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Title 6

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Title 6

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Editorial codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register.

§ 5.43 Service of subpoenas, court orders, and other demands or requests for official information or action.

(a) Except in cases in which the Department is represented by legal counsel who have entered an appearance or otherwise given notice of their representation, only the Office of the General Counsel is authorized to receive and accept subpoenas (consistent with paragraph (g) of this section) or other demands or requests directed to the Secretary, the Department, or any component thereof, or its employees, whether civil or criminal in nature, for:

(1) Material, including documents, contained in the files of the Department;

(2) Information, including testimony, affidavits, declarations, admissions, responses to interrogatories, or informal statements, relating to material contained in the files of the Department or which any Department employee acquired in the course and scope of the performance of his official duties;

(3) Garnishment or attachment of compensation of current or former employees; or

(4) The performance or non-performance of any official Department duty.

(b) In the event that any subpoena, demand, or request is sought to be delivered to a Department employee other than in the manner prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section, such employee shall, after consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, decline service and direct the server of process to the Departmental regulations. If the subpoena, demand, or other request is nonetheless delivered to the employee, the employee shall immediately forward a copy of that document to the Office of the General Counsel.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, the Department is not an agent for service, or otherwise authorized to accept on behalf of its employees, any subpoenas, show-cause orders, or similar compulsory process of federal or state courts, or requests from private individuals or attorneys, which are not related to the employees' official duties except upon the express, written authorization of the individual Department employee to whom such demand or request is directed.

(d) Acceptance of such documents by the Office of the General Counsel does not constitute a waiver of any defenses that might otherwise exist with respect to service under the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure or other applicable rules.

(e) Copies of any subpoenas, show cause orders, or similar compulsory process of federal or state courts, or requests from private individuals or attorneys, directed to former employees of the Department in connection with legal proceedings arising out of the performance of official duties shall also be served upon the Office of the General Counsel. The Department shall not, however, serve as an agent for service for the former employee, nor is the Department otherwise authorized to accept service on behalf of its former employees. If the demand involves their official duties, former employees who receive subpoenas, show cause orders, or similar compulsory process of federal or state courts should also notify in the component of the Department in which they were employed if the service involves their official duties while so employed.

(f) If the subpoena, demand, or other request is nonetheless delivered to the employee, the employee shall immediately forward a copy of that document to the Office of the General Counsel.

(g) Subpoenas must be delivered by personal service at the appropriate address as indicated in appendix A to this subpart, consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, unless DHS has specified alternative means of service, in its discretion, on the DHS website as indicated in appendix A to this subpart. This paragraph (g) does not apply to other demands or requests for information under paragraph (a) of this section.

[68 FR 4070, Jan. 27, 2003, as amended at 85 FR 22582, Apr. 23, 2020]