United States District Court, D. Maine
DAVID J. WIDI, JR., Plaintiff,
PAUL MCNEIL, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON COUNT
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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
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.
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
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).
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
The Allegations in the Second Amended Complaint
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.
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.
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.
The January 17, 2017 Order
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.