18 U.S.C. § 3486 : US Code - Section 3486: Administrative subpoenas

      (a) Authorization. - (1)(A) In any investigation of - 
        (i)(I) a Federal health care offense; or (II) a Federal offense
      involving the sexual exploitation or abuse of children, the
      Attorney General; or
        (ii) an offense under section 871 or 879, or a threat against a
      person protected by the United States Secret Service under
      paragraph (5) or (6) of section 3056,(!1) if the Director of the
      Secret Service determines that the threat constituting the
      offense or the threat against the person protected is imminent,
      the Secretary of the Treasury,

    may issue in writing and cause to be served a subpoena requiring
    the production and testimony described in subparagraph (B).
      (B) Except as provided in subparagraph (C), a subpoena issued
    under subparagraph (A) may require - 
        (i) the production of any records or other things relevant to
      the investigation; and
        (ii) testimony by the custodian of the things required to be
      produced concerning the production and authenticity of those

      (C) A subpoena issued under subparagraph (A) with respect to a
    provider of electronic communication service or remote computing
    service, in an investigation of a Federal offense involving the
    sexual exploitation or abuse of children shall not extend beyond - 
        (i) requiring that provider to disclose the information
      specified in section 2703(c)(2), which may be relevant to an
      authorized law enforcement inquiry; or
        (ii) requiring a custodian of the records of that provider to
      give testimony concerning the production and authentication of
      such records or information.

      (D) As used in this paragraph, the term "Federal offense
    involving the sexual exploitation or abuse of children" means an
    offense under section 1201, 1591, 2241(c), 2242, 2243, 2251, 2251A,
    2252, 2252A, 2260, 2421, 2422, or 2423, in which the victim is an
    individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.
      (2) A subpoena under this subsection shall describe the objects
    required to be produced and prescribe a return date within a
    reasonable period of time within which the objects can be assembled
    and made available.
      (3) The production of records relating to a Federal health care
    offense shall not be required under this section at any place more
    than 500 miles distant from the place where the subpoena for the
    production of such records is served. The production of things in
    any other case may be required from any place within the United
    States or subject to the laws or jurisdiction of the United States.
      (4) Witnesses subpoenaed under this section shall be paid the
    same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the
    United States.
      (5) At any time before the return date specified in the summons,
    the person or entity summoned may, in the United States district
    court for the district in which that person or entity does business
    or resides, petition for an order modifying or setting aside the
    summons, or a prohibition of disclosure ordered by a court under
    paragraph (6).
      (6)(A) A United State (!2) district court for the district in
    which the summons is or will be served, upon application of the
    United States, may issue an ex parte order that no person or entity
    disclose to any other person or entity (other than to an attorney
    in order to obtain legal advice) the existence of such summons for
    a period of up to 90 days.

      (B) Such order may be issued on a showing that the things being
    sought may be relevant to the investigation and there is reason to
    believe that such disclosure may result in - 
        (i) endangerment to the life or physical safety of any person;
        (ii) flight to avoid prosecution;
        (iii) destruction of or tampering with evidence; or
        (iv) intimidation of potential witnesses.

      (C) An order under this paragraph may be renewed for additional
    periods of up to 90 days upon a showing that the circumstances
    described in subparagraph (B) continue to exist.
      (7) A summons issued under this section shall not require the
    production of anything that would be protected from production
    under the standards applicable to a subpoena duces tecum issued by
    a court of the United States.
      (8) If no case or proceeding arises from the production of
    records or other things pursuant to this section within a
    reasonable time after those records or things are produced, the
    agency to which those records or things were delivered shall, upon
    written demand made by the person producing those records or
    things, return them to that person, except where the production
    required was only of copies rather than originals.
      (9) A subpoena issued under paragraph (1)(A)(i)(II) or (1)(A)(ii)
    may require production as soon as possible, but in no event less
    than 24 hours after service of the subpoena.
      (10) As soon as practicable following the issuance of a subpoena
    under paragraph (1)(A)(ii), the Secretary of the Treasury shall
    notify the Attorney General of its issuance.
      (b) Service. - A subpoena issued under this section may be served
    by any person who is at least 18 years of age and is designated in
    the subpoena to serve it. Service upon a natural person may be made
    by personal delivery of the subpoena to him. Service may be made
    upon a domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership or
    other unincorporated association which is subject to suit under a
    common name, by delivering the subpoena to an officer, to a
    managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by
    appointment or by law to receive service of process. The affidavit
    of the person serving the subpoena entered on a true copy thereof
    by the person serving it shall be proof of service.
      (c) Enforcement. - In the case of contumacy by or refusal to obey
    a subpoena issued to any person, the Attorney General may invoke
    the aid of any court of the United States within the jurisdiction
    of which the investigation is carried on or of which the subpoenaed
    person is an inhabitant, or in which he carries on business or may
    be found, to compel compliance with the subpoena. The court may
    issue an order requiring the subpoenaed person to appear before the
    Attorney General to produce records, if so ordered, or to give
    testimony concerning the production and authentication of such
    records. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished
    by the court as a contempt thereof. All process in any such case
    may be served in any judicial district in which such person may be
      (d) Immunity From Civil Liability. - Notwithstanding any Federal,
    State, or local law, any person, including officers, agents, and
    employees, receiving a subpoena under this section, who complies in
    good faith with the subpoena and thus produces the materials
    sought, shall not be liable in any court of any State or the United
    States to any customer or other person for such production or for
    nondisclosure of that production to the customer.
      (e) Limitation on Use. - (1) Health information about an
    individual that is disclosed under this section may not be used in,
    or disclosed to any person for use in, any administrative, civil,
    or criminal action or investigation directed against the individual
    who is the subject of the information unless the action or
    investigation arises out of and is directly related to receipt of
    health care or payment for health care or action involving a
    fraudulent claim related to health; or if authorized by an
    appropriate order of a court of competent jurisdiction, granted
    after application showing good cause therefor.
      (2) In assessing good cause, the court shall weigh the public
    interest and the need for disclosure against the injury to the
    patient, to the physician-patient relationship, and to the
    treatment services.
      (3) Upon the granting of such order, the court, in determining
    the extent to which any disclosure of all or any part of any record
    is necessary, shall impose appropriate safeguards against
    unauthorized disclosure.