A notice to appear at trial or hearing and produce documents in California, also known as a notice in lieu of subpoena duces tecum is the topic of this blog post.
The notice is given pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 1987(b) and (c) and can only be used on a party to the civil action or proceeding, or someone who is an officer, director, or managing agent of any such party. One of the main advantages of using the notice to appear is that service may be made by mail, instead of personal service as is required with a standard subpoena.
A party who has not requested certain essential or critical documents during the discovery process whose existence is known, and which can be clearly identified, can use the notice to appear and produce documents to compel the other party to appear and produce the documents.
If only the attendance of the person as a witness is required, then service may be made personally at least ten (10) days before the trial or hearing, or fifteen (15) days before the trial or hearing if service is made by mail. Service should be made on the party, or their attorney if they have one.
If production of documents is required, then service may be made personally at least twenty (20) days before the trial or hearing, or twenty five (25) days before the trial or hearing if service is made by mail. Service should be made on the party, or their attorney if they have one. The notice should state the exact materials or things desired, as well as a statement that the person has them in their possession, or under their control.
The giving of the notice shall have the same effect as service of a subpoena on the witness, and the parties shall have those rights and the court may make those orders, including the imposition of sanctions, as in the case of a subpoena for attendance before the court. See Code of Civil Procedure § 1987(b).
Attorneys or parties in California who wish to view or purchase a notice to appear and produce documents for use on an individual in California civil litigation can see below.
Attorneys or parties in California that would like more information on a California discovery litigation document package containing over 25 sample documents including a sample notice to appear and produce documents can use the link shown below.
The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.
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