(a) Subpena power

For the purposes of this chapter, the Secretary shall at all reasonable times have access to, for the purpose of examination, and the right to copy any documentary evidence of any person with respect to whom such authority is exercised; and the Secretary shall have power to require by subpena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all such documentary evidence relating to any matter under investigation by the Secretary, and may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence.

(b) Disobedience of subpena

Terms Used In 7 USC 87f

  • Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • person: means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business entity. See 7 USC 75
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States or delegates of the Secretary. See 7 USC 75
  • Testify: Answer questions in court.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • United States: means the States (including Puerto Rico) and the territories and possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia). See 7 USC 75

Such attendance of witnesses, and the production of such documentary evidence, may be required from any place in the United States, at any designated place of hearing. In case of disobedience to a subpena the Secretary may invoke the aid of any court designated in subsection (h) of this section in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence.

(c) Court order requiring attendance and testimony of witnesses

Any such court within the jurisdiction of which such inquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpena issued to any person, issue an order requiring such person to appear before the Secretary or to produce documentary evidence if so ordered, or to give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof.

(d) Fees and mileage costs of witnesses

Witnesses summoned before the Secretary shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States, and witnesses from whom depositions are taken and the persons taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States.

(e) Violation of subpena as misdemeanor

Any person who shall neglect or refuse to attend and testify, or to answer any lawful inquiry, or to produce documentary evidence, if in the power of the person to do so, in obedience to the subpena or lawful requirement of the Secretary, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof be subject to imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $10,000 or both the imprisonment and fine.

(f) Repealed. Pub. L. 91-452, title II, §203, Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 928

(g) Repealed. Pub. L. 94-582, §19(d), Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2886

(h) District court jurisdiction

The United States district courts, the District Court of Guam, the District Court of the Virgin Islands, the highest court of American Samoa, and the United States courts of the other territories and possessions of the United States shall have jurisdiction in cases arising under this chapter.