What is a Subpoena?
Subpoenas are the principal means by which parties to litigation before the Superior Court, secure the production of records or documents from, and compel the attendance at depositions by, persons or entities who are not parties to the action or proceeding. A subpoena can be issued by any attorney, using forms which are issued by the court in blank. Frequently, the subpoena is prepared and served using the assistance of a professional photocopy service. Although not issued directly by the court a subpoena has the same compulsory power as a court order, and a person required to respond to a subpoena the responder who disobeys a subpoena may be punished for contempt without the issuing party first having to obtain a court order compelling the responder to comply with it. Because the party issuing the subpoena does not need to obtain such an intermediate order, the responder must be particularly careful that the initial response is proper.
Types of Subpoena
There are two main categories of subpoenas: deposition subpoenas and trial subpoenas. A deposition subpoena requires attendance and/or the production of documents or other things at a deposition. A deposition subpoena is necessary to compel a non-party witness to appear and give testimony or produce documents at a deposition. Subpoenas are not required to compel someone who is a party to an action to appear.
How to squash Subpoena request?
Pursuant to Federal Rule 45 (c) (2) (b), defendants/ plaintiff may object to annexed subpoena for the following reason
- The subpoena is not authorized under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and is premature. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 (d)
- The subpoena has not been served in accordance with the requirements of the law.
- The subpoena gives an inappropriately short period of time to respond and appear. The date, time and place for compliance must be listed on the subpoena. If the subpoena is a deposition subpoena and there is a request for documents, a deposition officer must be appointed to receive the documents.
- The subpoena is vague in that it does not state the name or address of the deponent. See Fed. R. Civ Procedure 30 (b) (1), Fed. R. Civ. P 45(a)(1)(a)(iii).
- The subpoena does not state the time for the deposition in violation of Federal Rule 30(b)(1)
- The subpoena does not state the method for recording the deposition. See Fed. R.Civ. Procedure 45(a)(1)(b).
- The subpoena fails to set forth the text of Fed. R.Civ.P. 45(c) and (d). See .Fed. R. Civ.P. 45(a)(1)(A)(4)
- The defendants/ plaintiff object to the location of the deposition, which location appears to be the personal residence of the plaintiff/defendant.
- To the extent the subpoena is directed to parties' defendant it fails to allow the thirty (30) days required by Federal Rule 34 for production.
- The subpoena does not request any existing documents
- It appears that the subpoena has been served solely for purposes of annoyance, oppression and /or harassment.