Case Details


Subpoena Authority

Filing State



Delaware Superior Court




Delaware v. Salasky, 2013 Del. Super. LEXIS 421 (Del. Super. Sept. 26, 2013).


Attorney General has “virtually unfettered discretion” to subpoena information involving public peace, safety and justice. AG subpoena authority is essentially equal to that of grand jury.

Case Description

In connection with a prosecution for first-degree murder, the Attorney General’s office issued subpoenas to various service providers seeking the defendant’s mental health and medical records. The defendant argued that the Attorney General exceeded the scope of his authority. The court held, ”The subpoena power conferred upon the Attorney General provides that office with nearly unfettered discretion to gather records, documents, and testimony as long as it can be established they are investigating “matters involving the public peace, safety and justice.” The statute has never been interpreted to limit the investigative power of the Attorney General to documents unavailable in the normal litigation process. . . “ Turning to the argument that the defendant’s records were protected medical records, the court held that disclosure of such records is permitted under Delaware law pursuant to a “court order, court-ordered warrant, subpoena or summons by a judicial officer, grand jury subpoena, administrative subpoena or summons . . .” The court held that the Attorney General’s subpoena authority was essentially equal to that of a grand jury: “Therefore, in view of their historic equality with grand jury subpoenas, Attorney General subpoenas are included within “permitted disclosure.”