Antitrust Civil Process Act-Requirements for a Civil Investigative Demand

Petitioner sought an order from the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota modifying or setting aside a Civil Investigative Demand served upon it by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. The demand was issued pursuant to the Antitrust Civil Process Act, which provides a compulsory pre-complaint procedure through which the Department of Justice may obtain documentary information upon which it can make a determination of whether there has occurred a violation of the antitrust laws. Section 1312(b) of the act requires that the demand state the nature of the conduct constituting the alleged violation, recite the provision of law applicable thereto, and describe the class or classes of material to be produced with sufficient certainty so that it can be fairly identified. Petitioner contended that since the demand served upon it failed to comply with these requirements it constituted a “fishing expedition”- a result not intended by Congress-and was violative of the constitutional right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures guaranteed by the fourth amendment. Held, order denied. The power granted to the Attorney General by the act does not violate the fourth amendment, and the demand complies with the standards of section 1312(b). In re Gold Bond Stamp Co., 221 F. Supp. 391 (D. Minn. 1963), affd per curiam, 325 F.2d 1018 (8th Cir. 1964).