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Definition of Subpoena

A subpoena is a court document given to someone to force them to appear in court and provide testimony or evidence in a legal proceeding. Failure to appear in court after receiving a subpoena can result in a contempt of court charge. Subpoenas are generally issued to have someone appear at a deposition, to appear as a witness in court or to hand over vital pieces of evidence.

A subpoena generally includes the name and address of the court where the case has been filed, the case number, a statement explaining what the person is to do (testify, come to a deposition or bring evidence), and the date and time where they need to appear. Subpoenas are generally issued in the name of the judge handling the case, although some allow attorneys to issue their own subpoenas if they need the plaintiff of defendant to come to a deposition. If you have been issued a subpoena it is not wise to ignore it. Talk to a lawyer for more information about your case.

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