March 19, 2013

U.S. House General Counsel Responds to Taitz's Subpoena

by Sven Magnussen

U.S. House of Representatives, Office of General Counsel, responds to plaintiff's subpoena in Grinols v. Electoral College. William Pittard, Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives has written a letter to Orly Taitz, plaintiff's attorney in Grinols v. Electoral College, to inform plaintiffs numerous members will not comply with the subpoena for the following reasons:

  • F.R.C.P. 45(a) -
    • Every subpoena must "command each person to whom it is directed to do the following at a specified time and place: attend and testify; produce designated documents, electronically stored information, or tangible things in that person's possession, custody or control; or permit the inspection of premises ..."
    • A subpoena for production, separate from the subpoena for attendance, must be made from the jurisdiction of the Court the production is to be made.
    • The subpoenas were issued from a Court that lacks personal jurisdiction over the members named in the subpoena.
    • A party may not seek discovery from any source before the parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f).
    • The party issuing the subpoena must take steps to ensure the subject of the subpoena does impose an undue burden or expense on the subject.

Allegations in a civil suit are considered to be true until the defendant successfully defends against those allegations. Discovery does not begin until an answer to the complaint by the defendant is formally submitted to the Court. The plaintiff must focus on surviving a motion to dismiss before an answer is required of the defendant. After discovery begins, the plaintiff may subpoena witnesses and evidence to provide a rebuttal to the defendant's denial of the allegations.

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