TN 12 (03-24)

GN 03330.025 Support of Subpoenaed Employees


Although rarely needed, procedures exist to protect SSA employees from court sanctions, as shown below.


1. Contempt of Court

a. Move for Stay of Execution

If the court issues a contempt order, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) or the U.S. Attorney will move for a stay of execution of the contempt order pending habeas corpus if the contempt order was issued by a:

  • Federal court pending appeal, or

  • State court pending removal to a Federal court.

b. If Stay Is Denied

If a stay is denied, OGC or the U.S. Attorney:

  • Takes action to have the SSA employee released, and

  • Ensures that legal counsel is provided in any subsequent legal action resulting from the contempt order.

2. Litigation Staff Support

The Office of Programs, Litigation Staff may provide support services upon receipt of a subpoena by:

  • Gathering information needed for the response,

  • Obtaining expeditious handling, and

  • Obtaining legal opinions.

3. OGC or U.S. Attorney Support

OGC willingness to appear personally in court varies from region to region. However, when an employee anticipates refusing to disclose requested information, the ARC, POS should arrange for OGC or the U.S. Attorney to:

  • Accompany the employee, or

  • Offer advice and support via telephone.

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GN 03330.025 - Support of Subpoenaed Employees - 03/08/2024
Batch run: 03/08/2024