Subpoena Duces Tecum

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Subpoena Duces Tecum

[Latin, Under penalty to bring with you.] The judicial process used to command the production before a court of papers, documents, or other tangible items of evidence.

A subpoena duces tecum is used to compel the production of documents that might be admissible before the court. It cannot be used to require oral testimony and ordinarily cannot be used to compel a witness to reiterate, paraphrase, or affirm the truth of the documents produced.

Although frequently employed to obtain discovery during litigation, a subpoena duces tecum may not be used for a "fishing expedition" to enable a party to gain access to massive amounts of documents as a means of gathering evidence. The subpoena should be sufficiently definite so that a respondent can identify the documents sought without a protracted or extensive search. Moreover, a person ordinarily is required to produce only documents in her possession or under her control and supervision. A subpoena duces tecum may be used to compel the production of the papers and books of a business, however.

A subpoena duces tecum is not limited to parties to a lawsuit but may also be used for others who have relevant documents. In the absence of a valid excuse, an individual served with a subpoena duces tecum must produce the items sought, although a subordinate may comply instead. A subpoena duces tecum may be challenged by a motion to quash, modify, or vacate the subpoena or by a motion for a protective order. The subpoena might not be permitted if alternative methods for obtaining the information sought are available. Determining whether a subpoena duces tecum should be enforced is a discretionary matter within the judgment of the court.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM, practice. A writ or process of the same kind as the subpoena ad testificandum, including a clause requiring the witness to bring with him and produce to the court, books, papers, &c., in his hands, tending to elucidate the matter in issue. 3 Bl. Com. 382.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The rule states in pertinent part that "following the convening authority's order directing such pretrial investigation" either "counsel representing the United States" or the "investigating officer" may issue a subpoena duces tecum (49) Thus, the section is a rule of limitation confining the compulsory power to the trial counsel or the Article 32 officer and proscribing that the power does not vest until the convening authority directs an Article 32.
(334) Tribal immunity from the subpoena duces tecum proves to be a poisoned chalice, undermining the very objectives that it is proposed to advance.
tapes were also specifically identified in the subpoena duces tecum, as
A subpoena duces tecum is not a substitute for an unlawful warrantless search and seizure (i.e., you cannot serve the subpoena on an employee and immediately search and seize records).
Affirming the Court of Appeals, Justice Stevens, for the majority of the Supreme Court, obviously accepts the government's dual arguments: (1) that only the existence, authenticity, and custody of the documents are attested by compliance with the subpoena duces tecum; and (2) that the government does not propose to use the fact of compliance directly to prove any of those facts.
Mustang Tractor and Equipment Co.,(38) the Texas intermediate appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision to strike a plaintiff's pleadings for causing its accountant to violate a subpoena duces tecum. The court found that the accountant, who violated a subpoena duces tecum by sending the documents in his possession to the plaintiff, did so only at the plaintiff's request.
The House committee will also issue subpoena duces tecum for official DPWH documents and transaction records related to flood- control projects implemented from 2017 to 2018.
Judge Elmo Alameda, in a one-page order, granted the ex-parte motion of the prosecution for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum or subpoena for production of evidence to Marissa Flores, GMA senior vice president for news and public affairs.
President Duterte signed the new law last March 1, granting the PNP chief, the director of CIDG and his deputy 'the power to administer oath, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum in relation to its investigation.'
Under the new law, the PNP chief and the deputy director for administration of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 'shall have the power to administer oath, and issue subpoena (testimony) and subpoena duces tecum (documents) in relation to its investigation.'
(G) all information necessary for the proper issuance and execution of a subpoena duces tecum.