Domesticating Subpoenas

Domesticating subpoenas can be a tricky process. With two separate jurisdictions involved, legislative acts to consider, and two different Rules of Civil Procedure, it’s very important to work with a process server who understands the ins and outs of subpoena domestication.

We have extensive experience domesticating subpoenas for cases both in and outside of Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. Below is some helpful information on how subpoena domestication works, what acts are involved, and how to initiate the process.

The process will usually depend on whether both states recognize the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act, which makes the process uniform for states that have adopted it. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. all recognize the act, but if the other state involved does not recognize the act, the process will be different.

Domesticating a Subpoena for States That Recognize the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act

The Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act (UIIDA) has been adopted by over 30 states and Washington, D.C. to make the process as simple as possible. Under the UIDDA, there are three steps: issuing the subpoena, serving the subpoena, and taking the deposition or conducting discovery.

Step One: Issuing the Subpoena

Under the UIDDA, the party submits the foreign subpoena to a clerk in the state where the deposition or discovery is to take place. The clerk then issues the subpoena for service in line with their court’s process and regulations.

Step Two: Serving the Subpoena

The Rules of Civil Procedure for the state in which the subpoena is to be served will need to be followed.

Step Three: Deposition or Discovery

After the subpoena is served, you can move forward with the deposition, testimony, discovery, or producing of records and documents in line with the state laws.

States That Don’t Recognize the Act

Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming all do not recognize the UIDDA.

Arkansas, Ohio, and Wisconsin have introduced the act in 2015, but it has not yet been enacted.

Relevant Maryland Codes

Maryland Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act Section 9-402 – Issuance of Subpoena

(a) Request.-

(1) To request issuance of a subpoena under this section, a party shall submit a foreign subpoena to a clerk of the circuit court for the county in which discovery is sought to be conducted in this State.

(2) A request for the issuance of a subpoena under this subtitle does not constitute an appearance in the courts of this State.

(b) Procedure on submission of foreign subpoena.- When a party submits a foreign subpoena to a clerk of court in this State, the clerk, in accordance with that court’s procedure, shall promptly issue a subpoena for service upon the person to which the foreign subpoena is directed.

(c) Requirements for subpoena.- A subpoena under subsection (b) of this section shall:

(1) Incorporate the terms used in the foreign subpoena; and

(2) Contain or be accompanied by the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all counsel of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by counsel.

Working with States that Don’t Recognize the UIDDA

For states that have not yet adopted the act, the process of subpoena domestication will be different. Generally, the process will be initiated with an order, commission, stipulation, or letter rogatory issued by the trial court.

For having the subpoena domesticated, a request will need to be made to have the subpoena issued by the court where the subpoena is to be served. This usually means filling out an application, submitting a petition, or sending any related documents to the court. In some cases, you will need to file a formal petition, and some states even require a practicing attorney to file the petition.

In these instances where one state does not recognize the UIDDA, it’s important to consult with the courts in both the trial state and deposition state to understand who can serve the subpoena.

Our Expertise in Domesticating Subpoenas

We work with law firms, corporations, and individuals who need process served within Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia, and elsewhere, as well as those within our local area who need process served in other states. We would be happy to assist you with your matter. Give us a call today to get started!