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Note: The comments and questions on this page came from people who visited this website. Please feel free to send your comments and questions to Professor Brenner (brenner@udayton.edu). She will respond privately, and may ask permission to post your message on this page. No one's e-mail will be used without first obtaining their permission, and names and e-mail addresses are removed before a comment is posted. Starting in 2002, the responses posted to the site indicate which of us replied: The initials SWB mean Professor Brenner wrote the response; the initials LES mean Professor Shaw wrote the response. We are also putting the year down, to indicate when the response was posted. If no initials appear, Professor Brenner wrote the response.

What happens if the FBI agent who is supposed to serve a grand jury subpoena changes the date on it, the date that shows when you are supposed to show up and testify?
 

Can a FBI special agent change a date on a subpoena, meaning cross the date out and then write in a new date and initial the document?

Response: Wow . . . what a good question. I guess the answer is, it depends: A subpoena comes from a grand jury, but usually the prosecutor handling an investigation gets the subpoenas in blank and fills them out, both in terms of what the subpoena duces tecum (here) asks for and in terms of when the response is required, e.g., when the items are to be produced. The grand jury is normally to be kept informed, but that is usually in a very general fashion; they do not have to, for example, approve subpoenas. So, if the FBI agent alters the subpoena I suppose that is a ministerial act that would be considered acceptable if the prosecutor (and perhaps the grand jury) were informed of the change and, indeed, if the change came from them. If you're asking is that is something that could be brought to a court's attention, I think it could. I also think the recipient of a subpoena duces tecum should get a lawyer to advise the recipient about the process of complying/moving to quash or modify and about any issues such as these.

SWB

2002

  

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