California Bankers Assn. v. Shultz

PETITIONER: California Bankers Assn.
LOCATION: City of Shaker Heights

DOCKET NO.: 72-985
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)

CITATION: 416 US 21 (1974)
ARGUED: Jan 16, 1974
DECIDED: Apr 01, 1974

Charles C. Marson -
John H. Anderson -
John M. Anderson - for California Bankers Assn
Lawrence G. Wallace - argued the cause for Shultz et al., appellants in No. 72-1073 and appellees in Nos. 72-985 and 72-1196

Facts of the case


Media for California Bankers Assn. v. Shultz

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 16, 1974 in California Bankers Assn. v. Shultz

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 01, 1974 in California Bankers Assn. v. Shultz

Warren E. Burger:

The disposition of 72-985, 10-73, 11-96, California Bankers against Shultz, Shultz against California Bankers and Stark against Shultz will be announced by Mr. Justice Rehnquist.

William H. Rehnquist:

These appeals raise various questions concerning the constitutionality of the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970.

That Act of the implementing regulations, promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury, requires in Title I that certain financial institutions maintain records of their customers’ identities and make copies of certain checks and other instruments; Title II of the Act requires the reporting of certain foreign and domestic financial transactions.

The Act requires reports of the transportation of currency and specified instruments exceeding $5,000 in value into or out of the United States.

The Act also requires the reporting by financial institutions of transactions in currencies in amounts exceeding $10,000.

Suits were brought in the District Court by various plaintiffs including individual depositors of bank, the American Civil Liberties Union and the California Banker Association, challenging the Act on First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment grounds.

The Three-Judge District Court which was connived to hear these challenges upheld the recordkeeping provisions of Title I and the foreign reporting provision of Title II.

The District Court concluded, however, that the domestic reporting provisions contravene the Fourth Amendment and enjoin their enforcement.

In a 53-page opinion, which I can’t possible do justice to orally, which we filed today, we agree with the District Court that the recordkeeping provisions of the Act, as implemented by the regulations, violate no constitutional right of any of the plaintiffs below.

We similarly agree with the District Court that to the extent that the individual plaintiffs below had standing, they did not present a constitutional claim for the relief against any of the foreign reporting requirements.

Finally we hold that the District Court was wrong in striking down the domestic reporting requirement as violative of the Fourth Amendment.

We hold that the domestic reporting requirements violate no Fourth Amendment right of the banks to make the reports.

In addition, we hold that the depositor plaintiffs below made insufficient allegations of engagement in domestic currency transactions to challenge the domestic reporting provisions.

Accordingly, the judgment of the District Court is affirmed on the appeal of the banks and depositor plaintiffs and reversed on the Government’s appeal and remanded for disposition consistent with the opinion filed today.

Mr. Justice Powell and Mr. Justice Blackmun joins, while joining the opinion of the Court, has filed the concurring opinion.

Mr. Justice Douglas, Mr. Justice Brennan and Mr. Justice Marshall have each filed a separate dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Rehnquist.