U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


2014 Term

Oral Argument Date

November 05, 2014

Lower Court Opinion

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


Questions Presented

Whether Mr. Yates was deprived of fair notice that destruction of fish would fall within the purview of 18 U.S.C. § 1519, which makes it a crime for anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to impede or obstruct an investigation, where the term “tangible object” is ambiguous and undefined in the statute, and unlike the nouns accompanying “tangible object” in section 1519, possesses no record-keeping, documentary, or informational content or purpose.

Case Updates

U.S. Supreme Court rejects over-broad reading of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) "anti-shredding" provision

February 25, 2015

The Court issued a 5-4 judgment that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s criminal prohibition against the intentional destruction of “any tangible object” does not reach a commercial fisherman’s destruction of three undersized grouper that he caught, but instead criminalizes only the intentional destruction of tangible objects that are used to record or preserve information, such as computer hard drives or other devices used to record electronic information.

Case Documents