A subpoena is a court order to either produce a person to testify or to turn over certain documents to the court. In Maryland, as in all other states, the manner in which you subpoena documents is governed by the rules of the court. The subpoena is issued by the court, not the party requesting the documents. The custodian of the documents is obligated to submit the documents to the court unless he can show good reason not to comply with the subpoena.
Determine what documents you need. For example, if you are being sued by somebody for a traffic accident, you may want to subpoena the medical records of the party who was injured. You must specify which medical records you want - for example, records regarding treatment for back injuries.
Identify who the custodian of the documents is. Find out the name and address of the individual who holds the documents.
Ask the clerk of the court where your trial is being heard to issue a subpoena. In some cases, the clerk will prepare the entire subpoena or the clerk may provide a blank form and ask you to attach an affidavit listing all of the documents sought. Be prepared to provide a detailed description of the documents sought, the exact location and the name and address of the custodian of the documents.
Serve a copy of the subpoena on the custodian of the records. Service of process may be carried out by the sheriff or by a person who is 18 years or older and is not a party to the case. Proof of service must be presented to the court.
Tips & Warnings
- Documents that are subject to a subpoena may not be admissible under the rules of evidence. Be sure the specify why the documents are relevant for your case.
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