A “Subpoena” is a document and process which requires a party or witness to attend a litigation proceeding.
A Subpoena 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 law suit 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.
Witness Fee Required – The witness fee is $12.00 plus mileage at the rate of 20¢ for each mile to be traveled from the residence of the witness to the place of trial, to be computed one way only. When a Subpoena is issued on behalf of a state officer or agency, the witness fee and mileage need not be tendered.
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.
Unless good cause is shown, a subpoenaed witness who fails to appear is liable to a defendant in the sum of $100.00 if the defendant is damaged by the non-attendance of the witness.
The County may be required to pay the reasonable expenses of an indigent witness.
Contempt – Disobedience to a Subpoena or refusal to be sworn or to testify as a witness may be punished as a contempt of court.