This article will provide guidance on How To Domesticate a Foreign Subpoena in Illinois.  To request the issuance of a subpoena, a party must submit a foreign subpoena to a clerk of court in the county where discovery is sought to be conducted in Illinois. A request for the issuance of a subpoena, according to the  UIDDA in Illinois, does not constitute an appearance in the courts of this State.

When a party submits a foreign subpoena to a clerk of court in this State, the clerk, in accordance with that court's procedure, should promptly issue a subpoena for service upon the person to which the foreign subpoena is directed.

Courts in one state may issue subpoenas for out-of-state depositions and document requests under the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA).


Lawsuits must ‘present the clerk of the court in the state where discoverable papers are sought with the subpoena issued by order of the trial judge,’ according to the UIDDA in Illinois. To serve the subpoena, the clerk will issue a subpoena for service to the person or organization to whom it was originally addressed,’ according to the clerk's instruction in conjunction with the UIDDA in Illinois.

In order for the procedure to be similar between states that have implemented the UIDDA, it must be recognized by both states. As many as forty states have enacted the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act in an effort to make the procedure easier. 

Foreign subpoenas are sent to a clerk in the state where the deposition or discovery is to be held in accordance with the UIDDA in Illinois. The clerk then follows the court's procedure to issue the service subpoena. Domesticating an out-of-state subpoena without going via a court is an option in several states. State-specific laws must be observed while delivering a subpoena in that state. The subpoena must be served with any necessary witness fees.

​The procedure of domesticating a subpoena in states that do not recognize the UIDDA is different. Generally, a request to have the subpoena issued by the court where the subpoena is to be served must be lodged with the local court. In most cases, this entails presenting an application, a petition, and supporting papers to the court.

Sometimes, subpoenas are used to assist parties in investigating their own cases, such as by forcing a person or corporation to testify, allowing an examination of a location, or producing or copying papers or electronically stored material at trial, hearings, or depositions.


The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA) controls the interstate subpoena process in Illinois, which entered into effect on July 20, 2015. Courts in one state may issue subpoenas for depositions held in another state more easily due to the UIDDA in Illinois. 

Subpoenas prepared by attorneys outside of Illinois may be sent to Cook County's Clerk of Court as long as the UIDDA as it is in Illinois has been enacted in the state where the attorney is located. Afterward, the Clerk issues an Illinois subpoena of the same kind. Once the Illinois subpoena has been served in line with the UIDDA in Illinois, the other attorney may proceed.

It is necessary to submit the required paperwork to the Cook County Law Division according to the UIDDA in Illinois. Out-of-state summons (issued in accordance with that state's standards and procedures) and the papers are needed by attorneys or parties bringing the case, being [A.] the Cover Sheet for a Civil Action (form CCL 0520); [B.] foreign Action Cover Sheet Subpoena (form CCL 0015). And [C.] legal Process in the State of Illinois (form CCG N106).


The Civil Action Cover Sheet must be eFiled in all new cases in Cook County. Even if it's only for paperwork, it is necessary to tick the box next to Other Actions for Petition to Issue Subpoena. A Foreign Action Cover Sheet Subpoena is thus imperative. To comply with the UIDDA in Illinois, the laws require one to mention all counsel of record and any party who counsel does not represent. Subpoena for a Foreign Action Cover Sheet is the form an individual will use to turn in the information to the court according to the UIDDA in Illinois.

Both the out-of-state and the Illinois subpoenas must include the same case names, captions, addresses, and phone numbers of the parties and lawyers involved in the proceedings. The same document custodian must be named twice in the subpoenas, and the conditions and substance of the sought material must be identical in each. After being eFiled, the Illinois subpoena is given an Illinois case number.

It is necessary to be certain that the fillable forms have been ‘flattened’ so that content can no longer be altered. It is imperative to reprint and rescan any forms that need to be submitted electronically. Without such precautions, the form's contents may be lost, and the court clerk may reject the file since they will only see blank forms according to the UIDDA in Illinois.

When starting a new case, it is important to submit the paperwork electronically. One must pick Cook County-Law-District 1-Chicago-Cook County as the Court and Petitions to Issue Subpoenas as the Case Type in's ‘Select Court & Case Type’ section. The Ad Damnum amount is a mandatory field that must be filled to comply with Illinois's UIDDA. The out-of-state action's ad damnum is the damages or claim amount that is being sued for. Cook County's Law Division handles cases involving damages or claims of more than USD 30,000.

Adding an Exhibits Filed document type to the subpoena in Illinois is necessary. After completing these steps, go on to the next stage and ultimately submit according to the UIDDA in Illinois. When the individual has to check to see whether the Illinois subpoena has been issued once the clerk accepts the submission and they get the file-stamped copies.

Serving the subpoena in Illinois will be the last step in this process. The subpoena may be served by certified mail or a process server in Illinois.

Legislative Power governing foreign subpoenas

Rule 204(a) of the Illinois Supreme Court governs Illinois subpoenas. On request, the clerk of the court will issue subpoenas. Subpoenas may be issued by an Illinois-licensed attorney who is serving as counsel in the case at hand.

According to Supreme Court, a deposition may be taken at any time or location and in any way. Depositions may be taken outside of the state if all parties are present. There is no need to prove the relevance or necessity of the out-of-state witness's evidence at trial. In order to get the deposition testimony of an out-of-state witness, there are a number of practical considerations.

Whether or if the witness is friendly to a certain party is a factor to consider. There is no ‘element of surprise’ in an out-of-state deposition since all parties must be given adequate notice. A lot of time, effort, and worry may be avoided by going straight to the opposing party and asking for the out-of-state witness's help.

In the past, a motion and a court order or stipulation were required to conduct a distant deposition. The court reporter or deposition officer should be present while the witness is deposed, if possible. A person authorized to administer oaths under the laws of Illinois or the United States, or of the location where the examination is conducted, or a person chosen by the court, must take an out-of-state deposition for use in Illinois as per the UIDDA.

The opposing parties must be given exhibits or demonstrative evidence ‘within a reasonable time before the deposition. The rule also stipulates that evidence must be submitted to the deposition officer in advance. The witness is not required to obtain the exhibits ahead of time, as stated in the UIDDA in Illinois. It should be noted that  Illinois' relevance and discoverability standards are in force. The law of the location where the trial is being conducted governs the relevance and materiality criteria for testimony and its use at trial, and the deposition court will be generous in imposing testimony.

If the witness refuses to cooperate, one should be prepared to apply the laws of the local/foreign authority as per the UIDDA in Illinois. In most cases, attendance and testimony may only be compelled by the court of the foreign jurisdiction. It is up to the Illinois court to determine whether or not the deposition will be used in court according to the UIDDA in Illinois. There can be no discovery deposition longer than three hours unless both parties agree or the court orders it after a showing of good cause. The case must be heard in the courts of Illinois. The durational laws and regulations of the foreign jurisdiction should be checked. It is possible that neither the other party nor the deponent will agree to extend the deposition time.

To determine if the witness will cooperate with them throughout the trial, the individual must first get their cooperation during the deposition. The individual may notify an evidence deposition if they believe that the witness will refuse to come to Illinois for trial and this may anticipate the witness' testimony to be favorable. The deposition may also be considered an evidence deposition, and then they can agree with the opposing counsel to conduct an informal discovery deposition before the official deposition. Even if the other side is aware of a discovery deposition, there is nothing stopping the individual from being aware of an evidence deposition to take place immediately following the discovery deposition if they believe the testimony will be valuable to their own case and want to capture it for their own benefit at trial.

If a deposition taken outside of Illinois is to be used, Illinois courts cannot force a witness who lives outside the state to appear in Illinois for a deposition (or anyplace else outside of a home state) because their jurisdiction does not extend beyond the borders of Illinois.  The deposition states' interests are restricted to either enforcing any privilege of nondisclosure under its laws;  or protecting the witness from harassment or humiliation. Because of this, foreign state courts often cooperate with Illinois and other commissions in conjunction with the UIDDA in Illinois.


Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act Adopted - 2015
Bill Number: SB 45 Sponsor Barickman
I.L.C.C.S. CT Rule 204(b); 735 I.L.C.S. 35/1
Subpoena Form: Click Here
Subpoena Cover Sheet Form: Click Here
Civil Action Cover Sheet Form: Click Here
Illinois Courts Click Here


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1. Illinois UIDDA
Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act Adopted – 2015
Bill Number: SB 45 Sponsor Barickman
I.L.C.C.S. CT Rule 204(b); 735 I.L.C.S. 35/1

2. (735 ILC 35/1 et. Seq.

3. This may be done by accessing the Cook County Attorney Code. In the event that it might not be filed in Cook County, they may choose a different court and case type from the drop-down menu.

Attorneys from outside of Cook County should use the attorney code 99500.

4. Using's ‘Add Documents’ option, submit a combined PDF file that includes the Civil Action Cover Sheet, Subpoena for a Foreign Action Cover Sheet, and your out-of-state summons all in one file. Choose the Complaint – Petitions to Issue Subpoena – Fee option when filing a complaint. In Cook County, there is a $388.00 filing fee.

5. Ill.Sup.Ct.Rule 204a(2).

6. ‘The subpoena may require the person to whom it is addressed to provide papers or physical items which comprise or include evidence relevant to any subjects within the scope of the examination permissible under these rules, subject to any limits. Imposed under Rule 201(c).’

7. Depositions may be taken in the United States and abroad under Supreme Court Rule 205.

. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Congress Michigan Auto Park, Inc., 19 Ill.App.2d 502 (1st Dist. 1958).

9. ‘Any party may take a deposition by telephone, videoconference, or other distant means by identifying in the notice the precise electronic means to be utilized for the deposition,’ according to Supreme Court Rule 206(h).

10. 110 Tex. 331, 220 S.W. 74 (Ex parte Taylor) (1920).

11. Deposits' Length. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 206 (d).

12. The right to speak or act with impunity. The legislation of the state where the protected testimony is sought governs the issue of privilege from testifying (i.e., the deposition state). At 110 Tex. 331, 220 Southwestern 74, Ex parte Taylor (1920).

13. Thomas v. Hill

By way of Lee v. Hyster Co., there was 156 Illinois App 3d 214 in this case (1st Dist. 1987

14. However, several jurisdictions have passed laws or regulations are allowing judges to appear and testify through a deposition for use in a sister state out of consideration for judicial comity. Rushworth v. People ex rel. Ickes, 294 Ill. 455 (1920).