How the New Jersey Uniform Interstate Discovery and Depositions Act Affects Subpoenas

The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act was promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission in 2007. The UIDDA made it easier to depose witnesses who are outside the trial state at less expense. It enabled a standardized process to depose witnesses and access discoverable evidence from outside the state where the trial is to take place.

Through the UIDDA, plaintiffs must acquire a subpoena form from the area where the witness currently resides. Upon completing the form, the plaintiffs must hire a subpoena server service in the discovery area. The service will present the subpoena to the clerk of the court where the witness to be deposed is located and where discoverable materials are being pursued. The clerk then has the jurisdictional basis to issue a foreign subpoena with the same terms to be served to the person or entity to be deposed.

Discovery under this subpoena is covered by the state rules where discovery takes place. The same rules govern any motions to enforce, modify, or squash the issued foreign subpoena.

Why Is There a Need for the UIDDA?

It previously took a lot of time, effort, and money for litigants to conduct discovery when witnesses and evidence were outside the trial state. Lawyers had to petition the court in the trial state for a subpoena and then appear in court in the discovery state.

This problem was addressed by the Uniform Interstate Discovery and Depositions Act which minimizes judicial oversight. The plaintiff does not need letters rogatory and local counsel in the state where discovery occurs. There is also no need to file a miscellaneous action during the phase of discovery. This makes the process quicker and less expensive.

Is New Jersey part of the UIDDA?

The UIDDA of New Jersey was adopted in September 2014. New Jersey became one of most states in the U.S. that have streamlined the process for domesticating subpoenas.

As of April 20, 2022, data from the Uniform Law Commission shows that the UIDDA has not been enacted only in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico. It has already been introduced for consideration in Connecticut and Missouri.

woman retrieving a legal documentHow are Subpoenas Domesticated in New Jersey?

The New Jersey UIDDA has the same concept as the original but has a few variations that make the process even simpler. For one, it allows a bypass of the $50 fee paid to the clerk of court by allowing state-licensed lawyers to issue the foreign subpoenas themselves. No information related to the New Jersey lawyer appears on the subpoena. Instead, the lawyer signs the clerk’s name and dates the subpoena.

Alternatively, a New Jersey lawyer can issue the foreign subpoena together with a New Jersey subpoena. The latter is then signed by the New Jersey Superior Court Clerk.

There is a filing fee of $50 to be paid with a check made to the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey. The deposition subpoena must be served not later than 11 days before the date of deposition.

There are also witness fees. A witness deposed in his county is paid $2.00 per day. If the witness is from a different country, an additional $2.00 shall be paid per 30 miles he traveled to and from his residence per day.

If you need to have a subpoena issued in New Jersey, contact Serve Index LLC for efficient and compliant serving..

Get in touch with us at 888-994-6339 or email [email protected] if you have questions. We also provide free quotes.

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