How to Subpoena Records in Massachusetts

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In Massachusetts, parties can compel the production of records in a lawsuit by serving the record keepers with a subpoena. A subpoena is an official notice that requires the person to produce the requested documents within a specific period of time or face court action. Records can include files, books, papers or other written documents. The subpoena process is fairly simple. Massachusetts provides a standard form you need to fill out and deliver to the record keeper. You do not need the court's approval prior to serving the subpoena. Your subpoena is enforceable after it is notarized.

Things You'll Need

  • Subpoena form
  • Return of Service form
  • Get the subpoena and return of service forms from the MassLegalHelp website or from a clerk at your local courthouse. Find your local courthouse on the Massachusetts Court System website, if necessary.

  • Fill out the subpoena form. Write or type the record keeper's name, court name, case name, docket number, party names, date and time of court hearing, and the documents you are requesting.

  • Write a cover letter asking the record keeper to send you "certified true and complete copies" of the records. Include the date you want the documents delivered and a delivery address. This saves the witness fee cost you would need to pay the record keeper if you required them to attend your court hearing.

  • Sign and notarize the subpoena form. Make two copies of the form.

  • Contact a family member, a friend, local law enforcement or a process server to serve the record keeper with the original, notarized subpoena form. You, or any other party to the case, cannot serve the subpoena. Note the server must be over the age of 18. After service, the server must fill out the Return of Service form and leave a copy with the record holder.

  • Wait for the record keeper to deliver the records. Bring a copy of the subpoena form and original return of service form with you to the court hearing.

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