15 U.S. Code § 57b–1 - Civil investigative demands

(a) Definitions
For purposes of this section:
(1) The terms “civil investigative demand” and “demand” mean any demand issued by the commission under subsection (c)(1) of this section.
(2) The term “Commission investigation” means any inquiry conducted by a Commission investigator for the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is or has been engaged in any unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 45 (a)(1) of this title) or in any antitrust violations.
(3) The term “Commission investigator” means any attorney or investigator employed by the Commission who is charged with the duty of enforcing or carrying into effect any provisions relating to unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 45 (a)(1) of this title) or any provisions relating to antitrust violations.
(4) The term “custodian” means the custodian or any deputy custodian designated under section 57b–2 (b)(2)(A) of this title.
(5) The term “documentary material” includes the original or any copy of any book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, chart, or other document.
(6) The term “person” means any natural person, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, including any person acting under color or authority of State law.
(7) The term “violation” means any act or omission constituting an unfair or deceptive act or practice in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 45 (a)(1) of this title) or any antitrust violation.
(8) The term “antitrust violation” means—
(A) any unfair method of competition (within the meaning of section 45 (a)(1) of this title);
(B) any violation of the Clayton Act [15 U.S.C. 12 et seq.] or of any other Federal statute that prohibits, or makes available to the Commission a civil remedy with respect to, any restraint upon or monopolization of interstate or foreign trade or commerce;
(C) with respect to the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994 [15 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.], any violation of any of the foreign antitrust laws (as defined in section 12 of such Act [15 U.S.C. 6211]) with respect to which a request is made under section 3 of such Act [15 U.S.C. 6202]; or
(D) any activity in preparation for a merger, acquisition, joint venture, or similar transaction, which if consummated, may result in any such unfair method of competition or in any such violation.
(b) Actions conducted by Commission respecting unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce
For the purpose of investigations performed pursuant to this section with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 45 (a)(1) of this title); all actions of the Commission taken under section 46 andsection 49 of this title shall be conducted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.
(c) Issuance of demand; contents; service; verified return; sworn certificate; answers; taking of oral testimony
(1) Whenever the Commission has reason to believe that any person may be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material or tangible things, or may have any information, relevant to unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 45 (a)(1) of this title), or to antitrust violations, the Commission may, before the institution of any proceedings under this subchapter, issue in writing, and cause to be served upon such person, a civil investigative demand requiring such person to produce such documentary material for inspection and copying or reproduction, to submit such tangible things, to file written reports or answers to questions, to give oral testimony concerning documentary material or other information, or to furnish any combination of such material, answers, or testimony.
(2) Each civil investigative demand shall state the nature of the conduct constituting the alleged violation which is under investigation and the provision of law applicable to such violation.
(3) Each civil investigative demand for the production of documentary material shall—
(A) describe each class of documentary material to be produced under the demand with such definiteness and certainty as to permit such material to be fairly identified;
(B) prescribe a return date or dates which will provide a reasonable period of time within which the material so demanded may be assembled and made available for inspection and copying or reproduction; and
(C) identify the custodian to whom such material shall be made available.
(4) Each civil investigative demand for the submission of tangible things shall—
(A) describe each class of tangible things to be submitted under the demand with such definiteness and certainty as to permit such things to be fairly identified;
(B) prescribe a return date or dates which will provide a reasonable period of time within which the things so demanded may be assembled and submitted; and
(C) identify the custodian to whom such things shall be submitted.
(5) Each civil investigative demand for written reports or answers to questions shall—
(A) propound with definiteness and certainty the reports to be produced or the questions to be answered;
(B) prescribe a date or dates at which time written reports or answers to questions shall be submitted; and
(C) identify the custodian to whom such reports or answers shall be submitted.
(6) Each civil investigative demand for the giving of oral testimony shall—
(A) prescribe a date, time, and place at which oral testimony shall be commenced; and
(B) identify a Commission investigator who shall conduct the investigation and the custodian to whom the transcript of such investigation shall be submitted.
(7)
(A) Any civil investigative demand may be served by any Commission investigator at any place within the territorial jurisdiction of any court of the United States.
(B) Any such demand or any enforcement petition filed under this section may be served upon any person who is not found within the territorial jurisdiction of any court of the United States, in such manner as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure prescribe for service in a foreign nation.
(C) To the extent that the courts of the United States have authority to assert jurisdiction over such person consistent with due process, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have the same jurisdiction to take any action respecting compliance with this section by such person that such district court would have if such person were personally within the jurisdiction of such district court.
(8) Service of any civil investigative demand or any enforcement petition filed under this section may be made upon a partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity by—
(A) delivering a duly executed copy of such demand or petition to any partner, executive officer, managing agent, or general agent of such partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, or to any agent of such partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process on behalf of such partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity;
(B) delivering a duly executed copy of such demand or petition to the principal office or place of business of the partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity to be served; or
(C) depositing a duly executed copy in the United States mails, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, duly addressed to such partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity at its principal office or place of business.
(9) Service of any civil investigative demand or of any enforcement petition filed under this section may be made upon any natural person by—
(A) delivering a duly executed copy of such demand or petition to the person to be served; or
(B) depositing a duly executed copy in the United States mails by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, duly addressed to such person at his residence or principal office or place of business.
(10) A verified return by the individual serving any civil investigative demand or any enforcement petition filed under this section setting forth the manner of such service shall be proof of such service. In the case of service by registered or certified mail, such return shall be accompanied by the return post office receipt of delivery of such demand or enforcement petition.
(11) The production of documentary material in response to a civil investigative demand shall be made under a sworn certificate, in such form as the demand designates, by the person, if a natural person, to whom the demand is directed or, if not a natural person, by any person having knowledge of the facts and circumstances relating to such production, to the effect that all of the documentary material required by the demand and in the possession, custody, or control of the person to whom the demand is directed has been produced and made available to the custodian.
(12) The submission of tangible things in response to a civil investigative demand shall be made under a sworn certificate, in such form as the demand designates, by the person to whom the demand is directed or, if not a natural person, by any person having knowledge of the facts and circumstances relating to such production, to the effect that all of the tangible things required by the demand and in the possession, custody, or control of the person to whom the demand is directed have been submitted to the custodian.
(13) Each reporting requirement or question in a civil investigative demand shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to, in which event the reasons for the objection shall be stated in lieu of an answer, and it shall be submitted under a sworn certificate, in such form as the demand designates, by the person, if a natural person, to whom the demand is directed or, if not a natural person, by any person responsible for answering each reporting requirement or question, to the effect that all information required by the demand and in the possession, custody, control, or knowledge of the person to whom the demand is directed has been submitted.
(14)
(A) Any Commission investigator before whom oral testimony is to be taken shall put the witness on oath or affirmation and shall personally, or by any individual acting under his direction and in his presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically and transcribed. After the testimony is fully transcribed, the Commission investigator before whom the testimony is taken shall promptly transmit a copy of the transcript of the testimony to the custodian.
(B) Any Commission investigator before whom oral testimony is to be taken shall exclude from the place where the testimony is to be taken all other persons except the person giving the testimony, his attorney, the officer before whom the testimony is to be taken, and any stenographer taking such testimony.
(C) The oral testimony of any person taken pursuant to a civil investigative demand shall be taken in the judicial district of the United States in which such person resides, is found, or transacts business, or in such other place as may be agreed upon by the Commission investigator before whom the oral testimony of such person is to be taken and such person.
(D)
(i) Any person compelled to appear under a civil investigative demand for oral testimony pursuant to this section may be accompanied, represented, and advised by an attorney. The attorney may advise such person, in confidence, either upon the request of such person or upon the initiative of the attorney, with respect to any question asked of such person.
(ii) Such person or attorney may object on the record to any question, in whole or in part, and shall briefly state for the record the reason for the objection. An objection may properly be made, received, and entered upon the record when it is claimed that such person is entitled to refuse to answer the question on grounds of any constitutional or other legal right or privilege, including the privilege against self-incrimination. Such person shall not otherwise object to or refuse to answer any question, and shall not himself or through his attorney otherwise interrupt the oral examination. If such person refuses to answer any question, the Commission may petition the district court of the United States pursuant to this section for an order compelling such person to answer such question.
(iii) If such person refuses to answer any question on grounds of the privilege against self-incrimination, the testimony of such person may be compelled in accordance with the provisions of section 6004 of title 18.
(E)
(i) After the testimony of any witness is fully transcribed, the Commission investigator shall afford the witness (who may be accompanied by an attorney) a reasonable opportunity to examine the transcript. The transcript shall be read to or by the witness, unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness. Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered and identified upon the transcript by the Commission investigator with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making such changes. The transcript shall then be signed by the witness, unless the witness in writing waives the signing, is ill, cannot be found, or refuses to sign.
(ii) If the transcript is not signed by the witness during the 30-day period following the date upon which the witness is first afforded a reasonable opportunity to examine it, the Commission investigator shall sign the transcript and state on the record the fact of the waiver, illness, absence of the witness, or the refusal to sign, together with any reasons given for the failure to sign.
(F) The Commission investigator shall certify on the transcript that the witness was duly sworn by him and that the transcript is a true record of the testimony given by the witness, and the Commission investigator shall promptly deliver the transcript or send it by registered or certified mail to the custodian.
(G) The Commission investigator shall furnish a copy of the transcript (upon payment of reasonable charges for the transcription) to the witness only, except that the Commission may for good cause limit such witness to inspection of the official transcript of his testimony.
(H) Any witness appearing for the taking of oral testimony pursuant to a civil investigative demand shall be entitled to the same fees and mileage which are paid to witnesses in the district courts of the United States.
(d) Procedures for demand material
Materials received as a result of a civil investigative demand shall be subject to the procedures established in section 57b–2 of this title.
(e) Petition for enforcement
Whenever any person fails to comply with any civil investigative demand duly served upon him under this section, or whenever satisfactory copying or reproduction of material requested pursuant to the demand cannot be accomplished and such person refuses to surrender such material, the Commission, through such officers or attorneys as it may designate, may file, in the district court of the United States for any judicial district in which such person resides, is found, or transacts business, and serve upon such person, a petition for an order of such court for the enforcement of this section. All process of any court to which application may be made as provided in this subsection may be served in any judicial district.
(f) Petition for order modifying or setting aside demand
(1) Not later than 20 days after the service of any civil investigative demand upon any person under subsection (c) of this section, or at any time before the return date specified in the demand, whichever period is shorter, or within such period exceeding 20 days after service or in excess of such return date as may be prescribed in writing, subsequent to service, by any Commission investigator named in the demand, such person may file with the Commission a petition for an order by the Commission modifying or setting aside the demand.
(2) The time permitted for compliance with the demand in whole or in part, as deemed proper and ordered by the Commission, shall not run during the pendency of such petition at the Commission, except that such person shall comply with any portions of the demand not sought to be modified or set aside. Such petition shall specify each ground upon which the petitioner relies in seeking such relief, and may be based upon any failure of the demand to comply with the provisions of this section, or upon any constitutional or other legal right or privilege of such person.
(g) Custodial control of documentary material, tangible things, reports, etc.
At any time during which any custodian is in custody or control of any documentary material, tangible things, reports, answers to questions, or transcripts of oral testimony given by any person in compliance with any civil investigative demand, such person may file, in the district court of the United States for the judicial district within which the office of such custodian is situated, and serve upon such custodian, a petition for an order of such court requiring the performance by such custodian of any duty imposed upon him by this section or section 57b–2 of this title.
(h) Jurisdiction of court
Whenever any petition is filed in any district court of the United States under this section, such court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter so presented, and to enter such order or orders as may be required to carry into effect the provisions of this section. Any final order so entered shall be subject to appeal pursuant to section 1291 of title 28. Any disobedience of any final order entered under this section by any court shall be punished as a contempt of such court.
(i) Commission authority to issue subpoenas or make demand for information
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission shall have no authority to issue a subpoena or make a demand for information, under authority of this subchapter or any other provision of law, unless such subpoena or demand for information is signed by a Commissioner acting pursuant to a Commission resolution. The Commission shall not delegate the power conferred by this section to sign subpoenas or demands for information to any other person.
(j) Applicability of this section
The provisions of this section shall not—
(1) apply to any proceeding under section 45 (b) of this title, any proceeding under section 11(b) of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 21 (b)), or any adjudicative proceeding under any other provision of law; or
(2) apply to or affect the jurisdiction, duties, or powers of any agency of the Federal Government, other than the Commission, regardless of whether such jurisdiction, duties, or powers are derived in whole or in part, by reference to this subchapter.

Source

(Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, § 20, as added Pub. L. 96–252, § 13,May 28, 1980, 94 Stat. 380; amended Pub. L. 103–312, § 7,Aug. 26, 1994, 108 Stat. 1693; Pub. L. 103–438, § 3(e)(2)(B),Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4598.)
References in Text

The Clayton Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(8)(B), is act Oct. 15, 1914, ch. 323, 38 Stat. 730, as amended, which is classified generally to sections 12, 13, 14 to 19, 21, and 22 to 27 of this title, and sections 52 and 53 of Title 29, Labor. For further details and complete classification of this Act to the Code, see References in Text note set out under section 12 of this title and Tables.
The International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994, referred to in subsec. (a)(8)(C), is Pub. L. 103–438, Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4597, which is classified principally to chapter 88 (§ 6201 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6201 of this title and Tables.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 20 of act Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, was renumbered section 24 and is classified to section 57c of this title.
Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 103–312, § 7(a)(1), inserted before period at end “or in any antitrust violations”.
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 103–312, § 7(a)(2), inserted before period at end “or any provisions relating to antitrust violations”.
Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 103–312, § 7(a)(3), inserted before period at end “or any antitrust violation”.
Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 103–438amended par. (8) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (8) read as follows: “The term ‘antitrust violation’ means any unfair method of competition (within the meaning of section 45 (a)(1) of this title), any violation of the Clayton Act, any violation of any other Federal statute that prohibits, or makes available to the Commission a civil remedy with respect to, any restraint upon or monopolization of interstate or foreign trade or commerce, or any activity in preparation for a merger, acquisition, joint venture, or similar transaction, which if consummated, may result in such an unfair method of competition or violation.”
Pub. L. 103–312, § 7(a)(4), added par. (8).
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 103–312, § 7(b)(1), inserted “or tangible things” after “control of any documentary material”, “or to antitrust violations,” after “section 45 (a)(1) of this title),”, and “to submit such tangible things,” after “copying or reproduction,”.
Subsec. (c)(4) to (14). Pub. L. 103–312, § 7(b)(2), added pars. (4) and (12) and redesignated former pars. (4) to (10), (11), and (12) as (5) to (11), (13), and (14), respectively.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 103–312, § 7(c), inserted “, tangible things” after “documentary material”.
Subsec. (j)(1). Pub. L. 103–312, § 7(d), inserted before semicolon at end “, any proceeding under section 11(b) of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 21 (b)), or any adjudicative proceeding under any other provision of law”.
Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–312applicable only with respect to compulsory process issued after Aug. 26, 1994, see section 15(d) ofPub. L. 103–312, set out as a note under section 45 of this title.
Effective Date

Section effective May 28, 1980, see section 23 ofPub. L. 96–252, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section 45 of this title.

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16 CFR - Commercial Practices

16 CFR Part 5 - STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

16 CFR Part 14 - ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATIONS, GENERAL POLICY STATEMENTS, AND ENFORCEMENT POLICY STATEMENTS

16 CFR Part 20 - GUIDES FOR THE REBUILT, RECONDITIONED AND OTHER USED AUTOMOBILE PARTS INDUSTRY

16 CFR Part 251 - GUIDE CONCERNING USE OF THE WORD “FREE” AND SIMILAR REPRESENTATIONS

16 CFR Part 254 - GUIDES FOR PRIVATE VOCATIONAL AND DISTANCE EDUCATION SCHOOLS

16 CFR Part 255 - GUIDES CONCERNING USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING

16 CFR Part 259 - GUIDE CONCERNING FUEL ECONOMY ADVERTISING FOR NEW AUTOMOBILES

16 CFR Part 260 - GUIDES FOR THE USE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MARKETING CLAIMS

16 CFR Part 320 - DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPOSITORY INSTITUTIONS LACKING FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE

16 CFR Part 410 - DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING AS TO SIZES OF VIEWABLE PICTURES SHOWN BY TELEVISION RECEIVING SETS

16 CFR Part 423 - CARE LABELING OF TEXTILE WEARING APPAREL AND CERTAIN PIECE GOODS AS AMENDED

16 CFR Part 425 - USE OF PRENOTIFICATION NEGATIVE OPTION PLANS

16 CFR Part 429 - RULE CONCERNING COOLING-OFF PERIOD FOR SALES MADE AT HOMES OR AT CERTAIN OTHER LOCATIONS

16 CFR Part 432 - POWER OUTPUT CLAIMS FOR AMPLIFIERS UTILIZED IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTS

16 CFR Part 433 - PRESERVATION OF CONSUMERS' CLAIMS AND DEFENSES

16 CFR Part 436 - DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITIONS CONCERNING FRANCHISING

16 CFR Part 438

16 CFR Part 455 - USED MOTOR VEHICLE TRADE REGULATION RULE

16 CFR Part 460 - LABELING AND ADVERTISING OF HOME INSULATION

 

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