United States Supreme Court
465 U.S. 605 (1984)
Doe (plaintiff) filed a motion to quash five subpoenas served on him by the United States government (Government) (defendant) in connection with a grand jury investigation into corruption involving county and municipal contracts. Doe was the owner of several sole proprietorships and the subpoenas contained broad requests for business records belonging to Doe’s businesses. The district court granted Doe’s motion to quash, except records Doe was required by law to retain or to disclose to a public agency. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed, finding that a sole proprietor’s records are akin to personal records and therefore, although created voluntarily, the records were entitled to Fifth Amendment protection. Secondly, the Court of Appeals held that Doe’s act of producing the subpoenaed documents was communicative because producing the documents was a tacit admission of the records’ existence and authenticity. The Government argued for enforcement of the subpoenas because the Government had offered not to use the documents against Doe in any way. The Third Circuit rejected this argument because the Government had not made a formal request for use immunity under 18 U.S.C. § 6002 and 6003. The Government appealed the Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)
Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Marshall, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 238,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.