How to Subpoena Records

By David Burlison
Records contain valuable information relative to lawsuits.
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Records often contain important information relevant to a legal cause of action. The records may be medical records, bank statements, invoices or any document with pertinent information. Sometimes the person in custody of the records will not turn the records over freely and a court order has to be issued to retrieve the records. The court order requiring that the records to be surrendered and delivered is called a subpoena.


Retrieve a subpoena form from the court where the lawsuit is filed. Most courts will have a preprinted form for preparing a subpoena. You will need to fill out the names of the plaintiff and defendant. The docket number assigned to the case also needs to be included.

Designate the proper custodian of the records. The subpoena will be served on the defendant or the custodian of records of a relevant business entity. Make sure you include the name and address of the right party that will be served with the subpoena. Specify a date within a reasonable time when the records should be delivered. Include where the records are to be delivered and to whom.

Identify the records to be furnished. The identity of the records needs to be specific. Provide as much detailed information about the records requested as possible. Give dates that are relevant. A court-ordered subpoena can be overturned if the information requested is too vague.

A supoena is a court order to surrender records.
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Serve the subpoena on an individual or a custodian of records. Once it is completed, signed and dated, submit the subpoena to the court clerk for issuance by the court. The clerk will have a deputy sheriff serve the record-keeper you designated, or you can hire your own process server. A copy of the served subpoena will be filed with the court with the date of service indicated by the process server.

About the Author

David Burlison practiced law for 25 years In Tennessee and Mississippi. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, and once lived and worked in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has published numerous articles with Demand Studios, Ezine Articles, GoTo Articles and Hubpages. His publications have covered subjects dealing with law, travel and various social issues.