Subpoenas in administrative proceedings

What you need to know about Subpoenas at DALA.

Table of Contents

The right to subpoenas.  A subpoena is a formal order requiring a witness to provide evidence.  If you are a party to a proceeding before DALA, you are entitled to receive subpoenas for use in that proceeding.  Your subpoenas may require the witness to testify, to provide documents to you, or both.  The rules that govern subpoenas at DALA appear in General Laws chapter 30A, section 12.

Signing subpoenas.  Your subpoenas must be signed either by DALA or by a notary public.  If you would like DALA to sign your subpoenas, you must ask DALA in writing to do so.  You must prepare draft subpoenas and attach them to your request.  A template for drafting subpoenas is available at the bottom of this webpage.

Serving subpoenas.  Once a subpoena is signed, the party that requested the subpoena is responsible for providing the subpoena to the witness.

Motions to quash.  The witness may ask DALA to cancel or modify the subpoena.  DALA must grant such a request if the evidence that the subpoena pursues is not reasonably related to the substance of the appeal, or if the subpoena is unreasonable, or if the subpoena was not issued a reasonable amount of time before the hearing.

Enforcement proceedings.  If the witness does not comply, the party that requested the subpoena may bring an action in the Superior Court to enforce it.  The Superior Court may order the recipient to comply with the subpoena and may punish failure to do so as contempt of court.

Reminder about filing rules.  All submissions to DALA must identify the case name and docket number, and a copy always must be provided to the opposing party.

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