Appellant General Electric Company appeals from an order entered in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Rakoff, J.) denying a motion to enforce, and granting a motion to quash, a subpoena duces tecum addressed to the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"). The subpoena called for the production of certain documents for discovery in a lawsuit entitled "Grand Street Artists, et al. v. General Electric Co., et al." pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (the "New Jersey Action.") The subpoena was addressed to a named individual in the office of the EPA Regional Counsel in New York City and was issued by an attorney for General Electric in New York City. When the EPA refused to honor the subpoena, General Electric brought a proceeding in the form of a motion in the Southern District of New York to compel compliance, and the EPA cross-moved to quash.
In granting the cross-motion and denying the motion, the district court determined that the EPA is protected by sovereign immunity as an agency of the United States, that the United States waived its sovereign immunity from proceedings of this type by enactment of the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"), and that General Electric failed to properly invoke the benefits of the APA by moving to enforce the subpoena rather than filing an independent lawsuit seeking to compel compliance. Disagreeing with the district court only in respect of the need for an independent lawsuit, we vacate the judgment of the district court and remand for further proceedings consistent herewith.
Miner '56, Roger J., "USEPA v. General Elec. Co., 197 F. 3d 592 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1999" (1999). Circuit Court Opinions. 186.