Civil Investigative Demand: What You Need to Know

What’s a civil investigative demand? Is it bad, is it good? What purpose does it serve? In this article, we’ll be answering these questions and many more.

As a quick summary, a civil investigative demand (a CID) is a request for information sent to an individual about a business under investigation. This request can ask for a range of things from emails to social media posts.

With a CID, most people also get a CID Defense Lawyer. In its name, it’s a CID defense attorney. They’ll help you with the information as well as many other things! CIDs are challengeable, but it’s under very limited circumstances, so unless the CID is under said circumstances, it’s unlikely that it will end well. It can even go so far as to have someone charged with contempt.

What is a Civil Investigative Demand?

We’ve briefly gone over what a CID is, but you probably want to know in further detail because CID’s aren’t something to take without seriousness. CID’s are requests for information about a business or organization whose actions have been deemed unfair or deceptive. They are issued by the government so that information can be gained on a business or a healthcare provider under investigation.

These requests can ask for emails, records, text messages, paper files, etc. They’re also able to request written reports or answers to questions. When federal agencies are investigating a business or organization, they’re able to issue a CID. It s possible to challenge a CID, but it’s only under very limited conditions that it would go well.

There are many options that the FTC has to gain information on a business being investigated, but a CID is a reliable way to gain said information with moderate haste and accuracy, as well as being lenient so that the FTC has the option to directly ask questions to the recipient.

Why Are CID’s Bad?

It’s often that one would consider a CID “bad”, “negative”, or many other words with similar meanings. This comes from the stress that it puts on the recipient of the CID about the deadlines and getting a letter directly addressed to them from the government.

It’s very easy for your mind to skip to a terrible conclusion when receiving a letter from the government – even if you’ve done nothing wrong. CID’s can also burden a company or person financially due to the time they take and the money required to hire an attorney, as well as other factors.

Hiring a CID Defense Lawyer

Oftentimes, the recipient will need a CID defense lawyer. This is otherwise known as an FTC defense lawyer, or a CID lawyer. These lawyers help the recipient organize and produce the information, stop and processes that may damage or destroy the requested info – as it is illegal -, and determine the importance and the time needed for the CID.

There are many good CID defense lawyers, but depending on your case, you might want to go with someone more convenient or someone more thorough, but if you can get both, it may be ideal.

Can You Challenge a CID?

Yes is the short answer. You can challenge a CID. But there are many limitations that will likely shut down your attempt. Four, to be specific.

You can challenge a CID if it is under one of the restrictions below:

  1. If the CID requests information that it already has in its possession;
  2. If the CID requests information that is unneeded for the investigation;
  3. If the CID imposes an overproportionate burden on the recipient based on the scope of the investigation, as well as how much information was requested.
  4. If the CID overuses its power.

Even if someone does challenge a CID, it’s very unlikely that they won’t need to comply with the CID. The court will most likely change the information requested or give more time to the recipient. The majority of the time, CID compliance is crucial. Refusing to comply can have the government to file a petition in Federal District Court seeking judicial enforcement of the request.

After The Submission

Once the CID has been submitted and the requests have been granted by the recipient, there will be a short wait as FTC staff review the submitted information. After reviewing the information, they will decide to charge the business with violations of federal law, in which case they will likely reach out to negotiate a settlement, but sometimes they just file a lawsuit against said business; or continue the investigation.

If the info is deemed sufficient, the investigation will be called off and the company will be free to go. The staff will determine how the information is used with multiple factors, such as scope and the nature of the investigation.


If you want a quick overview of how a CID works, then you’re in the right place. Here, I’ll explain it in less detail for those who don’t want to read a whole article.

  1. What Are They?

CID’s are requests sent by the FTC to gain info on a business or organization being investigated. These letters have a deadline and requests for certain types of information such as social media posts, files, documents, text messages, etc.

  1. What’s a CID Defense Lawyer?

A CID defense lawyer is an attorney specializing in FTC laws, or CID laws to be more specific. They can help you produce and organize the information needed/requested by the CID, as well as help you stop any procedures that may further damage the necessary info. They are capable of figuring out the scope and nature of the CID and can help you to optimize the time that you have to prepare. CID defense lawyers are very important to make sure that everything goes well, so be sure to find the right one for you!
While it is possible to challenge a CID, it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s quite hard. This is because there are very few reasons that one can challenge a CID and actually get something out of it. There are strict limitations in place, and most times you will still need to comply with the CID. It will only make it easier to comply with.

Recent Articles

Proactive Insights: Utilizing NPS for Continuous Business Improvement

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a critical metric used to evaluate customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is calculated based on a single question...

Honoring Loved Ones: Creating Meaningful Funerals in the Modern Age

In keeping the memories of our loved ones alive, we honor them with meaningful funerals, by several means sometimes using memorabilia. You may be...

How to Use HARO to Boost Your Business’s Online Presence

Online marketing is very important. Without it, achieving exposure is impossible. People no longer turn to their high streets in search of products and...

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Workplace Accident

No work is easy and completely stress-free. However, there are those people who perceive a bad day at work when they argue with their...

Ultimate Guide To Keeping Your Business Premises Clean And Organised

Do you want an efficient, well-organized office space? Does the thought of dealing with a messy working environment make you see red? If so,...

Related Stories

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox