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Freeman v. Brown Brothers Harriman and Co.

decided: March 8, 1966.

ORVILLE L. FREEMAN, SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE OF THE UNITED STATES, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
BROWN BROTHERS HARRIMAN AND COMPANY, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT



Lumbard, Chief Judge, Kaufman, Circuit Judge, and Feinberg, District Judge.*fn*

Author: Per Curiam

The question for decision is whether the Secretary of Agriculture has authority to subpoena, under Section 10(h) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act, 7 U.S.C. § 610(h), witnesses who are not themselves subject to the regulatory provisions of that act. Brown Brothers Harriman and Company, a private banking company, appeals from an order of the District Court for the Southern District of New York enforcing an administrative subpoena duces tecum served on the bank for the records of a customer's account. The subpoena was issued in the course of an investigation into unlawful rebates allegedly paid by milk producers to handlers through brokers and sought the production of an account controlled by one Sol Zausner, a broker. The Secretary conceded for purposes of this proceeding that neither the bank nor Zausner was subject to the provisions of the act.

We agree with the district court that § 610(h) does authorize the Secretary to subpoena witnesses who are not subject to the provisions of the act and we reject the narrow interpretation of the statute urged by the appellants for the reasons stated in Judge Bryan's opinion, D.C., 250 F. Supp. 32 (Feb. 3, 1966) and by Judge Lord in Freeman v. Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Co., 248 F. Supp. 487, 491-492 (E.D.Pa., 1965).

The order of the district court enforcing the subpoena is affirmed.

Disposition

The order of the district court enforcing the ...


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