United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 23, 2024
Foreign requests for assistance in criminal investigations and prosecutions
Upon application, duly authorized by an appropriate official of the Department of Justice, of an attorney for the Government, a Federal judge may issue such orders as may be necessary to execute a request from a foreign authority for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of criminal offenses, or in proceedings related to the prosecution of criminal offenses, including proceedings regarding forfeiture, sentencing, and restitution.
Any order issued by a Federal judge pursuant to paragraph (1) may include the issuance of—
a search warrant, as provided under Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure;
a warrant or order for contents of stored wire or electronic communications or for records related thereto, as provided under section 2703 of this title;
an order for a pen register or trap and trace device as provided under section 3123 of this title; or
an order requiring the appearance of a person for the purpose of providing testimony or a statement, or requiring the production of documents or other things, or both.
In response to an application for execution of a request from a foreign authority as described under subsection (a), a Federal judge may also issue an order appointing a person to direct the taking of testimony or statements or of the production of documents or other things, or both.
Any person appointed under an order issued pursuant to paragraph (1) may—
issue orders requiring the appearance of a person, or the production of documents or other things, or both;
administer any necessary oath; and
take testimony or statements and receive documents or other things.
Except as provided under subsection (d), an application for execution of a request from a foreign authority under this section may be filed—
in the district in which a person who may be required to appear resides or is located or in which the documents or things to be produced are located;
in cases in which the request seeks the appearance of persons or production of documents or things that may be located in multiple districts, in any one of the districts in which such a person, documents, or things may be located; or
in any case, the district in which a related Federal criminal investigation or prosecution is being conducted, or in the District of Columbia.
An application for execution of a request for a search warrant from a foreign authority under this section, other than an application for a warrant issued as provided under section 2703 of this title, shall be filed in the district in which the place or person to be searched is located.
A Federal judge may issue a search warrant under this section only if the foreign offense for which the evidence is sought involves conduct that, if committed in the United States, would be considered an offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year under Federal or State law.
Except as provided under subsection (d), an order or warrant issued pursuant to this section may be served or executed in any place in the United States.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude any foreign authority or an interested person from obtaining assistance in a criminal investigation or prosecution pursuant to section 1782 of title 28, United States Code.
As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:
The terms “Federal judge” and “attorney for the Government” have the meaning given such terms for the purposes of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The term “foreign authority” means a foreign judicial authority, a foreign authority responsible for the investigation or prosecution of criminal offenses or for proceedings related to the prosecution of criminal offenses, or an authority designated as a competent authority or central authority for the purpose of making requests for assistance pursuant to an agreement or treaty with the United States regarding assistance in criminal matters.
cite as: 18 USC 3512