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Alli v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 1, 2016

ALWYN ALLI, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM

Ellen Lipton Hollander United States District Judge.

Alwyn Alii, a member of the United States Marine Corps ("USMC"), is the subject of a special court-martial proceeding. In connection with that proceeding, he has filed a "Motion to Quash an Administrative Summons or Judicial Subpoena" (the "Motion"). ECF 1. In particular, pursuant to the Right to Financial Privacy Act ("RFPA"), 12 U.S.C. §§ 3401, et seq., Alii seeks to quash a subpoena (ECF 2 at 3) issued by the military prosecutor to the Andrews Federal Credit Union (the "Credit Union"), seeking certain bank statements. The Motion is supported by Alli's "Sworn Statement." ECF 4. He states, in relevant part, id. at 1: "The financial records sought are not relevant to the legitimate law enforcement inquiry stated by the Government authority in its notice .. . ." In addition, in response to my Order of March 3, 2016 (ECF 5), Alii filed a "Jurisdiction Memo, " in which he seeks to clarify the basis for this Court's jurisdiction to consider his Motion. ECF 6.

The United States (the "Government") filed "Respondent's Opposition to and Motion to Dismiss Movant's Motion to Quash an Administrative Summons or Judicial Subpoena" (ECF 7), which is accompanied by a memorandum of law (ECF 7-1) (collectively, the "Opposition"). The Government has also submitted four exhibits. ECF 7-3 through ECF 7-6. Alii has filed a "Response." ECF 9.

The Motion has been fully briefed, and no hearing is necessary to resolve it. See Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I will deny the Motion.

I. Factual and Procedural History[1]

Alii, a Master Sergeant on active duty, is or was a recruiter at the USMC Recruiting Sub-Station in Bowie, Maryland. ECF 7-1 at 1; ECF 9 at 1 ("The Government errs in recitation of facts . . . Alii is not currently serving as a recruiter in Recruiting Sub-Station Bowie."). On October 19, 2015, the USMC charged Alii with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice ("UCMJ"), including violations of 10 U.S.C. §§ 892, 893, 912 and 934. ECF 7-1 at 1; see ECF 7-3 at 1-3, "Charge Sheet." The Government asserts, ECF 7-1 at 2: "These charges stem from allegations that Alii was engaging in inappropriate sexual relationships with prospective applicants to the Marine Corps, failing to properly perform his duties, maltreating subordinates, being drunk on duty, and engaging in an adulterous relationship." On October 20, 2015, Colonel J.A. Bolt, Commanding Officer of the Fourth Marine Corps District, Eastern Recruiting Region, referred these charges to a special court-martial.[2] ECF 7-3 at 2.

The Government contends (ECF 7-1 at 2) that evidence from Alli's bank records may

. . . show that Alii purchased alcohol during the workday when he was supposed to be on duty; that he was not at work when making the financial transactions; and that he made several specific financial transactions that corroborate the testimony of one of the women with whom he [is] alleged to have engaged in an inappropriate relationship.

Alii counters, ECF 9 at 2:

[T]he rational [sic] provided here is nonsensical as (1) the Government has absolutely no evidence to indicate Master Sergeant Alii purchased alcohol during working hours, and (2) the proposition that an unnamed complaining witness has provided a statement which could be corroborated by Master Sergeants Alli's financial records is plain false. Further, the statement demonstrates a lack of understanding of the charges of which Alii had been accused.

By letter of February 28, 2016, Captain ("Capt.") Perry Duncan, the USMC trial counsel, [3] notified Alli's attorney, Joseph Owens, that the Government would subpoena Alli's bank records from the Credit Union. ECF 7-4 at 1. The subject line of the letter states, id. (capitalization in original): "NOTICE PURSUANT TO 12 U.S.C. § 3401-3422 ICO UNITED STATES V. MASTER SERGEANT ALWYN T. ALLI, USMC." The letter references "12 U.S.C. § 3401-3422 (Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978)." Id. In particular, the letter states that the records "are being sought by the United States Marine Corps in accordance with the reference for use at your court-martial." Id. It also provides the following instructions on how to contest the subpoena, id.:

If you desire that such records or information not be made available, you must:

a. Write a motion and sworn statement, stating that you are the customer whose records are being requested by the Government and either giving the reasons you believe that the records are not relevant to the legitimate law enforcement inquiry stated in this notice or any other legal basis for objecting to the release of the records.
b. File the motion and statement by mailing or delivering them to the Court.
c. Serve the Government authority requesting the records by mailing or delivering a copy of your motion and ...

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