Subpoenas, especially those involving non-parties, are a common occurrence in nearly every Texas medical malpractice lawsuit.
An attorney can issue a subpoena in Texas during an ongoing lawsuit.
To simplify, a subpoena for discovery or trial purposes doesn’t require formal issuance by a judge.
Requirements for a valid subpoena
Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 176 outlines the prerequisites for a valid subpoena, which must include the following:
- It must be issued in the name of The State of Texas.
- Clearly state the lawsuit’s style, its cause number, and the court where the suit is pending.
- Specify the issuance date of the subpoena.
- Clearly identify the recipient of the subpoena.
- Indicate the time, location, and nature of the action required by the recipient of the subpoena. This action may encompass attending a deposition or trial for testimony, with or without producing identifiable documents. Alternatively, it may involve document production only without the need for testimony.
- Provide information about the party and attorney, if applicable, who is instigating the subpoena.
- Contain the signature of the person issuing the subpoena, typically the reporting attorney.
- Include the verbatim text of Rule 176.8(a).
Who can issue a subpoena in Texas?
An attorney can issue a subpoena in Texas. Furthermore, the Court, a Notary Public, or the attorney representing the party initiating the legal action can issue a subpoena, regardless of its type.
Regardless of the issuing entity, the subpoena functions as a formal court order or a legally issued writ, compelling the witness to appear, provide testimony, and/or produce required documents.
Who can serve a subpoena in Texas?
Anyone over 18 who is not a party to the case, including the attorneys, can serve a Texas subpoena.
While not mandatory, people often prefer licensed Process Servers because they possess the skills to handle uncooperative witnesses and can provide proof of service or attempted service.