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How to Domesticate an Out of State Subpoena or Deposition in California

The first method, which can be rather cumbersome, requires one to submit a foreign subpoena to the Clerk of Court in the county in which the discovery is sought, along with the required judicial council form. This process is laid out in Code of Civil Procedure section 2029.300:

(a) To request issuance of a subpoena under this section, a party shall submit the original or a true and correct copy of a foreign subpoena to the clerk of the superior court in the county in which discovery is sought to be conducted in this state.  A request for the issuance of a subpoena under this section does not constitute making an appearance in the courts of this state.

(b) In addition to submitting a foreign subpoena under subdivision (a), a party seeking discovery shall do both of the following:

(1) Submit an application requesting that the superior court issue a subpoena with the same terms as the foreign subpoena.  The application shall be on a form prescribed by the Judicial Council pursuant to Section 2029.390.  No civil case cover sheet is required.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2029.300 must “also satisfy  all of the following conditions":

(1) It shall incorporate the terms used in the foreign subpoena.

(2) It shall contain or be accompanied by the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all counsel of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by counsel.

(3) It shall bear the caption and case number of the out-of-state case to which it relates.

(4) It shall state the name of the court that issues it.

(5) It shall be on a form prescribed by the Judicial Council pursuant to Section 2029.390.

The forms prescribed the Judicial Council are as follows and depend on the precise discovery sought in California:

  1. SUBP-035: “Subpoena for Production of Business Records in Action Pending Outside California
  2. SUBP-040: “Deposition Subpoena for Personal Appearance in Action Pending Outside California
  3. SUBP-045: “Deposition Subpoena for Personal Appearance and Production of Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Things in Action Pending Outside California
  4. SUBP-050: “Subpoena for Inspection of Premises in Action Pending Outside California

Here is something that may trip up non-California attorneys: if your discovery seeks employee, health, banking or other records protected by Code of Civil Procedure section 1985, the notice requirements of this statute still apply, even if the discovery was originally issued in another state. To wit, if you are seeking these types of protected records, the affected consumer or employee must be given notice in advance of the service of the subpoena on the witness or business. Failure to comply with these requirements may lead to sanctions and may prohibit enforcement of the requested discovery in California.

Do you need to retain local counsel in California to domesticate a subpoena from another state? We can help and we can do it for a low, flat fee. You can contact us by e-mail or call us at 619-819-8383.

Nothing herein constitutes a warranty, guarantee or prediction of your case.  Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result.