How to Respond To Third Party (Non-Government) Civil Subpoenas And Document Requests That Ask For Personal Information

How to Respond To Third Party (Non-Government) Civil Subpoenas And Document Requests That Ask For Personal Information

Litigants in a civil dispute often use subpoenas, subpoenas duces tecum, and discovery requests to obtain personal information about individuals who may not be present in the litigation. A request for documents and information that include personal information about third parties may conflict with legal obligations imposed upon an organization not to produce information. For example, if an organization promises within its privacy policy that it will never share personal information with a “third party,” and does not include an exception for requests made in civil litigation or through judicial process, a consumer could argue that by producing information pursuant to a subpoena or discovery request an organization has violated its privacy policy and committed an unfair or deceptive practice in violation of federal or state law. …

how-to-respond

How to Respond to Government Subpoenas and Document Requests That Ask for Personal Information

Federal and state agencies traditionally obtain information for law enforcement purposes using a variety of methods including:

  • court issued subpoenas,
  • grand jury subpoenas,
  • search warrants,
  • litigation discovery requests, and
  • administrative subpoenas.1

A request by a government agency for personal information about one, or more, consumers may conflict with consumers’ expectations of privacy, and, in some instances, may arguably conflict with legal obligations imposed upon an organization not to produce information.  For example, if an organization promises within its privacy policy that it will never share the information that it collects with a “third party” and does not include an exception for requests from law enforcement, or government agencies, a consumer could argue that by producing information pursuant to a government request, an organization has violated its privacy policy and committed an unfair or deceptive practice in violation of federal or state law. …

subpoenas