A subpoena is used to command a person to appear in court to testify, answer questions at a deposition, or provide documents relevant to the case. Regardless of the purpose of the subpoena, it is critical that the intended party receives it.
A simple error in the process of a subpoena may render it invalid, causing unnecessary delays in the case. Here are some examples of common mistakes that render subpoenas invalid:
Giving the Subpoena to the Wrong Person
While it seems like ensuring that they’re delivering the subpoena to the right person seems easy, matters can complicate this. For instance, the person being served may have a very common name, such as John Smith, or the name is correct, but the physical description does not match what was provided. It’s also possible that the person who claimed to be John Smith and received the papers was not in fact him but someone else, such as a friend or roommate.
This type of mistake is typically committed by novice process servers or individuals tasked to deliver the subpoena, such as a friend or relative. To avoid this, make sure to choose an experienced process server. They would go to great lengths to ensure that they have the right person, such as verifying their address, talking to their neighbors and friends, and going through public records.
Suppose the subpoena is not delivered to the right person. In that case, it could result in delays to the legal proceedings, including additional time spent waiting as process of service is attempted again. Also, the defendant or respondent can request the judge to dismiss the case for bad service, forcing your legal team to start over.
Failing to Verify Service
In New York, the person who serves the subpoena must fill out an Affidavit of Service. This document contains details about the delivery of the subpoena, such as the date and time. The courts require this document to be notarized.
Providing inaccurate information on the Affidavit of Service, failing to have it notarized, or not filing it with the court can nullify the subpoena. The Affidavit of Service is considered proof that the subpoena was delivered to the intended recipient. Without it, the person subpoenaed can claim that they didn’t receive it. This may lead the judge to postpone or even cancel the proceedings.
Not Knowing the Laws Governing Out-of-State Subpoenas
New York is one of the states that have enacted the Uniform Interstate and International Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA). This created simple procedures for a court in one state to issue subpoenas for depositions from persons out of state.
For states under the UIDDA, litigants must present a subpoena to a court clerk in the state where deposition or documents are sought.
A subpoena requesting a deposition or documents in a state outside New York requires knowledge of both New York and the state where the person being subpoenaed resides. For this reason, some people choose to hire attorneys in the other state to take care of the matter. However, this is costly and can require significant back and forth between the attorney, the litigant, and the courts.
Trustworthy and Experienced Process Servers
To help ensure that a subpoena is served in compliance with New York laws, hire a seasoned, reliable, and honest process server to deliver the subpoena is the wisest choice. A licensed process server removes the need to hire an attorney to serve out-of-state subpoenas, and prevents the pitfalls of common mistakes like serving the wrong person and failing to verify service.
Serve Index LLC has a team of licensed and skilled process servers who work with integrity and attention to detail. Our law support agency’s satisfied clients include law firms, corporations, and civilians.
Regardless of whether you need a subpoena served within New York or out of state, you can rely on our team to avoid mistakes that can lead to the derailment of your case.
Reach out to us today to get more information about our subpoena service or to learn more about our No-Hassle Service Guarantee.