Massachusetts law about subpoenas

A compilation of laws, rules, and web sources on subpoenas in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts rules

MRCP 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

Forms

Subpoenas, Mass. Legal Help. Includes:

Subpoena for documents only, Worcester Law Library.

See Print Sources, below, for additional forms.

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. 

Serving a subpoena, Mass. Legal Help.
A simple guide for those who want to serve a subpoena, includes directions and forms.

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

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, looseleaf, Chapter 45-Rule 45. Subpoena. Forms included. 

Massachusetts Practice:

What to do about personnel problems in Massachusetts, Revised 3/19, BLR-Business & Legal Reports, looseleaf,
p. J-21. Court appearance. “It is unlawful for any employer to discharge, penalize, or threaten an employee for attending court as a witness at a criminal action if the employer has been notified of the subpoena by the employee. Violation of these provisions is subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both (MA Gen. Laws Ch, 268 Sec. 14B). A prosecutor may intercede with an employer to minimize any loss of pay or benefits for a witness. An employer that refuses to cooperate may be charged with sanctions (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 258B, Sec. 3(1)).”

Contact

Online

Law library locations and phone numbers Library locations 
Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com
Last updated: August 3, 2022
Feedback