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What You Need to Know About Subpoenas

A subpoena is a document the court uses to ask for help from other people. The court might use a subpoena to get help with a case or to find out more information about something that happened in the case. It’s a beneficial document because it acquires information through legal means and doesn’t require the person being subpoenaed to testify in court unless called in as a witness. This will provide the court with grounds on which to base their decision. Hence, a subpoena can be used as a form of evidence. If you find yourself needing a subpoena, here’s what you need to know about it:

The Subpoena Process

When an individual or organization needs to obtain evidence for use in a legal case, they will often need to file a subpoena. This document is used to request specific information from another party in a legal proceeding. The process of obtaining a subpoena can be complicated and usually handled by a licensed attorney.

To start the process, the person or organization who wants the evidence will need to draft a subpoena. This document must include certain information, such as the name of the court where the case is pending, the name of the attorney who filed for the subpoena, the name of the parties involved in the case, and, if it applies, a list of the specific items of evidence that are being requested. It may also be helpful to list out any specific deadlines that need to be met.

Once the subpoena is completed, it must be filed with the court. This can be done through the mail or in person. The court will then review the request and decide whether to issue the subpoena. If approved, the party who received the subpoena will then be responsible for providing the requested evidence.

Types of Subpoena

Subpoenas are commonly used for cases involving court cases or investigations. Likewise, there are two different types of subpoenas, each with its own specific purpose:

Subpoena Duces Tecum

This type asks for documents or other evidence related to a case. For instance, this subpoena would be used if someone is being investigated for a crime. The police may subpoena the person’s bank statements, phone records, and any other evidence that could help them in their investigation and use these records to analyze if the suspected person is guilty or not.

Subpoena Ad Testificandum

This subpoena type orders a person to appear in court to testify as a witness in a case. For example, if two people are going to court over a car accident, the judge may subpoena both drivers to come to court and give their testimony about what happened during the accident. This will allow both sides to state their case and give the court a bigger picture of what happened.

Man stands before court

How Subpoenas are Served

Once the court issues a subpoena, it must be “served” on the person or business to whom it is addressed. The service of a subpoena is generally accomplished by mailing the subpoena directly to the person to be served or by delivering it to the individual personally. For the latter, individuals who often deliver subpoenas are court clerks, private process servers, or sheriff’s deputies. But among them, servers’ primary duties and responsibilities include properly delivering court summons, subpoenas, writs, and other legal documents to the intended party or parties. So they likely have daily exposure to the job in comparison with others. That’s why if you require the appearance of a witness or the production of documents, you should hire local preferred process servers whose law knowledge and field experience can ensure your subpoena is served in compliance with the law. These services will not only ensure you receive the necessary documents on time, but they will also guarantee that you maximize your chances for a successful outcome when they approach the job with utmost professionalism and integrity.

Given this, certain rules must be followed when serving a subpoena. For example, in many states, the individual being served must be given a certain amount of notice before the date on which they are required to appear in court or produce documents. This period and its conditions vary between states, so it’s essential to check your state’s laws when handling subpoenas.

It’s important to be aware of the steps in the process and the different types of subpoenas, and how they are served. This will help you know what to expect and ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible so you can focus on your case.

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