Arizona Civil Subpoenas 101

Authored by Jennifer Cranston
Published by Arcadia News

Arizona Civil Subpoenas 101

A client who was served with a subpoena in another state recently contacted me. The subpoena required the client to produce a substantial number of documents in a short time frame, and many of the documents contained proprietary information that the client did not want made public. In helping the client respond to the subpoena, I had a chance to reflect on and appreciate the user-friendly subpoena rules that we have in place here in Arizona.

What is a subpoena?

A subpoena is a document that requires the recipient (typically a nonparty to the lawsuit) to either (1) appear and give testimony at a hearing, trial or deposition; or (2) produce documents that are relevant to the lawsuit. A subpoena for documents (called a "subpoena duces tecum") is a common investigation tool used by parties in a civil lawsuit (such as a breach of contract or personal injury claim).

how does a party issue subpoena?

In a civil case, the parties prepare subpoenas using a standard form, which lists the date, time and place that the recipient is requested to testify or produce the specified documents. The party then takes the subpoena to the Court clerk to be signed, at which point the subpoena is said to be "issued" by the Court. Once issued, the party is then responsible for serving the subpoena on the person from whom the testimony or documents are sought.


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