6th Cir.

e. News organization / medium

The federal courts in the Sixth Circuit have not defined the parameters of the scope of a reporter's privilege, insofar as the kind of person or organization which enjoys the privilege.

A. In general

Overview

6th Cir.

c. Timing

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not specify time deadlines for moving to quash or modify a subpoena. Virtually always, the motion should be filed before the date and time designated on the subpoena for compliance, and within 14 days of the compliance date if the subpoena gives the movant at least 14 days in which to comply.

c. Source is an eyewitness to a crime

The federal courts in the Sixth Circuit have not addressed a situation where a journalist or news organization witnesses the commission of a crime. However, the Sixth Circuit ruled that videotapes outtakes from which police could identify a murderer, whose identity a police informant refused to confirm through court testimony, were clearly relevant to a specific violation of law and not available from other sources. Hence, the court found no First Amendment protection for the television journalist who recorded the outtakes. In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 810 F.2d 580 (6th Cir. 1987).

E. Grand jury records

Overview

6th Cir.

A. Newspaper articles

Newspapers are self-authenticating. Fed. R. Evid. 902(6). Therefore, a journalist should not be required to testify in court as to whether a particular article actually appeared in a newspaper. If the court nevertheless requires authenticating testimony, an administrative person should be qualified to give the testimony.