House Rule VIII - Response to subpoenas

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Contents

Rule VIII for the 111th Congress

1. When a Member, Delegate, Resi- dent Commissioner, officer, or em- ployee of the House is properly served with a judicial or administrative sub- poena or judicial order directing ap- pearance as a witness relating to the official functions of the House or for the production or disclosure of any document relating to the official func- tions of the House, such Member, Dele- gate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee shall comply, consistently with the privileges and rights of the House, with the judicial or administra- tive subpoena or judicial order as here- inafter provided, unless otherwise de- termined under this rule.

2. Upon receipt of a properly served judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1, a Member, Delegate, Resident Commis- sioner, officer, or employee of the House shall promptly notify the Speak- er of its receipt in writing. Such notifi- cation shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker. During a pe- riod of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, notification to the House is not required until the recon- vening of the House, when the notifica- tion shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

3. Once notification has been laid be- fore the House, the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or em- ployee of the House shall determine whether the issuance of the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is con- sistent with the privileges and rights of the House. Such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or em- ployee shall notify the Speaker before seeking judicial determination of these matters.

4. Upon determination whether a ju- dicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House, the Member, Dele- gate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall imme- diately notify the Speaker of the deter- mination in writing.

5. The Speaker shall inform the House of a determination whether a ju- dicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House. In so informing the House, the Speaker shall generally de- scribe the records or information sought. During a period of recess or ad- journment of longer than three days, such notification is not required until the reconvening of the House, when the notification shall promptly be laid be- fore the House by the Speaker.

6.

(a) Except as specified in paragraph (b) or otherwise ordered by the House, upon notification to the House that a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House, the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall comply with the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order by supplying certified copies.
(b) Under no circumstances may minutes or transcripts of executive sessions, or evidence of witnesses in respect thereto, be disclosed or copied. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, the Speaker may authorize compliance or take such other action as the Speaker considers appropriate under the circumstances. Upon the reconvening of the House, all matters that transpired under this clause shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

7. A copy of this rule shall be transmitted by the Clerk to the court when a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is issued and served on a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House.

8. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to deprive, condition, or waive the constitutional or legal privileges or rights applicable or available at any time to a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House, or of the House itself, or the right of such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee, or of the House itself, to assert such privileges or rights before a court in the United States.

Changes to rule in the 110th Congress

There were no changes to the rule in the 110th Congress.

Rule VIII for the 110th Congress

1. When a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House is properly served with a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order directing appearance as a witness relating to the official functions of the House or for the production or disclosure of any document relating to the official functions of the House, such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee shall comply, consistently with the privileges and rights of the House, with the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order as hereinafter provided, unless otherwise determined under this rule.

2. Upon receipt of a properly served judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1, a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall promptly notify the Speaker of its receipt in writing. Such notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, notification to the House is not required until the reconvening of the House, when the notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

3. Once notification has been laid be-fore the House, the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall determine whether the issuance of the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House. Such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee shall notify the Speaker before seeking judicial determination of these matters.

4. Upon determination whether a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House, the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall immediately notify the Speaker of the determination in writing.

5. The Speaker shall inform the House of a determination whether a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House. In so informing the House, the Speaker shall generally describe the records or information sought. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, such notification is not required until the reconvening of the House, when the notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

6. (a) Except as specified in paragraph (b) or otherwise ordered by the House, upon notification to the House that a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House, the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall comply with the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order by supplying certified copies.

(b) Under no circumstances may minutes or transcripts of executive sessions, or evidence of witnesses in respect thereto, be disclosed or copied. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, the Speaker may authorize compliance or take such other action as he considers appropriate under the circumstances. Upon the reconvening of the House, all matters that transpired under this clause shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

7. A copy of this rule shall be transmitted by the Clerk to the court when a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is issued and served on a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House.

8. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to deprive, condition, or waive the constitutional or legal privileges or rights applicable or available at any time to a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House, or of the House itself, or the right of such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee, or of the House itself, to assert such privileges or rights before a court in the United States.

Rule VIII for the 109th Congress

1. When a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House is properly served with a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order directing appearance as a witness relating to the official functions of the House or for the production or disclosure of any document relating to the official functions of the House, such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee shall comply, consistently with the privileges and rights of the House, with the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order as hereinafter provided, unless otherwise determined under this rule.

2. Upon receipt of a properly served judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1, a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall promptly notify the Speaker of its receipt in writing. Such notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, notification to the House is not required until the reconvening of the House, when the notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

3. Once notification has been laid before the House, the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall determine whether the issuance of the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House. Such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee shall notify the Speaker before seeking judicial determination of these matters.

4. Upon determination whether a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House, the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall immediately notify the Speaker of the determination in writing.

5. The Speaker shall inform the House of a determination whether a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House. In so informing the House, the Speaker shall generally describe the records or information sought. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, such notification is not required until the reconvening of the House, when the notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

6. (a) Except as specified in paragraph (b) or otherwise ordered by the House, upon notification to the House that a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House, the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall comply with the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order by supplying certified copies.

(b) Under no circumstances may minutes or transcripts of executive sessions, or evidence of witnesses in respect thereto, be disclosed or copied. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, the Speaker may authorize compliance or take such other action as he considers appropriate under the circumstances. Upon the reconvening of the House, all matters that transpired under this clause shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

7. A copy of this rule shall be transmitted by the Clerk to the court when a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in clause 1 is issued and served on a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House.

8. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to deprive, condition, or waive the constitutional or legal privileges or rights applicable or available at any time to a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House, or of the House itself, or the right of such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee, or of the House itself, to assert such privileges or rights before a court in the United States.

Articles and Resources

References

Note: Updates to the rules for the 110th Congress were obtained by Congresspedia staff from House Rules Committee staff. The full source is available upon request.

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