Warren Commission Report

Appendix III - Senate Joint Resolution 137

Public Law 88-2-2
88th Congress, S. J. Res. 137
December 13, 1963

Joint Resolution

Authorizing the Commission established to report upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That

for the purposes of this joint resolution, the term "Commission" means the Commission appointed by the President by Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963.

The Commission, or any member of the Commission when so authorized by the Commission, shall have power to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witness and the production of any evidence that relates to any matter under investigation by the Commission. The Commission, or any member of the Commission or any agent or agency designated by the Commission for such purpose, may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witness, and receive evidence. Such attendance of witnesses and the production of such evidence may be required from any place within the United States at any designated place of hearing.

In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person under subsection (b), any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which the inquiry is carried on or within the jurisdiction of which said person guilty of contumacy or refusal to obey is found or resides or transacts business, upon application by the Commission shall have jurisdiction to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear before the Commission, its member, agent, or agency, there to produce evidence if so ordered, or their to give testimony touching the matter under investigation or in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by said court as a contempt thereof.

Process and papers of the Commission, its members, agent, or agency, may be served either upon the witness in person or by registered mail or by telegraph or by leaving a copy thereof at the residence of principal office or place of business of the person required to be served. The verified return by the individual so serving the same, setting forth the manner of such service, shall be proof of the same, and the return post office receipt or telegraph receipt therefor when registered and mailed or telegraphed as a foresaid shall be proof of service of the same. Witnesses summoned before the Commission, its member, agent, or agency, shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States, and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the persons taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States.

No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or producing books, records, correspondence, documents, or other evidence in obedience to a subpoena, on the ground that the testimony or evidence required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture; but no individual shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture (except demotion or removal from office) for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, except that such individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and punishment or perjury committed in so testifying.

All process of any court to which application may be made under this Act may be served in the judicial district wherein the person required to be served resides or may be found.

Approved December 13, 1963.

Legislative History:
Congressional Record, Vol. 109 (1963)

Dec. 9: Passed Senate.
Dec. 10: Considered and passed House.