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e-CFR data is current as of January 14, 2021

Title 12Chapter XPart 1070 → Subpart C


Title 12: Banks and Banking
PART 1070—DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION


Subpart C—Disclosure of CFPB Information in Connection with Legal Proceedings


Contents
§1070.30   Purpose and scope; definitions.
§1070.31   Service of subpoenas, court orders, and other demands for CFPB information or action.
§1070.32   Testimony and production of documents prohibited unless approved by the General Counsel.
§1070.33   Procedure when testimony or production of documents is sought; general.
§1070.34   Procedure when response to demand is required prior to receiving instructions.
§1070.35   Procedure in the event of an adverse ruling.
§1070.36   Considerations in determining whether the CFPB will comply with a demand or request.
§1070.37   Prohibition on providing expert or opinion testimony.

Source: 83 FR 46084, Sept. 12, 2018, unless otherwise noted.

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§1070.30   Purpose and scope; definitions.

(a) This subpart sets forth the procedures to be followed with respect to subpoenas, court orders, or other requests or demands for any CFPB information, whether contained in the files of the CFPB or acquired by a CFPB employee as part of the performance of that employee's duties or by virtue of employee's official status.

(b) This subpart does not apply to requests for official information made pursuant to subparts B, D, and E of this part.

(c) This subpart does not apply to requests for information made in the course of adjudicating claims against the CFPB by CFPB employees (present or former) or applicants for CFPB employment for which jurisdiction resides with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Special Counsel, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, or their successor agencies, or a labor arbitrator operating under a collective bargaining agreement between the CFPB and a labor organization representing CFPB employees.

(d) This subpart is intended only to inform the public about CFPB procedures concerning the service of process and responses to subpoenas, summons, or other demands or requests for official information or action and is not intended to and does not create, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the CFPB or the United States.

(e) For purposes of this subpart:

(1) Demand means a subpoena or order for official information, whether contained in CFPB records or through testimony, related to or for possible use in a legal proceeding.

(2) Legal proceeding encompasses all pre-trial, trial, and post-trial stages of all judicial or administrative actions, hearings, investigations, or similar proceedings before courts, commissions, boards, grand juries, arbitrators, or other judicial or quasi-judicial bodies or tribunals, whether criminal, civil, or administrative in nature, and whether foreign or domestic. This phrase includes all stages of discovery as well as formal or informal requests by attorneys, their agents, or others involved in legal proceedings.

(3) Official Information means all information of any kind, however stored, that is in the custody and control of the CFPB or was acquired by CFPB employees, or former employees as part of their official duties or because of their official status while such individuals were employed by or served on behalf of the CFPB. Official information also includes any information acquired by CFPB employees or former employees while such individuals were engaged in matters related to consumer financial protection functions prior to the employees' transfer to the CFPB pursuant to Subtitle F of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.

(4) Request means any request for official information in the form of testimony, affidavits, declarations, admissions, responses to interrogatories, document production, inspections, or formal or informal interviews, during the course of a legal proceeding, including pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, or other applicable rules of procedure.

(5) Testimony means a statement in any form, including personal appearances before a court or other legal tribunal, interviews, depositions, telephonic, televised, or videographed statements or any responses given during discovery or similar proceeding in the course of litigation.

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§1070.31   Service of subpoenas, court orders, and other demands for CFPB information or action.

(a) Except in cases in which the CFPB is represented by legal counsel who have entered an appearance or otherwise given notice of their representation, only the General Counsel is authorized to receive and accept subpoenas or other demands or requests directed to the CFPB or its employees, whether civil or criminal in nature, for:

(1) Records of the CFPB;

(2) Official information including, but not limited to, testimony, affidavits, declarations, admissions, responses to interrogatories, or informal statements, relating to material contained in the files of the CFPB or which any CFPB employee acquired in the course and scope of the performance of his or her official duties;

(3) Garnishment or attachment of compensation of current or former employees; or

(4) The performance or non-performance of any official CFPB duty.

(b) Documents described in paragraph (a) of this section should be served upon the General Counsel, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552. Service must be effected as provided in applicable rules and regulations governing service in Federal judicial and administrative proceedings. Acceptance of such documents by the General Counsel does not constitute a waiver of any defense that might otherwise exist with respect to service under the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure or other applicable laws or regulations.

(c) In the event that any demand or request described in paragraph (a) of this section is sought to be delivered to a CFPB employee other than in the manner prescribed in paragraph (b) of this section, such employee shall decline service and direct the server of process to these regulations. If the demand or request is nonetheless delivered to the employee, the employee shall immediately notify, and deliver a copy of that document to, the General Counsel.

(d) The CFPB is not an agent for service for, or otherwise authorized to accept on behalf of its employees, any subpoenas, orders, or other demands or requests, which are not related to the employees' official duties.

(e) Copies of any subpoenas, orders, or other demands or requests that are directed to former employees of the CFPB in connection with the performance of official CFPB duties shall also be served upon the General Counsel. The CFPB shall not, however, serve as an agent for service for the former employee, nor is the CFPB otherwise authorized to accept service on behalf of its former employees. If the demand involves their official duties as CFPB employees, former employees who receive subpoenas, orders, or similar compulsory process should also notify, and deliver a copy of the document to, the General Counsel.

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§1070.32   Testimony and production of documents prohibited unless approved by the General Counsel.

(a) Unless authorized by the General Counsel, no employee or former employee of the CFPB shall, in response to a demand or a request provide oral or written testimony by deposition, declaration, affidavit, or otherwise concerning any official information.

(b) Unless authorized by the General Counsel, no employee or former employee shall, in response to a demand or request, produce any document or any material acquired as part of the performance of that employee's duties or by virtue of that employee's official status.

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§1070.33   Procedure when testimony or production of documents is sought; general.

(a) If, as part of a proceeding in which the United States or the CFPB is not a party, official information is sought through a demand for testimony, CFPB records, or other material, the party seeking such information must (except as otherwise required by Federal law or authorized by the General Counsel) set forth in writing:

(1) The title and forum of the proceeding, if applicable;

(2) A detailed description of the nature and relevance of the official information sought;

(3) A showing that other evidence reasonably suited to the requester's needs is not available from any other source; and

(4) If testimony is requested, the intended use of the testimony, a general summary of the desired testimony, and a showing that no document could be provided and used in lieu of testimony.

(b) To the extent he or she deems necessary or appropriate, the General Counsel may also require from the party seeking such information a plan of all reasonably foreseeable demands, including but not limited to the names of all employees and former employees from whom testimony or discovery will be sought, areas of inquiry, expected duration of proceedings requiring oral testimony, identification of potentially relevant documents, or any other information deemed necessary to make a determination. The purpose of this requirement is to assist the General Counsel in making an informed decision regarding whether testimony, the production of documents, or the provision of other information should be authorized.

(c) The General Counsel may consult or negotiate with an attorney for a party, or the party if not represented by an attorney, to refine or limit a request or demand so that compliance is less burdensome.

(d) The General Counsel will notify the CFPB employee and such other persons as circumstances may warrant of his or her decision regarding compliance with the request or demand.

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§1070.34   Procedure when response to demand is required prior to receiving instructions.

(a) If a response to a demand described in §1070.33 is required before the General Counsel renders a decision, the CFPB will request that the appropriate CFPB attorney or an attorney of the Department of Justice, as appropriate, take steps to stay, postpone, or obtain relief from the demand pending decision. If necessary, the attorney will:

(1) Appear with the employee upon whom the demand has been made;

(2) Furnish the court or other authority with a copy of the regulations contained in this subpart;

(3) Inform the court or other authority that the demand has been, or is being, as the case may be, referred for the prompt consideration of the appropriate CFPB official; and

(4) Request the court or authority to stay the demand pending receipt of the requested instructions.

(b) In the event that an immediate demand for production or disclosure is made in circumstances which would preclude the proper designation or appearance of an attorney of the CFPB or the Department of Justice on the employee's behalf, the employee, if necessary, shall request from the demanding court or authority a reasonable stay of proceedings for the purpose of obtaining instructions from the General Counsel.

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§1070.35   Procedure in the event of an adverse ruling.

If a stay of, or other relief from, the effect of a demand made pursuant to §§1070.33 and 1070.34 is declined or not obtained, or if the court or other judicial or quasi-judicial authority declines to stay the effect of the demand made pursuant to §§1070.33 and 1070.34, or if the court or other authority rules that the demand must be complied with irrespective of the General Counsel's instructions not to produce the material or disclose the information sought, the employee upon whom the demand has been made shall decline to comply with the demand citing this subpart and United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951).

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§1070.36   Considerations in determining whether the CFPB will comply with a demand or request.

(a) In deciding whether to comply with a demand or request, CFPB officials and attorneys shall consider, among other pertinent considerations:

(1) Whether such compliance would be unduly burdensome or otherwise inappropriate under the applicable rules of discovery or the rules of procedure governing the case or matter in which the demand arose;

(2) Whether the number of similar requests would have a cumulative effect on the expenditure of CFPB resources;

(3) Whether compliance is appropriate under the relevant substantive law concerning privilege or disclosure of information;

(4) The public interest;

(5) The need to conserve the time of CFPB employees for the conduct of official business;

(6) The need to avoid spending time and money of the United States for private purposes;

(7) The need to maintain impartiality between private litigants in cases where a substantial government interest is not implicated;

(8) Whether compliance would have an adverse effect on performance by the CFPB of its mission and duties;

(9) The need to avoid involving the CFPB in controversial issues not related to its mission;

(10) Whether compliance would interfere with supervisory examinations, compromise the CFPB's supervisory functions or programs, or undermine public confidence in supervised financial institutions; and

(11) Whether compliance would interfere with the CFPB's ability to monitor for risks to consumers in the offering or provision of consumer financial products and services.

(b) Among those demands and requests in response to which compliance will not ordinarily be authorized are those with respect to which any of the following factors, inter alia, exist:

(1) Compliance would violate a statute or applicable rule of procedure;

(2) Compliance would violate a specific regulation or Executive order;

(3) Compliance would reveal information properly classified in the interest of national security;

(4) Compliance would reveal confidential or privileged commercial or financial information or trade secrets without the owner's consent;

(5) Compliance would compromise the integrity of the deliberative processes of the CFPB;

(6) Compliance would not be appropriate or necessary under the relevant substantive law governing privilege;

(7) Compliance would reveal confidential information; or

(8) Compliance would interfere with ongoing investigations or enforcement proceedings, compromise constitutional rights, or reveal the identity of a confidential informant.

(c) The CFPB may condition disclosure of official information pursuant to a request or demand on the entry of an appropriate protective order.

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§1070.37   Prohibition on providing expert or opinion testimony.

(a) Except as provided in this section, and subject to 5 CFR 2635.805, CFPB employees or former employees shall not provide opinion or expert testimony based upon information which they acquired in the scope and performance of their official CFPB duties, except on behalf of the CFPB or the United States or a party represented by the CFPB, or the Department of Justice, as appropriate.

(b) Any expert or opinion testimony by a former employee of the CFPB shall be excepted from paragraph (a) of this section where the testimony involves only general expertise gained while employed at the CFPB.

(c) Upon a showing by the requester of exceptional need or unique circumstances and that the anticipated testimony will not be adverse to the interests of the United States, the General Counsel may, consistent with 5 CFR 2635.805, exercise his or her discretion to grant special, written authorization for CFPB employees, or former employees, to appear and testify as expert witnesses at no expense to the United States.

(d) If, despite the final determination of the General Counsel, a court of competent jurisdiction or other appropriate authority orders the appearance and expert or opinion testimony of a current or former CFPB employee, that person shall immediately inform the General Counsel of such order. If the General Counsel determines that no further legal review of or challenge to the court's order will be made, the CFPB employee, or former employee, shall comply with the order. If so directed by the General Counsel, however, the employee, or former employee, shall decline to testify.

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