Subpoenas - Litigation and Student Team


If you receive a request for University documents or materials in the scope of your Notre Dame employment (for instance, a subpoena, litigation discovery requests, search warrants, or other requests for information from government officials or private parties, it is important that you immediately take the following action. In order to protect the interests of the University, and because the specific legal requirements for different types of information requests vary, it is imperative that the Office of General Counsel (OGC) be involved immediately upon receipt of such requests to ensure that we respond properly and in a timely manner. The attorneys in the OGC will review all such requests to make sure they are valid and that the institutional response to them is consistent with the University's obligations under the law.

Please observe the following procedures:

• For State or Federal court or government agency subpoenas (sometimes called "Subpoena Duces Tecum"), forward the subpoena and all supporting correspondence and documentation directly to the OGC for review right away. OGC will manage responding to the subpoena. Only the OGC may respond to a subpoena on behalf of the University.

• For legal documents other than subpoenas which demand or request that University information, documents or materials be divulged, forward all such documents and related materials to OGC, who will manage the response. Again, only OGC may respond on behalf of the University.

• For informal information requests by governmental officials or others, either in person or by telephone or e-mail (e.g., agents checking backgrounds for security clearances or law enforcement personnel not officially executing a warrant), campus departments/offices may provide the requested information AFTER receiving a release signed by the student that fits the information being requested. Do not provide information by e-mail or telephone. Responses to informal requests should be verbal only (e.g., answering a question regarding the student's work performance.) Informal requests for documents or materials should be directed to the OGC. If a campus department/office has questions or concerns about a release, please contact the OGC.

• For search warrants served by law enforcement personnel (either local, State, or Federal), ask the serving officer for appropriate credentials, cooperate as appropriate, and ask the serving officer if the execution of the warrant may be temporarily delayed for review by counsel from OGC. Generally, officers serving search warrants are not obligated to delay their search. In any event, contact OGC right away. If warrants are served after normal business hours, OGC attorneys should be contacted through Notre Dame Security at 631-5555.

• If you are in a situation not necessarily described above but find yourself in doubt as to the nature of a document or personal request for the disclosure of University information, please contact OGC as soon as possible, and before responding, for guidance.

Please understand that the failure to follow these procedures may subject the University and members of its community to undue legal risk, as much of the information maintained by the University is protected under Federal and State law or is protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege or other means. Please contact the Office of General Counsel at 631-6411, or email us, should you have questions or concerns in this regard.