Doev. U.S. brief legal brief
Case Doe v. the United States, (1988) No. 86-1753
Facts:The petitioner named John Doe, in this case, was a target of afederal investigation into alleged federal crimes includingcorruption and receipt of undisclosed income. Doe appeared the grandjury pursuant to a subpoena that ordered him to submit transactiondocuments of his three accounts in three different banks. Thepetitioner produced some bank records and confirmed that there noother bank statements. Upon questioning about the existence orlocation of additional hidden bank records, Doe appealed to the FifthAmendment privilege against self-incrimination.
ProceduralHistory: Thepetitioner refused to submit all his bank records to the subpoena.The foreign banks also refused to produce their client’s bankstatement citing their government’s laws that forbid theinstitutions from disclosure without customer’s consent. Thegovernment filed a motion with the Federal District Court directingthe petitioner to sign an approval directive, to allow the banks todisclose his accounts` statements. The court declined the motion onthe basis that compelling the petitioner to sign the consent formswas against the Fifth Amendment. The Court Appeals differed andreversed. Finally, the District Court directed Doe to comply with theconsent directive. Doe refused to comply, and the court ordered hisconfinement until he was ready to execute the directive.
Issue:Doesthe Fifth Amendment privilege against coerced self-incriminatingapply to the act of producing the business records of a business?Does the Fifth Amendment against forced self-incriminating apply tothe content of a business’s records of a sole proprietorship?
Holding(and judgment): Yes,by signing the consent directive, the government will be violatingthe petitioner’s Fifth Amendment privilege. However, there is nocoercion involved when records are produced willingly, and therefore,the content of such records is not privileged.
Reasoning:Sincethe consent order, in this case, is not testimonial in nature,forcing the petitioner to sign it does not in any way infringe hisFifth Amendment against self-incriminating.
Mycomments: Thecourt did not err in confining the petitioner after he refused tocomply with the consent directive. Since the consent order is nottestimonial in nature, the court had every right to compel thepetitioner to allow the banks produce his bank statements to help inthe investigation.
Doev. the United States, (1988) No. 86-1753