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What Is a Subpoena Duces Tecum?

A subpoena duces tecum is also known as a subpoena for production of evidence. It is a Latin term for “bring with you under penalty of punishment” that is issued by court order to summon the parties involved and bring tangible evidence.

A subpoena duces tecum is a written order which is served by the court for a person to appear at a specific date and time and produce documents or evidence at the time of the disposition. It is issued to a specific person stating his name and location who is most likely the physical holder of the requested documents such as financial records, corporate books, insurance policies, and accident reports. It also may be served upon a qualified representative, partner or officer in cases of corporation or government agencies. This order should be clearly outlined with the requested evidences and must only contain of the documents which is in the hands of the respondent to avoid extensive search and prevent the parties from fishing more documents. This subpoena is used by the court to gain access to documents which are relevant to the case and cannot be used to force or reiterate a witness to confirm any truth that lies in the produced evidence. A subpoena duces tecum is not limited only to the parties involved in a certain case but may also be served to other people who holds relevant documents. A person served with a subpoena cannot decline without a valid excuse although he can send a representative in place of himself.

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