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Subpoena

From Academic Kids

A subpoena (pronounced 'suh-pee-nuh') is a writ commanding a person to appear under penalty (from Latin).

It is used to compel the testimony of witnesses in a trial or other adversarial proceeding. Subpoenas are issued by the clerk of the court in the name of the judge presiding over the case in which the witness is to testify. Typically subpoenas are issued "in blank" and it is the responsibility of the lawyer representing the plaintiff or defendant on whose behalf the testimony is to be given to serve the subpoena on the witness.

The subpoena has its source in English common law and it is now used almost with universal application throughout the Anglo-American common law world.

Issuance of subpoenas for proceedings in the United States district courts is governed by Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Many state courts in the US have adopted Rule 45 or similar procedures.

The United States Congress also has the power to issue subpoenas and can punish individuals who fail to comply by contempt of Congress, which is similar to contempt of court.

See also

External links and references

  • WHAT IS A SUBPOENA? (http://www.flabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/0/b121300d356fab5e85256b2f006c60e1?OpenDocument) Gives advice on what to do if "you have received a legal document called a subpoena".
  • DMCA Subpoenas (http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca-sub/) "If someone is seeking your name without a reasonable claim of copyright infringement, that's an abuse: For example, if someone is using the subpoena to harass or defraud; if they've matched filenames, but not their content; if you weren't using the IP address listed (because of a typo or other error, such as because someone else was using a wireless network). Even if you did have copyrighted material on your computer, you might have a lawful right of fair use"

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