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CITE

    28 USC Sec. 1782                                            01/05/2009

EXPCITE

    TITLE 28 - JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
    PART V - PROCEDURE
    CHAPTER 117 - EVIDENCE; DEPOSITIONS

HEAD

    Sec. 1782. Assistance to foreign and international tribunals and to
      litigants before such tribunals

STATUTE

      (a) The district court of the district in which a person resides
    or is found may order him to give his testimony or statement or to
    produce a document or other thing for use in a proceeding in a
    foreign or international tribunal, including criminal
    investigations conducted before formal accusation. The order may be
    made pursuant to a letter rogatory issued, or request made, by a
    foreign or international tribunal or upon the application of any
    interested person and may direct that the testimony or statement be
    given, or the document or other thing be produced, before a person
    appointed by the court. By virtue of his appointment, the person
    appointed has power to administer any necessary oath and take the
    testimony or statement. The order may prescribe the practice and
    procedure, which may be in whole or part the practice and procedure
    of the foreign country or the international tribunal, for taking
    the testimony or statement or producing the document or other
    thing. To the extent that the order does not prescribe otherwise,
    the testimony or statement shall be taken, and the document or
    other thing produced, in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil
    Procedure.
      A person may not be compelled to give his testimony or statement
    or to produce a document or other thing in violation of any legally
    applicable privilege.
      (b) This chapter does not preclude a person within the United
    States from voluntarily giving his testimony or statement, or
    producing a document or other thing, for use in a proceeding in a
    foreign or international tribunal before any person and in any
    manner acceptable to him.

SOURCE

    (June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 949; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, Sec.
    93, 63 Stat. 103; Pub. L. 88-619, Sec. 9(a), Oct. 3, 1964, 78 Stat.
    997; Pub. L. 104-106, div. A, title XIII, Sec. 1342(b), Feb. 10,
    1996, 110 Stat. 486.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

                                 1948 ACT
      Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Secs. 649-653, 701, 703, 704
    (R.S. Secs. 871-875, 4071, 4073, 4074; Feb. 27, 1877, ch. 69, Sec.
    1, 19 Stat. 241; Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, Sec. 291, 36 Stat. 1167;
    June 25, 1936, ch. 804, 49 Stat. 1921).
      Sections 649-652 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., applied only to
    the District of Columbia and contained detailed provisions for
    issuing subpoenas, payment of witness fees and procedure for
    ordering and taking depositions. These matters are all covered by
    Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 26-32.
      Provisions in sections 649-652 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed.,
    relating to the taking of testimony in the District of Columbia for
    use in State and Territorial courts were omitted as covered by
    section 14-204 of the District of Columbia Code, 1940 ed., and
    Rules 26 et seq., and 46 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
      Only the last sentence of section 653 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940
    ed., is included in this revised section. The remaining provisions
    relating to depositions of witnesses in foreign countries form the
    basis of section 1781 of this title.
      Sections 701, 703, and 704 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., were
    limited to "suits for the recovery of money or property depending
    in any court in any foreign country with which the United States
    are at peace, and in which the government of such foreign country
    shall be a party or shall have an interest."
      The revised section omits this limitation in view of the general
    application of the last sentence of section 653 of title 28,
    U.S.C., 1940 ed., consolidated herein. The improvement of
    communications and the expected growth of foreign commerce will
    inevitably increase litigation involving witnesses separated by
    wide distances.
      Therefore the revised section is made simple and clear to provide
    a flexible procedure for the taking of depositions. The ample
    safeguards of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 26-32,
    will prevent misuse of this section.
      The provisions of section 703 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., for
    punishment of disobedience to subpoena or refusal to answer is
    covered by Rule 37(b)(1) of Federal Rules or Civil Procedure.
      The provisions of section 704 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., with
    respect to fees and mileage of witnesses are covered by Rule 45(c)
    of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
      Changes were made in phraseology.
                                 1949 ACT
      This amendment corrects restrictive language in section 1782 of
    title 28, U.S.C., in conformity with original law and permits
    depositions in any judicial proceeding without regard to whether
    the deponent is "residing" in the district or only sojourning
    there.

REFERENCES IN TEXT

      The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (a),
    are set out in the Appendix to this title.

AMENDMENTS

      1996 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104-106 inserted ", including
    criminal investigations conducted before formal accusation" after
    "proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal" in first
    sentence.
      1964 - Pub. L. 88-619 substituted provisions which empowered
    district courts to order residents to give testimony or to produce
    documents for use in a foreign or international tribunal, pursuant
    to a letter rogatory, or request, of a foreign or international
    tribunal or upon application of any interested person, and to
    direct that the evidence be presented before a person appointed by
    the court, provided that such person may administer oaths and take
    testimony, that the evidence be taken in accordance with the
    Federal Rules of Civil Procedure unless the order prescribes using
    the procedure of the foreign or international tribunal, that a
    person may not be compelled to give legally privileged evidence,
    and that this chapter doesn't preclude a person from voluntarily
    giving evidence for use in a foreign or international tribunal, for
    provisions permitting depositions of witnesses within the United
    States for use in any court in a foreign country with which the
    United States was at peace to be taken before a person authorized
    to administer oaths designated by the district court of the
    district where the witness resides or is found, and directing that
    the procedure used be that generally used in courts of the United
    States, in text, and "Assistance to foreign and international
    tribunals and to litigants before such tribunals" for "Testimony
    for use in foreign countries" in section catchline.
      1949 - Act May 24, 1949, struck out "residing" after "witness",
    and substituted "judicial proceeding" for "civil action" after "to
    be used in any".
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