With the rapid growth of the internet, several companies now have a nationwide or even worldwide presence.
When a dispute arises, a lawsuit may be filed in one state, but witnesses and evidence may be located somewhere else. In order to ensure that these people and documents are available and produced in connection with the litigation, an attorney for a party in the lawsuit must make sure that an enforceable subpoena is issued at those additional locations.
Ordinarily, a court in one state has no authority in a different jurisdiction. Another problem is that the rules and procedures regarding subpoenas vary not only from state to state, but also, among counties within a single state.
Until just a few years ago, this kind of situation presented huge obstacles for plaintiffs and their attorneys. In order to obtain discovery, a litigant was required to obtain an order from a court in their home jurisdiction – the state in which the lawsuit was pending. Then, that party would have to file the order with the out-of-state jurisdiction and request the order to be enforced. The litigant would be forced to hire an attorney licensed to practice in the other jurisdiction to enter their appearance to enforce the home-state order. This was time-consuming, expensive, and confusing.
For at least some situations, this problem has been addressed. Several years ago, a national commission that proposes uniform laws and procedures presented the states with the Interstate and International Deposition and Discovery Act. California was one of the first states to adopt this uniform act into law under California Code of Civil Procedure sections 2029.100 - 2029.900 ; within just a few years, at least 30 states had adopted it, and more legislatures are considering this much simpler and consistent way – a “simple, clerical procedure” involving “minimal judicial oversight” – for litigants to compel discovery across state lines.
So when both states – the home state where the lawsuit is pending, and the other state where witnesses and evidence are located – have enacted this Uniform Act, a litigant can take advantage of these clearer and easier ways to issue out-of-state subpoenas. It’s a big improvement over the formerly chaotic maze of rules and procedures.
If you are a party, or represent a litigant, in a state outside California that needs to issue a subpoena in this state, Direct Legal Support, Inc. can help. There are three forms available on our website; choose the right one and Kern will take you through the process to successful completion.
Kern can also help with the more complex procedures if the other state has not yet adopted the Interstate and International Deposition and Discovery Act. Contact us today for more information about our out-of-state subpoena services.