Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure

Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure  Domestic Relations Procedure Rule 45: Subpoena

Table of Contents

(a) For Attendance of witnesses; form; issuance

Every subpoena shall be issued by the clerk of court, by a notary public, or by a justice of the peace, shall state the name of the court and the title of the action, and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at a time and place therein specified. The clerk, notary public, or justice of the peace shall issue a subpoena, or a subpoena for the production of documentary evidence, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall fill it in before service.

(b) For production of documentary evidence

A subpoena may also command the person to whom it is directed to produce the books, papers, documents, or tangible things designated therein; but the court, upon motion made promptly and in any event at or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance therewith, may (1) quash or modify the subpoena if it is unreasonable and oppressive or (2) condition denial of the motion upon the advancement by the person in whose behalf the subpoena is issued of the reasonable cost of producing the books, papers, documents, or tangible things.

(c) Service

A subpoena may be served by any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age. Service of a subpoena upon a person named therein shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to such person, or by exhibiting it and reading it to him, or by leaving a copy at his place of abode; and by tendering to him the fees for one day’s attendance and the mileage allowed by law. When the subpoena is issued on behalf of the United States or the Commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, or an officer, or agency of either, fees and mileage need not be tendered.

(d) Subpoena for taking deposition; place of examination

(1) No subpoena for the taking of a deposition shall be issued prior to the service of a notice to take the deposition.

The subpoena may command the person to whom it is directed to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, papers, documents, or tangible things which constitute or contain evidence relating to any of the matters within the scope of the examination permitted by these rules, but in that event the subpoena will be subject to the provisions of Rule 26(c) and subdivision (b) of this rule.

A deposition subpoena upon a party which commands the production of documents or things must give the party deponent at least thirty days for compliance after service thereof. Such subpoena shall not require compliance of a defendant within 45 days after service of the summons and complaint on that defendant. The court may allow a shorter or longer time.

The person to whom the subpoena is directed may within 10 days after the service thereof or on or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance if such time is less than 10 days after service, serve upon the attorney designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated materials. If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena shall not be entitled to inspect and copy the materials except pursuant to an order of the court from which the subpoena was issued. The party serving the subpoena may if objection has been made, move upon notice to the deponent for an order at any time before or during the taking of the deposition.

(2) Unless the court orders otherwise, a resident of this Commonwealth shall not be required to attend an examination at a place more than 50 airline miles distant from either his residence, place of employment, or place of business, whichever is nearest to the place to which he is subpoenaed. A non-resident of the Commonwealth when served with a subpoena within the Commonwealth may be required to attend only in that county wherein he is served, or within 50 airline miles of the place of service, or at such other convenient place as is fixed by an order of court.

(e) Subpoena for a hearing or trial

At the request of any party subpoenas for attendance at a hearing or trial shall be issued by any of the persons directed in subdivision (a) of this rule. A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a hearing or trial may be served at any place within the Commonwealth.

(f) Contempt

Failure by any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon him may be deemed a contempt of the court in which the action is pending.

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