Issuing An Out of State Subpoena in Arkansas

The Uniform Law Commission promulgated the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA) in 2007. The goal of UIDDA is to make it more efficient and inexpensive to depose out-of-state individuals and to produce discoverable materials located out of the trial state.

Under UIDDA, litigants can present a clerk of the court located in the state where discoverable materials are sought with a subpoena issued by a court in the trial state. Once the clerk receives the foreign subpoena, the clerk will issue a subpoena for service upon the person or entity on which the original subpoena is directed. The terms of the issued subpoena must incorporate the same terms as the original subpoena and contain the contact information for all counsel of record and any party not represented by counsel.

The Act requires minimal judicial oversight and eliminates the need for obtaining a commission or local counsel in the discovery state, letters rogatory, or the filing of a miscellaneous action during the discovery phase of litigation. Discovery authorized by the subpoena must comply with the rules of the state in which the discovery occurs. In addition, motions to quash, enforce, or modify a subpoena issued pursuant to the Act shall be brought in and governed by the rules of the discovery state.

Below is the guidance on issuing an out-of-state subpoena in Arkansas.

Arkansas
Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act Adopted – 2018
Bill Number: Court Rule
ARK. R. CIV. P.45.1
Arkansas Judiciary https://www.arcourts.gov

Rule 45.1 – Subpoena for Interstate Depositions and Discovery

(a) Purpose. This rule governs depositions and discovery conducted in Arkansas in connection with a civil action pending in another state.

(b) Definitions.

(1) “Foreign jurisdiction” means a state other than Arkansas.

(2) “Foreign subpoena” means a subpoena issued under authority of a court of record of a foreign jurisdiction.

(3) “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government, or governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(4) “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, a federally recognized Indian tribe, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(5) “Subpoena” means a document, however denominated, issued under authority of a court of record requiring a person to:

(A) attend and give testimony at a deposition; or

(B) produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, documents, records, electronically stored information, or tangible things in the possession, custody, or control of the person.

(c) Issuance of Subpoena for Interstate Depositions and Discovery.

(1) To request issuance of a subpoena under this rule, a party must submit a foreign subpoena to the circuit clerk in the county in which discovery is sought to be conducted. A request for the issuance of a subpoena under this rule does not constitute an appearance in the courts of this state.

(2) When a party submits a foreign subpoena to a circuit clerk, the clerk, in accordance with the court’s procedure, shall promptly issue a subpoena for service upon the person to which the foreign subpoena is directed. At the time of issuance of the subpoena, the circuit clerk shall not open a case and shall not collect a fee other than that provided by Ark. Code Ann. section 21-6-402(b)(1). Return or proof of service shall not be made to the circuit clerk but to the attorney who requested the subpoena, and he or she shall retain it and furnish a copy to any party or to the deponent upon request.

(3) The person to whom the subpoena is directed may within ten days after the service or on or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance if such time is less than ten days, serve upon the attorney causing the subpoena to be issued written objection to the subpoena or discovery sought. If objection is made, the party who requested the subpoena shall not be entitled to proceed with the deposition or discovery except pursuant to an order of the court. Upon an objection, the party who requested the subpoena may move to enforce the subpoena by filing a motion, with notice to the subject of the subpoena, for an order to enforce the subpoena and proceed with discovery. The motion shall be filed with the circuit clerk. Upon the filing of the motion, the circuit clerk shall assign the matter a case number and collect the applicable fee. An application under subdivision (f) of this rule for a protective order or to quash or modify the subpoena shall be filed and heard in this case, and no additional fees shall be assessed.

(4) A subpoena under subdivision (c)(2) of this rule must:

(A) conform to the requirements of Rule 45, including the approved Form of Subpoena and Notice to Person Subject to Subpoenas, but may otherwise incorporate the terms used in the foreign subpoena so long as they conform to these rules; and

(B) contain or be accompanied by the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all counsel of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by counsel.

(d) Service of Subpoena. A subpoena issued under subdivision (c) of this rule must be served in compliance with Rule 45(c).

(e) Deposition, Production, and Inspection. Provisions of these rules, including Rule 26.1(j), Rule 34, and Rule 45(b) and (e), relating to compliance with subpoenas to attend and give testimony, produce designated books, documents, records, electronically stored information, or tangible things apply to subpoenas issued under subdivision (c) of this rule.

(f) Application to Court. An application to the court for a protective order or to enforce, quash, or modify a subpoena issued under subdivision (c) of this rule must comply with these rules, including Rule 26(c), Rule 45(b) and (e), and be submitted to the court in the county in which discovery is to be conducted.

Ark. R. Civ. P. 45.1