The 1991 amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 revised the procedures concerning subpoenas in several respects. It is no longer necessary that completed subpoenas be issued by the Clerk's Office or issued under the seal of the Court. Instead, the rule gives attorneys the authority to sign and issue subpoenas as officers of the Court. Under the rule, the Clerk still has authority to issue subpoenas. Clerk's Office staff will issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service.
Note: Parties who are not officers of the Court [generally, anyone who is not a licensed attorney] must have the Clerk's Office sign the subpoena for them.
Foreign Depositions Subpoenas Issued by Counsel
Attorneys are authorized to issue subpoenas in the name of any court in which they are authorized to practice, and in the case of a deposition taking place in another district, in the name of the court where the deposition is taking place. It is not required that an attorney be a member of the bar or admitted pro hac vice in the district where the subpoena is issued, as long as he/she is authorized to practice in the district where the primary action was filed.
Accordingly, when an out-of-state attorney wishes to take a foreign deposition in the Northern District of Oklahoma, he/she should:
- Properly complete the subpoena (Form AO-88) and (1) state the title of the action, (2) list the civil action number of the originating district (i.e., the district where the civil action was filed), (3) list at the top of the subpoena the Northern District of Oklahoma (i.e., the name of the district where the deposition or production of documents will be made); and,
- Sign and issue the subpoena as an Officer of the Court.
Proof of service is not required to be filed with the Clerk unless there is a dispute or upon order of the Court. When necessary, the subpoena should be filed in the court who issued the subpoena. The proof of service should include (1) a statement of the date and manner of service, (2) names of the persons serviced, and (3) certification by the person who made service.
Foreign Depositions Subpoenas Issued by Clerk's Office
In some instances, counsel may request that a foreign deposition subpoena be issued by the Clerk's Office. When so requested, counsel must bring the following documents to the Clerk's Office:
- An original Notice of Deposition signed by the attorney with a Certificate of Service attached;
- Properly complete the deposition subpoena and (1) state the title of the action, (2) list the civil action number of the originating district (i.e., the district where the civil action was filed), (3) list at the top of the subpoena the Northern District of Oklahoma (i.e., the name of the district where the deposition or production of documents will be made); and,
- A $47.00 fee for each Notice of Deposition (not each subpoena).
If a motion to quash the subpoena is filed, a $47.00 filing fee is required and a miscellaneous number is assigned.