A subpoena is a legal order. It may take one of two forms: subpoena duces tecum and subpoena ad testificandum. In either case, these are legal documents which people are obligated to answer. A subpoena, no matter its form, follows procedures.

  1. Issuance

Attorneys issue subpoenas requesting information they need. There is no court oversight in most cases when it is an attorney issuing the order. A subpoena will provide specific information such as the complaining party, the defendant, the case number, what you are being asked to provide, and the date of the meeting or hearing. In cases where you are only required to provide documents, you will be asked to do so by a certain date.

  1. Service of Process

In most states, subpoenas must be served by a private process server or a member of law enforcement. You may be served anywhere, but it is most common to be served at your place of residence.

  1. Motions

If you have your own attorney, they may attempt to file motions to quash and invalidate it. If you do receive a subpoena, you have the right to speak with an attorney before you answer it, providing you meet the time requirements outlined in the order.

If you are facing a family law matter in Columbia or Howard County, and need assistance, an experienced family law attorney can help you. Reach out to an attorney to discover more about your legal rights and obligations.