75D-6. Power to compel examination.

Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe that any person or enterprise may have information or may be in possession, custody or control of any documentary materials relevant to an activity prohibited under G.S. 75D-4, he may issue in writing, and cause to be served upon such person or upon the appropriate officers, agents, and employees of any such enterprise (other than one employed as an attorney by such person or enterprise), a notice requiring such person or enterprise to submit themselves to examination by him, and produce for his inspection any documentary material relevant to an investigation of activities prohibited by G.S. 75D-4.

The notice shall be served either personally or by registered or certified mail return receipt requested. The notice shall specify the general purpose of the examination, a general description of the documentary material to be produced, and the time and place where such examination will take place. The witness shall be placed under oath or affirmation to testify truthfully. The examination shall be recorded and the witness has the right to a copy upon payment of its cost. The witness has the right to have legal counsel present during the examination.

The Attorney General shall also have the right to apply to any judge of the superior court division, after five days' prior notice of such application served in the same manner as the notice of examination described in this section, for an order requiring such person or enterprise to appear and subject himself or itself to examination, and disobedience of such order shall constitute contempt, and shall be punishable as in other cases of disobedience of a proper order of such court.

No such demand or order of a court shall contain any requirement which would be held to be unreasonable if contained in a civil discovery request or court order issued pursuant to G.S. 1A-1, Rules of Civil Procedure 26-36. Any person or enterprise upon whom a demand is served and who objects to complying with such demand in whole or in part, shall, within five days of service of the demand, serve a written reply upon the Attorney General specifying the nature of the objection.

Such examination shall be held in camera and no one, except the person or enterprise being examined, may release information obtained from the examination prior to a proceeding being instituted under this Chapter by the Attorney General. Such information may be used in any proceeding instituted under this Chapter by the Attorney General. Any person violating the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If such offending person is a public officer or employee, he shall also be dismissed from such office or employment and shall not hold any public office or employment in this State for a period of five years after conviction. This paragraph does not prohibit disclosure of this information to other employees of the Department of Justice, or to district attorneys designated in writing by the Attorney General as authorized to receive this information. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 999, s. 1; 1989, c 489, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 569; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)