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Criminal Resource Manual

415. Customer Challenge Proceedings

The procedures to be followed in customer challenge proceedings are set forth at 12 U.S.C. § 3410. Within the prescribed time period (10 to 14 days depending upon whether notice was personally served or served by mail), the customer may file a motion to quash an administrative summons or judicial subpoena, or a motion to enjoin the government from pursuing a formal written request. To support the motion, the customer must file a "sworn statement" stating that he or she is the person whose records are being sought (12 U.S.C. § 3410(a)(1)), stating reasons for believing that the records sought are not relevant to the investigation, that the Act has not been substantially complied with, or any other legal reason for denying access (12 U.S.C. §  3410(a)(2)). See Hancock v. Marshall, 86 F.R.D. 209 (D. D.C. 1980) (movant must make out prima facie case of impropriety before the government is required to respond). Note that the Act clearly contemplates a dramatically simplified procedure for customer challenges including the suspension of normal service requirements. Further, mere filing of a customer challenge action precludes government access to financial records until the matter is fully adjudicated. See 12 U.S.C. §§ 3405(3), 3407(3), and 3408(4)(B).