Can DAOs receive subpoenas from law enforcement?

Select jurisdiction

  • Germany
  • Italy


No. Since DAOs are not natural persons, they cannot act as defendants under German criminal procedure law. However, it is possible to examine individual members or – if available – legal representatives as witnesses. In this case, extensive information must be declared. Otherwise, members may face severe sanctions.

Phil Hamacher

Insolvency, Tax, Crypto, DAO


According to Italian legal system subpoenas mean the
order to (i) testify and/or to (ii) provide documentation.
An order to testify or to provide documentation may be
issued to the natural persons or legal representatives of
an entity. Therefore, it could be eventually possible that
members of a DAO or its legal representative (if any),
may be subject to subpoenas. However, a case by case
evalutation may be required.

Lydia Mendola

IP lawyer

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