Instructions for Filing a Subpoena in Michigan

By Don Davis
A subpoena requires a person to give sworn testimony or provide documents.

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There are two kinds of subpoenas. A subpoena ad testificandum requires a person to give sworn testimony. A subpoena duces tecum requires a person to bring documents. A subpoena may only be issued for a valid reason and it is common for attorneys to dispute that validity. In intensely litigated cases attorneys routinely file motions asking judges to invalidate subpoenas. Subpoenas may be issued by a court clerk, an attorney of record in a court case and some administrative agencies.

Prepare the carbon copy subpoena form, Michigan Court Form MC-11, including the name of the person being subpoenaed and where and when he is to appear.

Authorize the subpoena with either the signature of the attorney requesting documents or testimony or with the official stamp of the clerk of the court in which the documents or testimony will be entered as evidence.

Hire any legally competent adult who is not a party to the court case to serve the person being compelled to offer testimony or other evidence with the subpoena. When the witness is served, the process server must, as of 2011, pay him $12 per day for his testimony and 10 cents a mile for his transportation to and from the court in cash, by money order, by cashier's check or by a check drawn on the account of the attorney of record in the action.

Instruct the process server to have the witness to sign the top copy of form MC-11. The server should complete the affidavit of service box on the form and hand the top copy of form MC-11 to the witness.

Instruct the server to file the bottom two copies of the form with the court clerk. The clerk will mark the subpoena as served.

About the Author

Don Davis has been a professional writer since 1977. He has had numerous writing jobs, including writing news and features for the "Metrowest Daily News" and "Los Angeles Herald-Examiner." Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Indiana State University.

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