A subpoena is a legal document that requires an individual to appear in court or produce certain documents or evidence for use in a legal proceeding. Subpoenas are issued by a court, attorney, or other authorized party and are typically served by a law enforcement officer or a process server.
Types of Subpoenas:
There are two main types of subpoenas: a subpoena ad testificandum, which requires an individual to appear in court and give testimony, and a subpoena duces tecum, which requires an individual to produce documents or other physical evidence. Subpoenas may also be issued to third parties, such as employers or banks, to compel them to produce information or documents related to a legal case.
- Subpoena ad testificandum: This type of subpoena requires an individual to appear in court and give testimony under oath. It is commonly used to compel witnesses to appear and testify at trial or other legal proceedings. Examples of when a subpoena ad testificandum might be used include:
- A witness who saw a car accident is subpoenaed to testify in court about what they saw.
- A victim of a crime is subpoenaed to testify in court about the details of the crime.
- An expert witness in a medical malpractice case is subpoenaed to testify about the standard of care in the medical profession.
- Subpoena duces tecum: This type requires an individual to produce documents or other physical evidence for use in a legal proceeding. It is often used to obtain records or other evidence from businesses, organizations, or individuals that may be relevant to a case. Examples of when a subpoena duces tecum might be used include:
- A hospital is compelled to produce medical records related to a patient’s treatment.
- A bank is compelled to produce financial records related to a financial dispute.
- A company is compelled to produce emails or other electronic documents related to a lawsuit.
Failure to comply with a subpoena can result in legal consequences, such as fines, imprisonment, or a finding of contempt of court. However, individuals who receive a subpoena may be able to challenge it in court if they believe it is unreasonable or unduly burdensome. By consulting with a legal professional, you can get a better understanding of your rights and obligations under the subpoena, and determine the best course of action for your particular situation.