A “Subpoena” is a document and process which requires a party or witness to attend a court hearing. It may also command the person named to produce designated records of tangible things when the person subpoenaed appears. This kind of subpoena is called a “Subpoena Duces Tecum.”
Issued by Court - A Civil Subpoena is usually issued by the Court in which the lawsuit is pending at the request of the party who desires the attendance of the party subpoenaed.
Must be served - To be effective the Subpoena must be served upon the person who is to appear. A Civil Subpoena is served by a process server, or other adult person who is not a party, by delivering a copy of the Subpoena to the person named therein, and by tendering to that person the fees for one day’s attendance and mileage allowed by law.
Contempt - Failure of any person without adequate excuse to obey a Subpoena served upon that person may be deemed a contempt of the Court from which the Subpoena issued.
Issued by Court, County Attorney, or Attorney General - In addition to the Court, a County Attorney or the Attorney General may sign and issue Criminal Subpoenas in some instances.
Service - Personal service by showing original to witness, giving copy, and informing witness of contents. May also be served by certified mail, if mail receipt signed and returned by addressee.
Compliance - If a subpoenaed witness fails to appear, the cost of procuring the attendance of such witness, when required by the court, shall be taxed against the witness unless excused by the court for good cause shown.
Contempt - Disobedience to a Subpoena, or refusal to be sworn or to testify as a witness, may be punished as a contempt of court.