United States v. Ryan, No. 758

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRENNAN
Citation91 S.Ct. 1580,29 L.Ed.2d 85,402 U.S. 530
Docket NumberNo. 758
Decision Date24 May 1971
PartiesUNITED STATES, Petitioner, v. Raymond J. RYAN

402 U.S. 530
91 S.Ct. 1580
29 L.Ed.2d 85
UNITED STATES, Petitioner,

v.

Raymond J. RYAN.

No. 758.
Argued April 26, 1971.
Decided May 24, 1971.

Syllabus

District Court's order denying respondent's motion to quash a grand jury subpoena duces tecum requiring the production of records under his control in Kenya was not final and therefore not appealable, Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 60 S.Ct. 540, 84 L.Ed. 783; nor was it rendered an appealable temporary injunction by inclusion of a provision requiring respondent to seek permission from Kenyan authorities to remove some documents from Kenya and if such permission was denied to grant United States agents access to the documents in that country. Pp. 532 534.

9 Cir., 430 F.2d 658, reversed.

Jerome Feit, Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Herbert J. Miller, Jr., Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

In March of 1968, respondent was served with a subpoena duces tecum commanding him to produce before a federal grand jury all books, records, and documents of five named companies doing business in Kenya. He moved, on several grounds, to quash the subpoena. The District Court denied the motion to quash and, in light of respondent's claim that Kenya law forbids the removal

Page 531

of books of account, minute books, and lists of members from the country without consent of its Registrar of Companies, ordered him to attempt to secure such consent and, if unsuccessful, to make the records available for inspection in Kenya.1 The Court of Appeals, 430 F.2d 658 (CA9 1970), held that by directing respondent to make application to a Kenyan official for release of some of the records, the District Court had done 'more than deny a motion to quash; it in effect granted a mandatory injunction.' Id., at 659. The Court of Appeals therefore concluded that the order was appealable under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1) 2 and, reaching the merits, reversed.

Page 532

Ibid. We granted certiorari, 400 U.S. 1008, 91 S.Ct. 564, 27 L.Ed.2d 620 (1971). We conclude that the District Court's order was not appealable, and reverse.

Respondent asserts no challenge to the continued validity of our holding in Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 60 S.Ct. 540, 84 L.Ed. 783 (1940), that one to whom a subpoena is directed may not appeal the denial of a motion to quash that subpoena but must either obey its commands or refuse to do so and contest the validity of the subpoena if he is subsequently cited for contempt on account of his failure to obey. Respondent, however, argues that Cobbledick does not apply in the circumstances before us because, he asserts, unless immediate review of the District Court's order is available to him, he will be forced to undertake a substantial burden in complying with the subpoena, and will therefore be 'powerless to avert the mischief of the order.' Perlman v. United States, 247 U.S. 7, 13, 38 S.Ct. 417, 419, 62 L.Ed. 950 (1918).

We think that respondent's assertion misapprehends the thrust of our cases. Of course, if he complies with the subpoena he will not thereafter be able to undo the substantial effort he has exerted in order by comply.3 But compliance is not the only course open to respondent. If, as he claims, the subpoena is unduly burdensome or otherwise unlawful, he may refuse to comply and litigate those questions in the event that contempt or similar...

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455 practice notes
  • Lariscey v. U.S., No. 88-1322
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • November 23, 1988
    ...review would render impossible any review whatsoever." Firestone, 449 U.S. at 376, 101 S.Ct. at 675 (quoting United States v. Ryan, 402 U.S. 530, 533, 91 S.Ct. 1580, 1582, 29 L.Ed.2d 85 (1971)). The "exception is a 'narrow' one whose reach is limited to trial court orders affecting rights t......
  • Stolt-Nielsen Sa v. Celanese Ag, Docket No. 04-6373 CV.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • November 21, 2005
    ...criminal actions ... are not final, and therefore not appealable." Id. at 468 (emphasis in original). See, e.g., United States v. Ryan, 402 U.S. 530, 532-33, 91 S.Ct. 1580, 29 L.Ed.2d 85 (1971); Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 328, 60 S.Ct. 540, 84 L.Ed. 783 (1940); In re DG Acqu......
  • International Horizons, Inc., Matter of, No. 82-8024
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • October 21, 1982
    ...granting an injunction, and it is not appealable." 9 Moore's Federal Practice P 110.13(2) (2d ed. 1982). See, e.g., United States v. Ryan, 402 U.S. 530, 532-33, 91 S.Ct. 1580, 1581-82, 29 L.Ed.2d 85 (1971); Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 325-26, 60 S.Ct. 540, 541-42, 84 L.Ed. 78......
  • Grand Jury, In re, No. 79-2221
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • April 17, 1980
    ...be appealed under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (1976) absent disobedience of an enforcement order and a contempt citation. United States v. Ryan, 402 U.S. 530, 91 S.Ct. 1580, 29 L.Ed.2d 85 (1971); Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 60 S.Ct. 540, 84 L.Ed. 783 (1940); Alexander v. United States, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
455 cases
  • Lariscey v. U.S., No. 88-1322
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • November 23, 1988
    ...review would render impossible any review whatsoever." Firestone, 449 U.S. at 376, 101 S.Ct. at 675 (quoting United States v. Ryan, 402 U.S. 530, 533, 91 S.Ct. 1580, 1582, 29 L.Ed.2d 85 (1971)). The "exception is a 'narrow' one whose reach is limited to trial court orders affecting rights t......
  • Stolt-Nielsen Sa v. Celanese Ag, Docket No. 04-6373 CV.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • November 21, 2005
    ...criminal actions ... are not final, and therefore not appealable." Id. at 468 (emphasis in original). See, e.g., United States v. Ryan, 402 U.S. 530, 532-33, 91 S.Ct. 1580, 29 L.Ed.2d 85 (1971); Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 328, 60 S.Ct. 540, 84 L.Ed. 783 (1940); In re DG Acqu......
  • International Horizons, Inc., Matter of, No. 82-8024
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • October 21, 1982
    ...granting an injunction, and it is not appealable." 9 Moore's Federal Practice P 110.13(2) (2d ed. 1982). See, e.g., United States v. Ryan, 402 U.S. 530, 532-33, 91 S.Ct. 1580, 1581-82, 29 L.Ed.2d 85 (1971); Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 325-26, 60 S.Ct. 540, 541-42, 84 L.Ed. 78......
  • Grand Jury, In re, No. 79-2221
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • April 17, 1980
    ...be appealed under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (1976) absent disobedience of an enforcement order and a contempt citation. United States v. Ryan, 402 U.S. 530, 91 S.Ct. 1580, 29 L.Ed.2d 85 (1971); Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 60 S.Ct. 540, 84 L.Ed. 783 (1940); Alexander v. United States, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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