Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA)-Ohio

The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (‘UIDDA’) Ohio went into effect in Ohio on September 14, 2016. The Uniform Interstate Discovery Act (UIDDA) is model legislation that forty states have adopted since it was first written in 2007. It simplifies issuing subpoenas for discovery essential in cases brought in another state. 

Whether a party is seeking discovery via a deposition, the production of documents, or other inspections, the UIDDA will apply since it supersedes Ohio Rev. Code 2319.09, which previously governed discovery in foreign jurisdictions.

BACKGROUND

In order to ensure compliance with Ohio Civil Rule 45, the petitioner is encouraged to utilize the subpoena(s) provided by the Clerk's office. A process server must have [A.] a request for service of process and [B.] proposed order from the court appointing the process server (which must be authorized and signed by a judge of this court).

The clerk's office will issue a miscellaneous case number upon receipt of the UIDDA and Ohio documents. Promptly after receiving the international subpoena, the clerk of court will issue the subpoena for service on the person to whom it is addressed in accordance with any UIDDA and Ohio rule of court or legislation related to the serving of the subpoena. The UIDDA and Ohio subpoena must be picked up from the Clerk of Courts if they are to be served by a process server. A witness cannot be compelled to appear for a deposition in another jurisdiction.

FOREIGN JURISDICTION IN OHIO

 Evidence or testimony crucial to an action filed in a different state court may be kept by a different business in Ohio. The procedures an attorney must follow to get such data have changed significantly from one state to the next.

The Uniform Foreign Depositions Act mandates that a party from outside of Ohio seeking discovery in an Ohio court must first obtain ‘any mandate, writ, or commission’ from a court of record in the state where the litigation is proceeding. Getting legal representation in Ohio is essential for this UIDDA and Ohio procedure since only attorneys licensed in Ohio may represent the individual. The Ohio state court will evaluate the UIDDA and Ohio petition and issue a subpoena if the person or corporation is required to attend for testimony or produce documents and is located in Ohio after the case has been initiated. However, the non-Ohio party would still be required to comply with Ohio's Rules of Civil Procedure by effectuating proper UIDDA and Ohio serving of the subpoena. 

For the most part, the UIDDA makes it unnecessary to file a separate action in Ohio in order to comply with a subpoena issued by a trial court in another state. Under the UIDDA and Ohio rules, a party from another state who needs to conduct discovery in Ohio needs just produce a subpoena issued by their home state's trial court to an Ohio Clerk of Court. Under the jurisdiction of the Ohio court, the Ohio clerk must swiftly issue the requested subpoena, including the UIDDA and Ohio conditions of the out-of-state subpoena. Since compliance with a UIDDA subpoena does not constitute an appearance in an Ohio court, the presence of an attorney licensed in Ohio is not necessary to UIDDA and Ohio's jurisdiction over the deponent. Subpoenas issued by a trial court in Ohio are now recognized in other jurisdictions that have implemented the UIDDA. Therefore, the UIDDA will make it easier and cheaper for Ohio attorneys to depose people who live in other states and to collect discoverable papers that are situated outside of Ohio.

The UIDDA and Ohio legislation does not affect a party's ability to seek a protective order or to enforce, quash, or alter a subpoena in the court of the county where discovery is to take place, as provided for in the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure. A lawyer allowed to practice law in Ohio would have to represent the out-of-state party in court if it wanted to have the subpoena enforced there.

HOW IS A FOREIGN SUBPOENA ENACTED IN OHIO

To ensure compliance with Ohio Civil Rule 45, the Clerk's office provides petitioners with subpoenas, which they are strongly encouraged to employ. It is necessary to provide an original. 

A ‘subpoena‘ is any order by a court of record (even if it is not formally called a ‘subpoena’) compelling a witness to appear before the court, provide documents, or answer questions. A subpoena can also require the individual to produce and allow examination and copying of specified books, papers, records, electronically stored information, or physical items in the possession, custody, or control of the person;

A foreign subpoena must be presented to the clerk of court in the county where discovery is to be performed as per the UIDDA and Ohio requirements for a subpoena to be issued. A request for a subpoena issued under this subsection does not constitute a UIDDA and Ohio court appearance. Upon receipt of a foreign subpoena by a clerk of court as per the UIDDA and Ohio requirements, the clerk must quickly issue a subpoena for service upon the person to whom the foreign subpoena is addressed, in accordance with the UIDDA and Ohio process of that court.

The UIDDA and Ohio provisions of the foreign subpoena must be included or be accompanied by the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any party not represented by counsel and all attorneys of record in the action to which the subpoena pertains. Serving a subpoena issued by a clerk of court must be made in accordance with any applicable rule of court or legislation of this state governing the service of subpoenas.

A protective order or an application to enforce, quash, or alter a subpoena issued by a clerk of court must be filed with the court in the county where discovery is to be performed in accordance with the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure. The need to establish consistency of the UIDDA and Ohio law must be taken into account in applying and interpreting the statute by states that pass substantially equivalent rules.

 Subpoenas need not be issued by the Clerk's Office or under the Court's seal. The regulation instead gives lawyers ‘officers of the court’ with the power to sign and issue subpoenas staff at the Clerk's Office will provide a party with a subpoena that has been signed but is otherwise blank; the party seeking the subpoena is responsible for filling it out before it can be served. The Clerk's Office must sign the subpoena on behalf of any party not an official of the Court.

Subpoenas may be issued in the name of the court in which the attorney is admitted to practice or, if the deposition is being held in another district, in the name of that court. If the attorney is licensed to practice in the district where the original action was filed, they are not required to be a member of the bar or admitted pro hac vice in the district where the subpoena is issued. Therefore, if a lawyer from out of state has to take a deposition from a foreign witness in Oklahoma's Northern District, they should complete the subpoena (Form AO-88) as required by law, including [A.] the name of the action, [B.] the civil action number of the originating district (i.e., the district where the civil action was filed), and [C.] the name of the district where the deposition or production of documents will take place.

Unless there is a disagreement or the Court orders otherwise, there is no need to submit proof of service with the Clerk. In cases where this is required, the subpoena should be submitted to the court that originally issued it. 

HOW THE CLERK’S OFFICE ISSUES OUT-OF-STATE DEPOSITIONS

On occasion, legal representation may ask that the Clerk's Office issue a subpoena for a deposition in a foreign country. If the Clerk's Office requests it, legal representation must provide an original, attorney-signed Notice of Deposition with an accompanying Certificate of Service.

A  USD 47.00 filing fee and a ‘miscellaneous number’ are necessary to submit a motion to quash a subpoena. To issue a foreign subpoena, a filing party must submit a subpoena issued from a foreign court and a completed Rule 45 Subpoena from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas with the case number and judge fields left blank. The subpoenas must be filed in person or by mail. Upon receipt of these items, a civil case number is assigned, and the subpoena is promptly issued. The filing party is responsible for UIDDA and Ohio service. No filing fee is required, but costs associated with the subpoena will be billed.

After filing suit in Ohio, the state court will assess the petition and, if approved, issue a subpoena to the targeted person or business demanding that they appear in court to testify or provide relevant documents. Subpoenas must still be served in conformity with Ohio's Rules of Civil Procedure if they are to be validly served by a party located outside of Ohio and comply with the requirements of the UIDDA and Ohio process. 

The UIDDA is similar to Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Therefore, most lawyers will be comfortable with the UIDDA and Ohio process. In effect, the UIDDA makes it unnecessary to file a new action in Ohio to enforce a subpoena issued by a trial court in another state. Under the UIDDA and Ohio approach, a party from another state who needs to conduct discovery in Ohio needs just produce a subpoena issued by their home state's trial court to an Ohio Clerk of Court. 

Under the jurisdiction of the Ohio court, the Ohio clerk must swiftly issue the requested subpoena, including the conditions of the out-of-state subpoena. Subpoenas issued under the UIDDA are sufficient to invoke jurisdiction over the deponent. Still, they do not constitute an appearance in the Ohio court or eliminate the need for a counsel licensed in Ohio. In the same vein, a subpoena issued by a trial court in Ohio is now binding in other states that have implemented the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA). Consequently, the UIDDA will make it easier and cheaper for Ohio attorneys to take depositions of witnesses from out of state and to collect discoverable evidence stored in places other than Ohio. 

Ohio

Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act Adopted - 2016
Bill Number: SB 171 Sponsor Seitz
OHIO REV. CODE. ANN §§ 2319.09
Franklin County Instructions Click Here
Ohio Courts Click Here

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Sources

1. Subpoena copies issued by foreign courts should be eFiled as Miscellaneous Paper if they are not connected to the eFiled Subpoena itself.

2. The filing fee is $35.00, which must be paid by check to the ‘X County Clerk of Courts.’ An extra $10.00 per subpoena is required if service must be made by the County Sheriff. The sheriff cannot serve someone who doesn't live in Ohio County, so be sure that's where the deponent's address is.

3. Ohio Rev. Code 2319.09

4. Whether a party is seeking discovery via a deposition, the production of documents, or other inspections, the UIDDA will apply since it supersedes Ohio Rev. Code 2319.09, which previously governed discovery in foreign jurisdictions.

5. If the subpoena is to be served by a process server, that person must come to the Clerk of Courts' office to pick them up. If the subpoena(s) are to be served by an attorney, the Clerk of Courts will send a copy back to the attorney's office or, if filed electronically, a copy can be printed for service.

6. Any natural or legal person, including but not limited to a corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government, or any governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.

7. Subpoenas issued will be subject to the provisions of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and any statutes relating to service of subpoenas and compliance with subpoenas to attend and give testimony, produce designated books, documents, records, electronically stored information, or other tangible things, or to allow inspection of premises.

8. The evidence of service must consist of three parts: (1) a declaration of the date and method of service, (2) the names of the individuals served, and (3) certification by the person doing service.

9. Include (1) the name of the case, (2) the civil action number of the district where the case was originally filed, and (3) the name of the court where the deposition or production of documents will take place (in this case, the Northern District of Oklahoma); and, a $47.00 fee for each Notice of Deposition (not each subpoena).

 Uniform Foreign Depositions Act, Ohio Rev. Code 2319.09, requires a party from outside of Ohio to acquire ‘any mandate, writ, or commission’ from a court of record in the state where the litigation is proceeding before filing a new miscellaneous action in an Ohio court seeking discovery.