OIA) before using it for a different purpose. OIA will determine whether it can be used for a different purpose without the express permission of the country that provided it and, if not, for guidance in securing such permission. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 269.
9-13.514 - Time Required
9-13.516 - Cost of Obtaining Evidence
Be sure funds are available before making a costly request. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 273.
9-13.520 - Methods of Obtaining Evidence from Abroad
There are many different methods of obtaining evidence from abroad, including the use of letters rogatory, treaty requests, executive agreements and memoranda of understanding, subpoenas (see USAM 9-13.525), and other informal means. Contact the Office of International Affairs before choosing a method. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 274- 279.
[cited in Criminal Resource Manual 267]
9-13.525 - Subpoenas
Since the use of unilateral compulsory measures can adversely affect United States law enforcement relationship with a foreign country, all Federal prosecutors must obtain written approval through the Office of International Affairs (OIA) before issuing any subpoenas to persons or entities in the United States for records located abroad. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 279, for a description of the requirements of requesting such approval. OIA must also be consulted prior to initiating enforcement proceedings relating to such subpoenas.
OIA's approval must be obtained prior to serving a subpoena ad testificandum on an officer of, or attorney for, a foreign bank or corporation who is temporarily in or passing through the United States when the testimony sought relates to the officer's or attorney's duties in connection with the operation of the bank or corporation.
9-13.526 - Forfeiture of Assets Located in Foreign Countries
International and domestic coordination are needed in matters relating to the forfeiture of assets located in foreign countries. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 280. Consequently, any attorney for the Federal government who plans to file a civil forfeiture action for assets located in another country pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1355(b)(2) is directed to notify the Office of International Affairs (OIA) of the Criminal Division before taking such action. Notification to OIA should be in writing and include the information listed in the Criminal Resource Manual at 280.
Within ten days of receipt of such notification, OIA, in consultation with the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, will review the notification information, consult with foreign and U.S. authorities as appropriate to the facts and circumstances of the specific proposal, and communicate its findings to the attorney for the Federal government who submitted the notification.
Attorneys for the Federal government are also directed to consult with the OIA before taking steps to present to a foreign government, for enforcement or recognition, any civil or criminal forfeiture order entered in the United States for property located within the foreign jurisdiction.
In cases where it appears that the property in question is likely to be removed, destroyed, or dissipated so as to defeat the possibility of the forfeiture under U.S. law, the attorney for the Federal government may, of course, request the OIA to seek the assistance of the authorities of the foreign government where the property is located in seizing or taking whatever action is necessary and appropriate to preserve the property for forfeiture.
[cited in USAM 9-119.010]
9-13.530 - Special Considerations—Translations
In every case requiring a translation, prosecutors must reach a clear understanding with the Office of International Affairs (OIA) about who will secure the translation and send it overseas. Generally, arrangements for translation must be made and paid for by the United States Attorney's Office. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 282.
9-13.534 - Foreign Travel by Prosecutors
Foreign travel must be authorized in advance either by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) (travel involving Assistant United States Attorneys) or by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) (travel involving Departmental prosecutors). EOUSA will not authorize the travel unless the prosecutor has obtained the approvals required in USAM 3-8.730. Prosecutors should contact EOUSA and OIA well in advance of their intended departure date because foreign clearances take time. See also the Criminal Resource Manual at 284.
[updated October 1999] [cited in Criminal Resource Manual 284]
9-13.535 - Depositions
If an essential witness who is not subject to a subpoena ( unwilling to come to the United States to testify, the prosecutor may attempt to proceed by means of a deposition. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 15 and 18 U.S.C. § 3503. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 285 for additional discussion regarding depositions and for the procedures which should be followed.
9-13.540 - Assisting Foreign Prosecutors
To avoid undercutting Departmental policy, when prosecutors receive requests for assistance from foreign prosecutors, prosecutors should discuss all such requests with the Office of International Affairs before executing. See the Criminal Resource Manual at 286.
Costs of executing foreign requests (including court reporter's fees) are the responsibility of the country making the request unless an applicable treaty requires the United States to pay; in that event, the United States Attorney's Office pays the costs.
9-13.600 - Use of Hypnosis
9-13.800 - Access to and Disclosure of Financial Records
The Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978, 12 U.S.C. § 3401 et seq., governs federal agencies' access to and disclosure of all "financial records" of any "customer" from a "financial institution." This statute sets forth a complex set of procedures which United States Attorneys (along with other federal officials) must follow in obtaining the records covered by the Act. These procedures must be followed by law enforcement officials if they are to obtain records needed in an investigation without alerting the target(s) of that investigation.
For additional information, see the Treatise on the Right to Financial Privacy Act in the Criminal Resource Manual at 400, or contact the Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit of the Office of Enforcement Operations.
9-13.900 - Access to and Disclosures of Tax Returns in a Non-tax Criminal Case
Title 26 U.S.C. § 6103 prohibits disclosure of tax returns and tax return information except as specifically provided in § 6103, or other sections of the Code. Among the disclosures authorized are those in 26 U.S.C. § 6103(i) concerning access to returns and return information by certain Department of Justice personnel for use in the investigation and prosecution of federal criminal statutory violations and related civil forfeitures not involving tax administration. The access procedures and use restrictions in sucha case are set forth in the Criminal Resource Manual at 501 et seq.
Applications for the ex parte order authorized by this paragraph may be authorized by: the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, any Assistant Attorney General, a United States Attorney, any special prosecutor appointed under 28 U.S.C. § 593, or any attorney in charge of a Criminal Division organized crime strike force established pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 510. It is anticipated that most applications will be authorized by United States Attorneys or Strike Force Chiefs.
It is the Department's policy that an Ex Parte Application For Returns and Return Information be filed under seal. Prosecutors should file the motion to seal simultaneously with the Application. The motion should request the court to seal the application and its order granting or denying the application. United States Attorneys should notify Internal Revenue Service whenever a motion to seal is granted, and whenever the records are subsequently unsealed.