Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Widi v. McNeil

United States District Court, D. Maine

July 24, 2017

DAVID J. WIDI, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
PAUL MCNEIL, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON COUNT XVII

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The Plaintiff claims that the United States Attorney's Office violated the provisions of the Right to Financial Privacy Act in connection with a grand jury subpoena of the Plaintiff's financial records. The Court grants the United States Attorney's Office's motion for summary judgment because the prosecutor presented the Plaintiff's financial records to the same grand jury that subpoenaed the records and because there is no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On June 13, 2012, David J. Widi, Jr., acting pro se, filed a complaint against numerous federal and state officials pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his rights from his investigation, prosecution, and conviction for possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon and for manufacturing marijuana. Compl. (ECF No. 1); United States v. Widi, 2:09-cr-00009-GZS (D. Me.). In Count XI of the Complaint, Mr. Widi also claimed that TD BankNorth (TD Bank) violated the Right to Financial Privacy Act (RFPA), 12 U.S.C. § 3401 et seq., when the United States Attorney's Office (USAO) subpoenaed Mr. Widi's bank records for presentation to a federal grand jury. Id. at 14. On July 13, 2012, the Magistrate Judge issued a screening order in which she alluded to the RFPA claim, but she did not formally screen that Count. Order for Serv. After Screening Compl. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A at 2 (ECF No. 6). On August 2, 2012, Mr. Widi filed an amended complaint. Am. Compl. at 15 (ECF No. 15). As with the original Complaint, Count XI of the Amended Complaint asserted a RFPA claim against TD Bank. Id.

         On September 25, 2013, the Court granted TD Bank's motion for summary judgment. Order Granting Mot. for Summ. J. by Def. TD Bank; Den. Mot. to Strike; Den. Disc.; and Dismissing Without Prejudice Mot. for Serv. of Process (ECF No. 171). On November 18, 2013, Mr. Widi filed a Second Amended Complaint. Second Am. Compl. (ECF No. 191). Mr. Widi's Second Amended Complaint moved the RFPA count to Count XVII, and it clarified that his claim ran not just against TD Bank, but also against the USAO. Id. at 56-58. On February 11, 2015, the Court issued a comprehensive order, screening those claims that the Magistrate Judge had not screened and granting in part Mr. Widi's motion to amend the first amended complaint. Screening Order, Order Vacating in Part Earlier Order Den. Mot. for Leave to File Second Am. Compl. as to Served Defs., Order Granting in Part Mot. to File Second Am. Compl., Order Striking Portions of the Second Am. Compl., and Order Den. Mot. to Stay (ECF No. 270).

         On January 10, 2017, the Court issued an order on Mr. Widi's motion for reconsideration and permitted Mr. Widi to assert a claim against the USAO as set forth in the Second Amended Complaint. Order on Mot. for Recons. at 27-30 (ECF No. 392) (Recons. Order). On March 20, 2017, the USAO filed an answer to the Second Amended Complaint. U.S. Att'y's Office Answer to Second Am. Compl. (ECF No. 420).

         On March 23, 2017, the USAO filed a motion for summary judgment and a statement of material facts in support of the motion. The U.S. Att'y's Office's Mot. for Summ. J. on Count XVII of the Second Am. Compl. (ECF No. 422) (USAO Mot.); Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (ECF No. 423) (DSMF). On July 3, 2017, Mr. Widi filed an opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Opp'n to the U.S. Att'y's Office's Mot. for Summ. J. on Count XVII (ECF No. 456) (Widi Opp'n). On July 6, 2017, the USAO filed its reply. The U.S. Att'y's Office's Reply Br. in Supp. of its Mot. for Summ. J. on Count XVII (ECF No. 459) (USAO Reply).

         A. The Allegations in the Second Amended Complaint

         In Count XVII, Mr. Widi alleged that he was indicted by a federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the District of Maine on January 6, 2009. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 176. He said that on January 20, 2009, the USAO obtained a subpoena in which TD Bank was commanded to appear and testify before the grand jury and to bring any and all records regarding an account or accounts in the name, custody, or control of David J. Widi, Jr. and/or Widi Tile Company, LLC. Id. ¶ 177. With the subpoena, the USAO attached a document that informed TD Bank that it had the absolute right to personally appear before the grand jury and return the records called for in person. Id. ¶ 178. It also informed TD Bank that it could “return the records called for by the method” of “causing the delivery (by mail or other means) of the records to the assistant U.S. Attorney.” Id.

         According to the Second Amended Complaint, TD Bank turned over Mr. Widi's financial records to the USAO on February 3, 2009. Id. ¶ 179. He claims that TD Bank neither obtained a certificate of compliance under 12 U.S.C. § 3403(b) nor returned and actually presented the records to the grand jury as required by 12 U.S.C. § 3420. Id. ¶¶ 179-80.

         Mr. Widi alleges that the USAO “never intended to have Mr. Widi's financial records returned and actually presented to the grand jury, which was no longer considering Mr. Widi's case.” Id. ¶ 182. Instead, he asserts that the USAO used the grand jury subpoena process “to circumvent the notice requirements and release procedures of the Right to Financial Privacy Act without having Mr. Widi's records returned and actually presented to the grand jury in bad faith.” Id. Mr. Widi claims that, by doing so, the USAO “willfully and intentionally violated Mr. Widi's rights under the [RFPA]” and that he is entitled to damages. Id. ¶ 185.

         B. The January 17, 2017 Order

         In its January 17, 2017 Order, the Court concluded that the AUSO was not protected under the doctrine of absolute immunity from a lawsuit under the RFPA. Recons. Order at 27-30. With “some serious misgivings”, the Court concluded that in light of the disparity between the date of the indictment, January 6, 2009, and the date of the subpoena, January 20, 2009, Mr. Widi should be allowed to go forward with his claim against the USAO. Id. at 30.

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.