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What is the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act?

Uniform acts, like the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA), are a very important part of the law. They allow uniformity, coordination, and make it much easier for attorneys to traverse the laws of different state.

Learn some basics about the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act

The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act is no different. This Act has been adopted, in some form, by a little over half of the states, including California. The latest text of the act can be found here.

The principle behind the act are simple: when attorneys or parties have to go beyond the borders of the state in which their action was commenced, they should not be encumbered by difficult procedures in order to issue enforceable discovery in another state.

The general idea is that an out of state litigator needs to submit a properly issued subpoena (either from an attorney, a clerk of court, or from a judge, depending on the State) from his or her home state to the specific county of the the state in which they intend to do discovery. The county will then domesticate that foreign subpoena into a subpoena that is enforceable in that county. If the process is not followed correctly, the discovery will not be enforceable.

Some states, like California, make it even easier. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 2029.350, any active California attorney can issue his or her own enforceable subpoena as long as it meets the following requirements:

(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 superior court of the county in which the discovery is to be conducted.

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

As long as these steps are followed, the subpoena issued by the California will be enforceable just like any other California subpoena. For example, if the deponent does not want to appear for his or her deposition, the California Court can compel the deponent to appear on behalf of the state that issued the original subpoena.

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.