This article will provide guidance on How To Domesticate a Foreign Subpoena in DC.  As a result of the UIDDA, subpoenas issued by courts in other jurisdictions are subject to the District of Columbia's new set of procedural standards. States that have accepted the UIDDA DC require "[a]ny motion practice linked with the discovery subpoena, such as a motion to enforce or quash a subpoena, to take place in the discovery state and is controlled by [the] discovery state's legislation."   The courts have concluded that subpoenas must be executed or contested in the court where they were issued, even if the UIDDA has not been invoked in the case. When a subpoena is issued, it must be quashed by the court that issued it. The District of Columbia court must have issued it to quash the subpoena.

Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA)-DC

A court issues a foreign subpoena in a jurisdiction not affiliated with the home state. In order to get documents or depositions from non-parties in another state, the applicant must obtain a foreign subpoena as per the District of Columbia UIDDA Service.

Foreign subpoenas might be very time-consuming as well as costly.  Additionally, checking whether the documents sought are considered public records per the District of Columbia UIDDA Service is essential. As long as the District of Columbia UIDDA Service documents is public information, it is unnecessary to copy anybody else on them when requesting them via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Public Information Act (PIA) request.

It is also good practice to acquire authorization signed by the plaintiff/patient if the documents are not public information. Whether a PIA or FOIA request does not yield permission or the documents needed, checking to see if the organization has a resident agent in the state should also be a simple matter. These individuals can be contacted to inquire about their willingness to accept a foreign subpoena. Certain District of Columbia UIDDA Service providers may accept foreign subpoenas.


The UIDDA is a model act developed to provide a consistent procedure for depositions and discovery in collaboration with other member states. Most states have adopted UIDDA, but not all of them.

When preparing a subpoena, find out where the summons must be issued to get the District of Columbia UIDDA Service documents or serve the individual required to be deposed vital. Once determined where the subpoena must be served, locating a court in that city/state that handles the same sort of District of Columbia UIDDA Service case should be prioritized.

In order to receive a foreign subpoena, the District of Columbia UIDDA Service's knowledge of where the court is located and its protocol for obtaining a foreign subpoena is vital. It is also important to determine the various District of Columbia UIDDA Service paperwork required to comply with the UIDDA. There are variations in court processes even within the same state, and some courts may reject a subpoena because of a simple District of Columbia UIDDA Service mistake.

In certain jurisdictions, a commission, Letters Rogatory, or an Order from the court will be required before the UIDDA may be implemented. Regardless, preparing the draft and submitting it to the District of Columbia court is necessary. Subpoena requests may be submitted to an out-of-state court once it has been granted, received back, and returned. Depending on the court, it might be necessary to employ a business in an out-of-state state to help submit paperwork of this kind. Once the out-of-state subpoena has been received, the next step is to issue it.

Receiving the stamped summons from the out-of-state court, it is important to issue them with the usual District of Columbia UIDDA Service documentation accompanying the subpoenas for the sort of discovery sought.

In order to guarantee that the subpoena conforms with state law, the local District of Columbia UIDDA Service requirements in the state where the discovery is being (i.e., the number of days before a deposition that the subpoena needs to be served, the distance required for a deponent to travel to appear at a deposition, fees to be paid to a deponent, etc.) should be kept in mind.

The foreign court may take weeks or even months to return the subpoena. However, delays may even occur before the return of the subpoena since acquiring a commission or order from the court before the applicant can obtain a subpoena from a foreign deponent is also laborious. It is also advised to use a FedEx-labeled envelope to return the stamped subpoena so that the District of Columbia UIDDA Service can be tracked and received on time.


A foreign subpoena must be submitted to the Clerk of the Superior Court for a subpoena to be issued under District of Columbia UIDDA Service clauses. Subpoenas issued in this format do not require a person to appear in court in the District of Columbia. The clerk of the Superior Court must quickly issue a subpoena for the District of Columbia UIDDA Service on the person to whom a foreign subpoena is intended, in accordance with the Rules of the Superior Court.

A subpoena must include or be accompanied by the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all counsel of record in the action to which the subpoena applies and of any party not represented by counsel; and the language used in the foreign summons.

 The Superior Court may compel the attendance of witnesses by attachment. At the request of any party, subpoenas for attendance at a hearing or trial in the Superior Court will be issued by the court clerk. A subpoena may be served at any place within the District of Columbia or any place without the District of Columbia within twenty-five miles of the hearing or trial specified in the subpoena]. The form, issuance, and manner of the District of Columbia UIDDA Service of the subpoena are advised by the rules of the District of Columbia court.

A subpoena in a criminal case in which a felony is charged may be served at any place within the United States upon the order of a judge of the court. The rules of the Superior Court applicable to compliance with subpoenas to attend and give testimony produce designated books, documents, records, electronically stored information, or tangible things, or permit inspection of premises apply to subpoenas issued.

The Superior Court and District of Columbia law mandate that an application to the Superior Court for a protective order or to enforce, quash, or amend an order issued by a clerk of court must be presented to the Superior Court.

Rule 13-443 of the Superior Court and District of Columbia law mandate that an application to the Superior Court for a protective order or to enforce, quash, or alter a subpoena issued by a clerk of court under 13-443 be made to the Superior Court.


Courts in one state may easily issue subpoenas for out-of-state depositions and document requests thanks to the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA). Subpoenas may be served domestically in states that recognize the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Disclosure Act (UIDDA). As a first step, the lawyer determines whether the state has adopted the UIDDA. The chart published by the Uniform Law Commission shows which states have adopted the UIDDA by legislation or judicial rule.

As stated in the UIDDA, plaintiffs must provide a trial court clerk in the state where discoverable papers are sought, with a subpoena issued by the trial court. To serve the subpoena, the clerk must issue a subpoena for District of Columbia UIDDA Service to the person or entity to whom it was originally addressed, according to the clerk's instructions.

In order for the District of Columbia UIDDA Service to be similar between states that have implemented the UIDDA, it must be recognized by both states. Over thirty states have approved the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act to make the procedure simple and feasible. 

Foreign subpoenas are sent to a clerk in the state where the deposition or discovery is to be held in accordance with the UIDDA. This District of Columbia UIDDA service procedure is followed by the clerk issuing a subpoena for service per court rules. Attorneys may also domesticate subpoenas from other states without going through the judicial system in those jurisdictions.

It is necessary to adhere to the state's rules of civil procedure while serving the subpoena. Subpoenas must be accompanied by payment of any witness fees that may be owed. A subpoena is prepared according to the norms of the trial state when the UIDDA is in effect there.

It is vital to contact the clerk's office in the county or district where the witness to be deposed resides in the state where the case is being litigated. The lawyer acquires and completes a copy of the subpoena form to be used in the discovery phase (this form and instructions are accessible on the clerk's website). 

There is no need for courts in the discovery state to judge the legality of the subpoena unless the witness requests a protective order. An important distinction is that a subpoena request made under the UIDDA does not imply a witness's attendance in the state where they reside.

UIDDA adoptions differ from state to state. Thus, attorneys should be aware of this. Many states require specific wording to be included on each subpoena. They all stipulate the material that counsel must submit before the clerk is entitled to issue a subpoena in a case. Reciprocity is required in certain states like Virginia.


Domesticating a subpoena in states that do not recognize the UIDDA is different. Generally, a District of Columbia UIDDA Service request to have the subpoena issued by the court where the subpoena is to be served must be lodged with the local court. This usually entails presenting an application, a petition, and supporting papers to the court. A formal petition may be required in certain instances, and some jurisdictions even mandate that a licensed attorney file the petition.

Contact the local court in these states to receive the domestication processes for out-of-state proceedings since they may differ from one court to the next. Removal to federal court makes it simpler to conduct discovery in instances where there is federal issue jurisdiction or diversity of jurisdiction. 

By removing the requirement to file a separate case with the court, the UIDDA speeds up the District of Columbia UIDDA Service procedure of obtaining subpoenas in foreign jurisdictions. UIDDA no longer requires attendance in court in the case of requests for a foreign subpoena. As a result, applicants gain from UIDDA by avoiding the expense of starting a case and hiring local counsel.

Under UIDDA, a completed subpoena issued from the state where the ongoing lawsuit might theoretically be presented to the Clerk of the Court for the region where discovery is requested (the discovery state) (the foreign subpoena). Using the information from the international subpoena, the Clerk issues a subpoena from the discovery state. The subpoena may be served in any way permitted in the discovery state.

D.C. Code sections 13-441 through 13-448 have been included in the District of Columbia's version of UIDDA. Despite its similarity to the standard wording, the court said in Charca-Lupaca that a full subpoena for the District of Columbia must accompany the subpoena from the lawsuit state. Medical records are an exception to UIDDA's accelerated method of subpoena issuance, according to the Court.

District of Columbia

Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act Adopted - 2010 Bill Number: B18-426 - Sponsor Mendelson
D.C Code § 13-443
Subpoena Form: Click Here
District of Columbia Courts Click Here

To request the issuance of a subpoena, a party shall submit a foreign subpoena to the Clerk of the Superior Court. A request to issue a subpoena under this chapter does not constitute an appearance in the courts of the District of Columbia.

When a party submits a foreign subpoena to the Clerk of the Superior Court, the clerk, in accordance with the Rules of the Superior Court, shall promptly issue a subpoena for service upon the person to which the foreign subpoena is directed.

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1. It is worth noting that in Quinn v. Eighth Judicial District Court in & for Cty. of Clark, the Nevada Supreme Court awarded the plaintiff 410 P.3d 984, 988 UIDDA dictates which circuit court may issue a subpoena based on the location where it will be performed.")

2. Flax, 740 N.E.2d 351, 354 (Fisher Brewing Co. v.) (Ohio 2000

3. Call the provider to find out where subpoenas are issued to get medical records if needed

4. i.e., Notice to Take Deposition, Notice to Patient, Notice of Service, Health General Article, etc

5. Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming are among the states that have not yet enacted or recognized the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act

6. The subpoena has been issued and is ready for service. Lawyers in the discovery state engage process servers (or local lawyers) to take the summons to clerks, issue it, and serve it to witnesses.

7. The 'privilege' of the shortened procedure only applies "if the jurisdiction where the case is proceeding has legislated a comparable privilege to people in [Virginia]," according to the Virginia Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act.

8. Charca-Lupaca v. Maza, D.C. Super Ct. No. 2010 CA 6934 2

9. Under D.C. Code 14-307, subpoenas requiring medical records will not be given unless the party seeking them appears in court and demonstrates that they should be provided.