State Secrets

SAN FRANCISCO – A U.S. District Court improperly dismissed a case and quashed a subpoena relating to an ongoing criminal investigation in Poland, where the plaintiff was subjected to torture, the Ninth Circuit ruled. The plaintiff is currently in detention at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

If the district court determined it is impossible to “disentangle” privileged from nonprivileged information sought by the subpoena, then it may then conclude dismissal is appropriate. It cannot “skip directly to dismissal without doing more.”

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