A subpoena is a legal document issued by the Court at the request of a party to a case. A subpoena compels a person to produce documents or give evidence at a hearing or trial.
There are three types of subpoena:
- a subpoena for production
- a subpoena to give evidence, and
- a subpoena for production and to give evidence.
A party to a case can request a subpoena if a person refuses or is unable, of their own free will, to give evidence in the case or to provide documents to the Court that are relevant to the case. However, the party should make attempts to get the required document or evidence by, for example, asking the person to provide it before requesting the Court to issue a subpoena.
A subpoena for production and to give evidence should not be sought if production of the document/s and/or thing/s alone would be sufficient.
What do I do if I receive a subpoena?
When served with a subpoena, you must comply with it. If you do not comply with a subpoena, a court may issue a warrant for your arrest, and order you to pay any costs caused by your non-compliance.
A court may also find you guilty of contempt of court.
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