Application by Government authority; findings
Upon application of the Government authority, the customer notice required under section 3404(c), 3405(2), 3406(c), 3407(2), 3408(4), or 3412(b) of this title may be delayed by order of an appropriate court if the presiding judge or magistrate judge finds that—
(1) the investigation being conducted is within the lawful jurisdiction of the Government authority seeking the financial records;
(2) there is reason to believe that the records being sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry; and
there is reason to believe that such notice will result in—
(A) endangering life or physical safety of any person;
(B) flight from prosecution;
(C) destruction of or tampering with evidence;
(D) intimidation of potential witnesses; or
(E) otherwise seriously jeopardizing an investigation or official proceeding or unduly delaying a trial or ongoing official proceeding to the same extent as the circumstances in the preceeding 1
1 So in original. Probably should be “preceding”. subparagraphs.
An application for delay must be made with reasonable specificity.
Grant of delay order; duration and specifications; extensions; copy of request and notice to customer
(1) If the court makes the findings required in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a), it shall enter an ex parte order granting the requested delay for a period not to exceed ninety days and an order prohibiting the financial institution from disclosing that records have been obtained or that a request for records has been made, except that, if the records have been sought by a Government authority exercising financial controls over foreign accounts in the United States under section 4305(b) of title 50, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (title II, Public Law 95–223) [50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.], or section 287c of title 22, and the court finds that there is reason to believe that such notice may endanger the lives or physical safety of a customer or group of customers, or any person or group of persons associated with a customer, the court may specify that the delay be indefinite.
(2) Extensions of the delay of notice provided in paragraph (1) of up to ninety days each may be granted by the court upon application, but only in accordance with this subsection.
(3) Upon expiration of the period of delay of notification under paragraph (1) or (2), the customer shall be served with or mailed a copy of the process or request together with the following notice which shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the law enforcement inquiry:
“Records or information concerning your transactions which are held by the financial institution named in the attached process or request were supplied to or requested by the Government authority named in the process or request on (date). Notification was withheld pursuant to a determination by the (title of court so ordering) under the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 [12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.] that such notice might (state reason). The purpose of the investigation or official proceeding was .”.
Notice requirement respecting emergency access to financial records
When access to financial records is obtained pursuant to section 3414(b) of this title (emergency access), the Government authority shall, unless a court has authorized delay of notice pursuant to subsections (a) and (b), as soon as practicable after such records are obtained serve upon the customer, or mail by registered or certified mail to his last known address, a copy of the request to the financial institution together with the following notice which shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the law enforcement inquiry:
“Records concerning your transactions held by the financial institution named in the attached request were obtained by (agency or department) under the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 [12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.] on (date) for the following purpose: Emergency access to such records was obtained on the grounds that (state grounds).”.
Preservation of memorandums, affidavits, or other papers
Any memorandum, affidavit, or other paper filed in connection with a request for delay in notification shall be preserved by the court. Upon petition by the customer to whom such records pertain, the court may order disclosure of such papers to the petitioner unless the court makes the findings required in subsection (a).
(Pub. L. 95–630, title XI, § 1109, Nov. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 3702; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, § 321, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117.)