A subpoena is a court order that says that your witness has to come to court. It can also say that someone has to bring certain papers to court at your trial.
You may need to subpoena a witness if:
- Your witness will not come to court; or
- Someone will not give you the documents you need to prove your case.
To prepare a subpoena
- Fill out your Subpoena
Fill out a Small Claims Subpoena (Form SC-107). You will need to know the name of the witness that you want to come to court. Or exactly what papers you want the person to bring to your trial.
- If you are subpoenaing a person to come to court, fill out page 1 only.
- If you are requesting documents, complete pages 1 and 2 of Form SC-107. (Do not fill out page 3 yet!)
- Take the Subpoena to the clerk to have it issued
The clerk will look at the Subpoena and may ask you a few questions. The clerk will the sign and stamp your Subpoena "Filed.".
- Make copies of your Subpoena
Make at least 2 copies of the Subpoena. One for you and another for the person you need to subpoena.
- Serve the Subpoena
"Serve" (give) the Subpoena to the person or business you are subpoenaing. Anyone, even you, can serve your Subpoena, but this must be done in person and NOT by mail.
- Serve a copy of the Subpoena - not the original one!
- Fill out Page 3 of the original Small Claims Subpoena (Form SC-107)
Have the person who served the Subpoena sign at the bottom of page 3.
- Return the Subpoena to the clerk before your trial
Paying the witness fees
You may have to pay a witness you subpoena. Witnesses can ask for $35 a day and 20 cents a mile each way at the time you serve the Subpoena
. Be prepared to pay the witness fees. If the witness asks for the money before your court date and you do not pay it, then the witness does not have to show up at your hearing.
Note: You do not have to pay anything if your witness does not ask for money. But you should have the money with you at court in case the witness asks for the fees. Form SC-107 lets the witness know that they have a right to these fees, so the witness may ask for the money in front of the judge.