Grand Jury Subpoena
ORDER denying 11 Motion to Compel; denying 12 Application for Subpoena. See attached ruling. Signed by Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam on 10/5/17. (Merriam, Sarah)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
In re: Grand Jury Subpoena
Misc. No. 3:16MC00172(SALM)
October 5, 2017
RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS
Movant Paul Boyne (“movant”) has filed a motion to compel
[Doc. #11] and an application for subpoena [Doc. #12]. The
government has filed a memorandum in opposition to both of the
movant’s filings. [Doc. #15]. For the reasons set forth below,
the movant’s motion to compel [Doc. #11] and application for
subpoena [Doc. #12] are DENIED.
On June 10, 2016, at the request of the government, the
Clerk of Court issued a Subpoena to Testify Before a Grand Jury
to Twitter, Inc. See Doc. #1 at 3. In connection with that
subpoena, the government submitted an application for a nondisclosure order, which would prohibit Twitter, Inc. from
disclosing the existence of the subpoena for sixty days. See id.
at 1-2. Judge Joan G. Margolis granted the government’s
application for a non-disclosure order on June 10, 2016. See
On June 12, 2017, the movant filed two motions to unseal
this case. [Doc. ##3, 4]. In addition to seeking the unsealing
of this matter, the motions also sought to, inter alia,
“[u]nseal, make public ALL cases/filings related to FBI case
#9E-NH-7274619” and to “[s]ubpoena and make public all files
related to FBI/Fusion Center Case #9E-NH-7274619.” Doc. ##3, 4
at 7. The government filed a response to these motions on July
18, 2017, and stated no objection to the unsealing of this
specific case. See Doc. #6 at 2.
On July 19, 2017, Judge Margolis granted the movant’s
motions to unseal this case, absent objection. See Doc. ##7, 8.
Judge Margolis later clarified in an endorsement order issued on
August 23, 2017, that although the movant’s motions had been
granted as to the unsealing of the case, the motions were
“denied in all other respects regarding all other requests in
his motions.” Doc. #14 (emphasis in original).
The movant now seeks to compel disclosure of the FBI New
Haven case file 9E-NH-7274619, which he previously requested be
made public in his motions to unseal this case. See Doc. #11 at
1. Similarly, the movant’s application for subpoena seeks the
issuance of a subpoena “for the production of the unredacted FBI
case file #9E-NH-7274619.” Doc. #12 at 1.
The movant’s requests for the disclosure of the referenced
FBI file are procedurally defective and not properly brought in
the context of this miscellaneous case for several reasons.
First, the movant’s application for subpoena is made
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45. See Doc. #12-1.
The movant is not a “party” to this case.1 Rule 45 provides: “The
clerk must issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a
party who requests it.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(a)(3) (emphasis
added). The movant is not named as a party in the instant matter
and appears only as a non-party movant. Therefore, under the
plain language of Rule 45, the movant, a non-party, cannot
request the issuance of a subpoena in this matter.
Second, the movant has no basis to file a motion to compel
under the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure because
he is a not a party to this case. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1)
(“[A] party may move for an order compelling disclosure or
discovery.” (emphasis added)); see also Fed. R. Crim. P.
16(d)(2) (rule governing discovery and inspection in criminal
cases which specifically identifies the disclosure requirements
of the government to a defendant).
Third, the movant’s motion to compel is not properly before
the Court and provides no cause for ordering the disclosure of
In the criminal context, subpoenas are governed by Rule 17 of
the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. That rule provides that
“[t]he clerk must issue a blank subpoena ... to the party
requesting it[.]” Fed. R. Crim. P. 17(a) (emphasis added).
Accordingly, even construing the movant’s application pursuant
to Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the
application still fails as the movant is not a “party” to this
the referenced FBI case file. Here, the movant appears to allege
a violation of his constitutional rights, as each of the
movant’s filings reference constitutional violations. See, e.g.,
Doc. ##3, 4, 11, 12, 13. The movant’s prior motions to unseal
this case specifically cite to 42 U.S.C. §1983, which governs
civil actions for deprivation of rights, and reference an
“illegal search warrant.”2 See Doc. ##3, 4 at 1, 5. To the extent
the movant believes that his constitutional rights have been
violated, the proper means by which to address any such alleged
violation is by bringing a separate civil lawsuit. The movant
has not done so.3 The motion to compel appears to seek
information which would relate to the movant’s allegations that
his constitutional rights have been violated. See Doc. #11 at 12. The motion to compel has no basis in, or relation to, this
Accordingly, the movant’s motion to compel [Doc. #11] and
application for subpoena [Doc. #12] are DENIED.
Notably, this case does not involve any search warrant.
Although the movant’s filings are captioned “Paul Boyne v.
United States,” the movant has not filed a civil complaint in
this Court under that name.
For the reasons stated above, the movant’s motion to compel
[Doc. #11] and application for subpoena [Doc. #12] are DENIED.
SO ORDERED at New Haven, Connecticut, this 5th day of
HON. SARAH A. L. MERRIAM
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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