Subpoenas

Subpoenas FAQ

The purpose of this FAQ is to provide an overview of the subject and to offer general guidance concerning subpoenaed university records. Any questions regarding the propriety of a subpoena duces tecum or the disclosure of documents requested therein should be directed to Information Practices (831) 459-4003.

Who should use this guideline?

The Registrar has been delegated responsibility to respond to their department's subpoenaed university records. All other units must direct the process server to serve the subpoena to the Chancellor's Office for response on behalf of the campus.

 


  1. What is a Subpoena?
  2. Do I have to accept a subpoena?
  3. Do I have to turn over documents right away?
  4. Will I get into trouble for accepting a subpoena?
  5. What if The Regents are named in the subpoena?

1. What is a Subpoena?

A subpoena is a legal document requiring a specific person to appear and testify in court as a witness. The subpoena may also require the witness to bring specified records. The appearance of a witness may not always be required so long as the specified records are produced at the time and place indicated on the subpoena.


2. Do I have to accept a subpoena?

Subpoena for university records
A subpoena duces tecum or a deposition subpoena is served upon the "custodian" of the required records. The Registrar has been delegated responsibility to respond to their department's subpoenaed university records. Additionally, the police department has been delegated responsibility to respond to their department's subpoenas for police officer personal appearance. All other units must direct the process server to serve the subpoena to the Chancellor's Office for response on behalf of the campus. If you have any questions about accepting a subpoena contact Information Practices (831) 459-4003 or Campus Counsel's Office (831) 459-1848.

Subpoena for named individual

A subpoena may be served upon an individual person named in the subpoena. If the named individual is available, allow the person to accept service. If the named individual is unavailable, a 'person obviously in charge' can accept service.


3. Do I have to turn over documents right away?

No. You must not immediately turn over documents to a process server. If you accept a subpoena, then tell the server that you will route the subpoena to the appropriate person and the campus will respond accordingly. The campus is allowed a reasonable time to respond to requests.


4. Will I get into trouble for accepting a subpoena?

No. Accepting a subpoena will not place you or the University in any jeopardy. It is important that the subpoena get forwarded to the Chancellor's Office immediately via fax (831) 459-2760; additionally, please promptly inform Information Practices (831) 459-4003. Send the original subpoena via inter-departmental mail (Mail Stop: Chancellors Office). Acceptance of the subpoena will not concede the adequacy of the affidavit or prejudice the University's rights to refuse to disclose the documents requested. If the unit believes that the request has not been made in good faith or for good cause, s/he should contact Information Practices immediately (831) 459-4003.


5. What if The Regents is named in the subpoena?

Campus personnel are not authorized to accept Subpoenas (or Summonses) on behalf of "The Regents"; nor when The Regents or University is named as the defendant. Inform the process server the subpoena should be directed to UC Office of General Counsel for service at the following address:

General Counsel of The Regents
Office of the General Counsel of The Regents
1111 Franklin Street, 8th Floor
Oakland, California 94607-5200

If a subpoena is addressed to The Regents but specifies records that are held locally, please contact Information Practices (831) 459-4003. If you need assistance you may direct the server to the Chancellor's Office (831) 459-2058. Alternatively, you may contact the Office of Campus Counsel at (831) 459-1848. Any questions regarding the propriety of a subpoena duces tecum or the disclosure of documents requested therein should be directed to Information Practices in the Chancellor's Office (831) 459-4003.