Requesting Witnesses or Documents for Private Litigation (Touhy Requests)
Under 32 C.F.R. § 516, Subpart G, Release of Information and Appearance of Witnesses, Department of Defense Directive 5405.2, Release of Information in Litigation and Testimony by DoD Personnel as Witnesses, and Army Regulation 27-40, Chapter 7, Release of Information and Appearance of Witnesses, the Army must authorize the appearance of its personnel or the production of official documents in private litigation.
Individuals seeking official information (requesting witnesses or documents for private litigation) must submit to the Office of Counsel, at least 14 days before the desired date of production, a specific written request outlining the nature of the proceeding and the nature and relevance of the information sought. The Government cannot act upon your request until it receives all required information. See United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951). Upon receipt of a proper Touhy request, the agency will review and make an authorization determination.
Army Regulation 37-60 prescribes the schedule of fees and charges for searching, copying, and certifying Army records for release in response to litigation-related requests.
Each employee’s supervisor must approve his or her absence from duty so that the absence does not interfere with the agency’s mission. If an employee is authorized to appear, you must subpoena them and pay all travel, meals, and lodging expenses, as a witness' appearance to testify or act as records custodian for private litigation must be at no expense to the United States. Please note that an employee will only provide factual testimony and cannot provide opinion or expert testimony.
Submitting a Touhy Request
Mail your request and all required information to:
Office of Counsel
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
1776 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14207
To speak with someone regarding a Touhy request, please dial (716) 879-4184 and your call will be directed to the appropriate party.
This information is intended only to provide general information on requesting witnesses or documents for private litigation. It is not intended to provide legal advice, to discourage or encourage the submission of a request, or to make any suggestion as to whether a request would be granted by the Government.