Massachusetts law about subpoenas

Laws, rules, and web sources on subpoenas in Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Massachusetts rules

Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure 45: Subpoenas

  • Rule 45(a). For attendance of witnesses; form; issuance
  • Rule 45(b). Combining or separating a command to produce or to permit inspection; specifying the form for electronically stored information
  • Rule 45(c). Service
  • Rule 45(d). Subpoenas for taking deposition and for command to produce; place of examination
  • Rule 45(e). Subpoena for a hearing or trial
  • Rule 45(f). Duties in responding to a subpoena
  • Rule 45(g). Contempt

Trial Court Rule IX: Uniform rules on subpoenas to court officials

  • Rule 1. Subpoena to a justice, magistrate or probation officer
  • Rule 2. Subpoena duces tecum to court officials
  • Rule 3. Subpoena duces tecum for records of the Office of the Commissioner of Probation


Service providers

While Rule 45 provides that service can be made by "any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age," service can also be made by a Deputy Sheriff or Constable

Web sources

Are deposition subpoenas enforceable in Massachusetts civil cases?, Lynch & Owens P.C. (By James M. Lynch, June 9, 2017).
Reviews the “Massachusetts laws which give teeth to subpoenas in civil cases, including the issuance of bench warrants.”

The new "documents only" subpoena under recently amended Mass. R. Civ. P. 45, Boston Bar Journal, 2015.
Nice summary of the rule and procedure. 

SJC changes subpoena rules for Massachusetts litigants, Schwartz Hannum PC, (September 2015).

Understanding non-party subpoenas in Massachusetts Probate and Family court, Mass. Legal Help, 2024.
Includes general information about different types of subpoenas, how to write and serve a subpoena, what happens when someone ignores a subpoena, and more.

Deposition and discovery request for use in another state

Massachusetts Laws

MGL c. 223A, § 10 Taking depositions outside commonwealth; issuance of commissions or letters rogatory

MGL c. 223A, § 11 Discovery within commonwealth for proceedings outside commonwealth

MGL c. 233, § 45 Deposition for use in another state

Print sources

LexisNexis practice guide: Massachusetts civil pretrial practice, annual, LexisNexis.
Chapter 12. § 12.08 CHECKLIST: Compelling Witness' Appearance and Production of Records at Trial By Subpoena; § 12.09 Compelling Appearance and Production of Documentary Evidence at Trial by Subpoena; § 12.10 Moving to Quash or Modify Subpoena.

LexisNexis practice guide: Massachusetts civil trial practice, annual, LexisNexis.
Chapter 1. § 1.15 Serving Trial Subpoena.

Massachusetts pleading and practice: forms and commentary, v.6, Matthew Bender, loose-leaf, Chapter 45-Rule 45. Subpoena. Forms included. 

Massachusetts Practice:

Contact   for Massachusetts law about subpoenas

Last updated: May 24, 2024

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