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What Does “Duces Tecum” Mean?

Duces Tecum is a Latin phrase that means “bring with you” and is commonly associated with a kind of subpoena. A subpoena is a kind of summons issued by a court to individuals who must make an appearance at court or to produce evidence that has not yet been presented. Thus, duces tecum subpoena refers to a court order for certain parties that have been named to appear before court or to present tangible evidence.

The subpoena duces tecum is generally used for courts to obtain certain types of legal documents or evidence that are under the custody of another party. If the party does not appear before court with the items or evidence requested, the party faces punishment. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the individual to comply with such a summons otherwise he or she may be punishable under a court of law.

A subpoena duces tecum specifically states the name of the parties who are in custody of relevant evidence in a court case. This legal document also contains the contact and identification of said parties as well as the details concerning the evidence that is to be brought with them in their appearance in court. The issuance of a subpoena duces tecum to a party means that it is reasonable to believe that the party summoned is actually in custody of the evidence. This kind of subpoena is not meant to fish for evidence as opposed to having reasonable suspicion that it is within the custody of the party named.

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