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UNITED STATES v. BARNETT

November 20, 1996

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
WILLIAM BARNETT, Defendant.


Louis F. Oberdorfer, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE


The opinion of the court was delivered by: OBERDORFER

Sometime before November 5, 1996, defendant in the above-entitled case served subpoenas on Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents Lisa Pavlica and Gary Pontecorvo commanding them to appear at 10:00 a.m. on November 5, 1996, in this Court. The subpoenaed persons did not appear and no motion to quash by them or on their behalf was filed prior to the time their appearance was required.

 Instead, by letter of November 8, 1996 (a copy which is attached), Karlton D. Bolthouse, Acting Chief Division Counsel Supervisory Special Agent on behalf of William C. Megary, Acting Assistant Director in Charge, wrote defense counsel advising him that "the appearance of SAs Pavlica and Pontecorvo can not be authorized at this time."

 Rather than precipitate a confrontation, which an order to compel forthwith compliance could have precipitated, I kept the motion in abeyance and invited the United States Attorney/prosecutor to file an appropriate motion to quash. In doing so, however, I was constrained to advise the prosecutor in open court, and here reiterate, that no one (and particularly law enforcement agencies and officers) can with impunity refuse to obey a subpoena issued on the authority of this United States District Court, unless and until there has been a proper order, to quash the subpoenas. As the trial proceeded it became apparent that the presence of the subpoenaed persons was not, in fact, required. Accordingly, it is this 20th day of November, 1996, hereby

 ORDERED: that the motion to quash is DISMISSED AS MOOT; and it is further

 REQUESTED: that the United States Attorney bring this Memorandum and Order to the attention of the subpoenaed persons and to the other FBI personnel referred to in and/or responsible for the November 8 letter.

 Louis F. Oberdorfer

 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 U.S. Department of Justice

 Federal Bureau of Investigation

 1900 Half Street

 Washington D.C. ...


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