Go to navigation Go to content

What is a Subpoena "Duces Tecum?"

 

A: When preparing a case for trial, it is important to prepare subpoenas that compel a person to show up for trial. This particular subpoena, known as a 'duces tecum' subpoena has nothing to do with requiring a 'person' to show up at trial. Instead, the subpoena requires that a person or company produce documents. This is often useful when we need hospital records or police reports that must be submitted to court.

Why do we even need to send a subpoena if we have copies of the records in our file? Can't we simply introduce the copies that we have in our file? The short answer is “No.”

The reason is simple. When we serve a subpoena on a hospital, we require that they certify the records are accurate. Otherwise, one side might be able to claim that the records that we are submitting into evidence may not complete, may not accurate, and may have been changed either intentionally or accidentally at some point prior to trial.

By compelling an independent company, having nothing to do with the claims in this case, to produce copies of their records and submit them directly to court, along with a certification that they are accurate, this provides reassurance not only to the parties involved in a lawsuit but also to the court, to make sure that the documents have not been tampered or altered.