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e-CFR data is current as of September 18, 2020

Title 7Subtitle APart 1Subpart K → §1.214


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1—ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS
Subpart K—Appearance of USDA Employees as Witnesses in Judicial or Administrative Proceedings


§1.214   Appearance as a witness on behalf of a party other than the United States where the United States is not a party.

(a) An employee of USDA served with a valid summons, subpoena, or other compulsory process demanding his or her appearance, or otherwise requested to appear on behalf of a party other than the United States in a judicial or administrative proceeding in which the United States is not a party, shall promptly notify the head of his or her USDA agency of the existence and nature of the order compelling his or her appearance, or of the document requesting his or her attendance. He or she shall also specify, if that is known, the nature of the judicial or administrative proceeding and the nature of the testimony or documents requested.

(b)(1) An employee of USDA served with a valid summons, subpoena, or other compulsory process, or requested to appear as a witness on behalf of a party other than the United States in a judicial or administrative proceeding in which the United States is not a party, may appear only if such appearance has been authorized by the head of his or her USDA agency, with the concurrence of the General Counsel, based upon a determination that such an appearance is in the interest of USDA.

(2) An employee of USDA requested to appear as a witness on behalf of a party other than the United States in a judicial or administrative proceeding in which the United States is not a party, without the service of a valid summons, subpoena, or other compulsory process, may appear only if such appearance has been authorized by the head of his or her USDA agency and approved by the appropriate Assistant Secretary, Under Secretary or other general officer, and by the General Counsel, based upon a determination that such an appearance is in the interest of USDA.

(c) Unless an appearance is authorized as provided in paragraphs (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section, the employee shall appear at the stated time and place (unless advised by the General Counsel or his or her designee that the summons, subpoena, or other process was not validly issued or served), produce a copy of these regulations and respectfully decline to provide any testimony. As appropriate, the General Counsel or his or her designee will request the assistance of the Department of Justice or of a United States Attorney, in the case of a judicial proceeding; or of the official or attorney representing the United States, in the case of an administrative proceeding, to represent the interests of the employee and USDA.

(d) If there is any question regarding the validity of a summons, subpoena, or other compulsory process, an employee shall contact the Office of the General Counsel for advice.

(e)(1) In determining whether the employee's appearance is in the interest of USDA, authorizing officials should consider the following:

(i) what interest of USDA would be promoted by the employee's testimony;

(ii) whether an appearance would result in an unnecessary interference with the duties of the USDA employee;

(iii) whether an employee's testimony would result in the appearance of improperly favoring one litigant over another.

(2) The considerations listed in paragraph (e)(1) of this section are illustrative and not exhaustive.

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