HOW TO DOMESTICATE A FOREIGN SUBPOENA IN Rhode Island
This article will provide guidance on How To Domesticate a Foreign Subpoena in Rhode Island. A subpoena in Rhode Island must be issued by the clerk of court or a notary public or other officer authorized by statute and state the name of the court from which it is issued. A command to produce evidence or to permit inspection may be joined with a command to appear at trial or hearing or deposition or may be issued separately.
A subpoena may be served by a duly authorized officer or any other person who is not a party and less than eighteen (18) years of age. UIDDA and Rhode Island Service of a subpoena upon a person named should be made by delivering a copy of the UIDDA and Rhode Island Service to such person and, if the person's attendance is commanded, by tendering to that person the fees for one day's attendance and the mileage allowed by law. Prior notice of any commanded production of documents and things or inspection of premises before trial will be served on each party. A subpoena may be served at any place within the state.
Proof of service, when necessary, should be made by filing with the clerk of the court by which the subpoena is issued a statement of the date and manner of service and the names of the persons served, certified by the person who made the UIDDA and Rhode Island Service.
Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA)-Rhode Island
A clerk of the superior court in the county where discovery is requested to be performed or a lawyer who is a member in good standing of the bar is necessary to issue a subpoena in Rhode Island. Submission of a subpoena request under this law does not constitute a court attendance as per the UIDDA and Rhode Island Service jurisdiction.
The clerk of the superior court should, in line with the court's UIDDA and Rhode Island Service, quickly issue a subpoena for service on the person to whom the international subpoena is addressed when a party submits such a subpoena to the clerk. Any member in good standing of the Rhode Island bar may issue a subpoena for UIDDA and Rhode Island Service on the person to whom a foreign subpoena is addressed if presented by a party.
Subpoenas must incorporate the UIDDA and Rhode Island Service terms used in the foreign subpoena. They also must include or be accompanied by the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of all counsel of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by counsel. It is imperative that a subpoena is in a form that complies with the laws of this state.
UIDDA AND RHODE ISLAND
The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act ("Uniform Act") went into effect in Rhode Island on July 15, 2019. This UIDDA and Rhode Island Service law brings Rhode Island into conformity with the laws of thirty-three other states.
Legal representation in Rhode Island must submit a commission or other direction from the originating trial court authorizing the out-of-state deposition according to the UIDDA and Rhode Island Service. Legal counsel from the originating state often had to hire an attorney licensed to practice law in Rhode Island and file a miscellaneous action in Superior Court to get the subpoena issued there prior to the UIDDA. There has to be a lawsuit filed in Rhode Island Superior Court, a motion filed, and a hearing held for this to happen. The methods under the Uniform Act have now allowed for ease of service. There is now just one further step required once a subpoena has been issued inside the state.
To have a subpoena issued in Rhode Island, the out-of-state lawyer should just submit a subpoena request to the Superior Court Clerk or an attorney licensed to practice law in Rhode Island and then send over a copy of the subpoena issued as per the UIDDA and Rhode Island Service. A subpoena will be issued in accordance with UIDDA and Rhode Island Service rules and practice by the clerk or an admitted lawyer in Rhode Island, including the contact information for all counsel of record and any party not represented by counsel, as well as the provisions of the overseas subpoena. A deposition taken in another state must nevertheless follow the procedures established by the trial state's laws and norms as well as the UIDDA and Rhode Island procedures.
The discovery state has jurisdiction over all discovery disputes. Subpoenas issued in accordance with the Uniform Act must be served in accordance with the Rhode Island Rules of Civil Procedure. All UIDDA and Rhode Island requests for protective orders or motions to enforce or quash subpoenas must be filed with and adjudicated by the Superior Court in the county where the discovery is to take place, as required by the Uniform Act and the Rhode Island Rules of Civil Procedure. Bringing the UIDDA and Rhode Island matter before the Court would need the filing of a miscellaneous petition.
FOREIGN SUBPOENAS IN RHODE ISLAND
Only subpoenas issued from another state or jurisdiction outside Rhode Island are covered under the Uniform Act. Subpoenas issued in arbitrations, administrative hearings, or other similar processes held in a state other than the one where the Uniform Act was enacted will not be subject to the Act's requirements.
The UIDDA and Rhode Island procedure has been simplified to include just one more step than the issuing of a subpoena within the same state. Currently, all that is required is for the out-of-state lawyer to submit a subpoena from the trial state to the Superior Court Clerk or an attorney licensed to practice in Rhode Island in order to comply with the UIDDA and Rhode Island. The foreign subpoena's conditions will be incorporated into a subpoena issued by the clerk or a Rhode Island licensed lawyer in accordance with UIDDA and Rhode Island rules and practice, which will also include the contact information for all lawyers of record and any party not represented by counsel.
When a case goes to trial, the UIDDA and Rhode Island rules of the trial state still apply. Depositions taken in another state must adhere to the procedures established by the trial state's laws and guidelines. An out-of-state subpoena cannot be issued without first acquiring whatever paperwork is needed in the trial state to issue it, such as a letter rogatory or commission.
DISPUTES IN DISCOVERY
Subpoenas issued in accordance with the Uniform Act are governed by Rhode Island's Rules of Civil Procedure. Protective orders and subpoena enforcement or suppression motions must be heard and resolved by the Superior Court in the county where the discovery is to take place, according to the Uniform Act. If this ends up being a requirement, the individual will need to file a "miscellaneous petition" with the Court.
Deposits must be authorized by the state. Only subpoenas issued from another state or outside the United States are covered under the Uniform Act. A subpoena refers to any order, notice, demand, or notice issued by a court of record to compel the attendance of a witness or the production of documents from a party. A party seeking a subpoena must submit a foreign subpoena to either a clerk of the superior court in the county where discovery is sought to be conducted according to UIDDA and Rhode Island laws or a lawyer who is a member in good standing of the bar. An application for a subpoena under this law does not constitute a court appearance.
If a foreign subpoena is presented to a clerk of the superior court as per the UIDDA and Rhode Island requirements, the clerk must quickly issue a subpoena for service on the person to whom the foreign subpoena is addressed, in accordance with the court's UIDDA and Rhode Island procedure. The subpoena issued in Rhode Island must include the same terminology as the foreign subpoena.
Subpoenas issued under the UIDDA and Rhode Island procedure must include or be accompanied by the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of all counsel of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by counsel and otherwise conform to the UIDDA and Rhode Island laws of this state.
Any request for a protective order or motion to enforce, quash, or alter a subpoena issued must be filed with the Superior Court in the county where discovery is to be performed and must be made in accordance with the UIDDA and Rhode Island rules or legislation in question.
Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act Adopted - 2019
Bill Number: SB475/HB5708 Sponsor Lombardi/McEntee
R.I. GEN. LAWS § 9-18-11
Sample Subpoena Form: Click Here
Rhode Island Courts Click Here
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The subpoena must also:
- State the title of the action, the name of the court in which it is pending, and its civil action number;
- Command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony or to produce and permit inspection, copying, testing, or sampling of designated documents, electronically stored information, or tangible things in the possession, custody, or control of that person or to permit inspection of premises at a time and place therein specified
2. in accordance with Title 9, Chapter 5 (Writs, Summons, and Process) of the Rhode Island General Laws
3. When the subpoena is issued on behalf of the state or an officer or agency, fees and mileage need not be tendered.
4. Rhode Island General Laws Section 9-18.1-3
5. General Laws of the State of Rhode Island Section 9-18.1-1 et seq.
6. For instance, if the trial state mandates the issuance of a letter of rogatory or commission before issuing a subpoena to a witness located in another state, then the issuance of such a letter of rogatory or commission is necessary.
7. Attorneys in other states who want to take a deposition outside of the state of Rhode Island must show a commission or other direction from the trial court allowing them to do so. To have the subpoena issued in Rhode Island, the originating state’s legal team had to hire a lawyer who was admitted to practice law there and file a "miscellaneous action" with the Superior Court. This entailed filing a lawsuit in Rhode Island's civil court, filing a motion, and attending a hearing. Putting forth the effort required was a time-consuming and laborious process.
8. Even if the Court Clerks in Rhode Island don't know how to issue a subpoena since the procedure is so new, and Rhode Island attorneys licensed to practice law in Rhode Island may easily issue a subpoena under the simple Uniform Act.
With the implementation of the Uniform Act in Rhode Island, various things must be taken into account.
9. Therefore, subpoenas issued in arbitrations, administrative hearings, or other similar processes held in a state other than the one where the Uniform Act is in effect will not be subject to the provisions of the Uniform Act.
10. (1) Appear and testify at a deposition, (2) produce and allow inspection and copying of specified books, documents, and records, (3) electronically stored information, or (4) tangible things in the person's possession, custody, or control, or (5) allow inspection of premises subject to the person's control.
The issuance of a subpoena is addressed in Section 6 9-18.1-3.
11. A lawyer licensed to practice in this state may issue a subpoena for service on the person named in a foreign subpoena if the party submitting the subpoena complies with Rule 16.
A subpoena must be served in accordance with Section 9-18.1-4.
12. Service of process for a subpoena issued under 9-18.1-3 shall be made in accordance with Rule 26 of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure of the State of Rhode Island.
Deposit, Production, and Inspection 27 9-18.1-5
Subpoenas issued under 29 9-18.1-3 must comply with the Rhode Island Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure.
13. Submitting a Request to a Judge, Section 220.127.116.11 (30).
The need to promote uniformity of the law with regard to its subject matter among states that pass it must be taken into account in implementing and construing this uniform act. Section 9-18.1-8 applies to ongoing proceedings. It must be known that Discovery requests are made prior to the implementation date of the UIDDA. Are subject to the provisions in the Rhode Island statutes.
The following is an amendment to Section 9-18-11 of Chapter 9-18 of General Laws, titled "Depositions" 7:
Depositions for Use in Foreign Courts 8 (9-18-11).
Before any person residing in this state to whom a commission shall be directed and sent by the tribunal, in accordance with chapter 18.1 of title 9, depositions may be taken for use in the trial of any cause pending in a tribunal of any other state, district, territory, or country, provided that the depositions are taken in accordance with the formalities prescribed in the commission, or, if none are prescribed, in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction whence the commission issues.