A Subpoena in Texas Court – The Basics of a Subpoena – Part I
(subpoena or suh-pee-nu)
What is a subpoena?
In this series, we will address the fundamental basics of a Subpoena in Texas court. The word “subpoena” is a noun. It commands or requires a witness to appear before a court, board, or appointed person(s). The word “subpoenaing” or “subpoenaed” is a verb used to explain a witness has been or will be served with a Subpoena.
Are there different types of subpoenas?
Some examples of the different types of subpoenas are as follows:
· “Appearance Subpoena” or “Subpoena to Appear” – a document served to command a person or entity to appear at a particular time and place to testify as a witness, such as at a deposition, trial, hearing, or other form of testimony, such as at a mediation or arbitration hearing, if witnesses are allowed.
· “Subpoena Duces Tecum” – used to command a person or entity to appear and bring or produce documents. The Latin term “duces tecum” means “you shall bring with you”.
· “Subpoena to Produce” – for the purpose of commanding a person or entity to produce documents but not make an appearance to testify.
Knowing the correct terminology and using the correct language therein is vital to ensuring your Subpoena is not objected to by either the opposing counsel or the witness. Any Subpoena to a non-party witness in a civil case must be noticed, with both the Notice and Subpoena being filed with the court, served upon all opposing parties, and served upon the witness.
Who can issue a subpoena in Texas?
In Texas State Court Cases, a Subpoena in Texas court (any type listed above) can be issued by the Court, by a Notary Public, or by the Attorney for the party issuing the legal document. Whichever the method of issuance, the Subpoena acts as a court order or an issued writ commanding the witness to appear, testify, and/or produce.
Who can serve a subpoena in Texas?
Service of process of a Texas Subpoena can be accomplished by anyone who is not a party to the case (including the attorneys of record for the party) and is over 18 years of age. A licensed Process Server is not required to serve or deliver a copy of the Subpoena, but most people prefer this method. This is because Process Servers are trained to handle witnesses who resist service and know how to provide proof of service or attempted service.
Know you cannot obtain a Rule 106 Substituted Service for a Subpoena.
Debbie Hartzer is the President and Founder of The Legal Connection, Inc. (“TLC”). If you need assistance preparing or serving your next Subpoena, our team at TLC can assist. Debbie’s background consists of 13 years as a litigation paralegal, 9 years working for a record retrieval business in which she was the Director of Sales and a shareholder, and 2 years as the Director of Sales at a computer forensics investigation company, prior to opening TLC in 2009. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, crafting, gardening, cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.