Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act-Texas

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 Texas.

Texas
Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act Adopted – 2008
Bill Number: SB 2624 Sponsor McNally
Tex. R. Civ. P. 201.2
Texas Courts https://www.txcourts.gov

Texas Courts will not enforce a foreign subpoena against a Texas citizen. The out-of-state party that is requesting the subpoena against a Texas citizen must first seek permission from the out of-state court by obtaining a “mandate, writ, or commission”. Tex. R. Civ. P. 201.2. In seeking the mandate, writ, or commission, the requesting party can attempt to compel: (1) an oral deposition; (2) a deposition on written questions; or (3) document requests without a deposition. A Texas subpoena may only be issued by: (1) an attorney authorized to practice in the Texas; (2) a Texas court clerk; or (3) an officer authorized to take deposition in Texas. Tex.

R. Civ. P. 176.4.

This discovery subpoena in Texas is comprised of two parts: (1) the notice, and (2) the subpoena. The subpoena is the instrument that compels a nonparty to comply with a notice for discovery. See St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital v. Garcia, 928 S.W.2d 307, 312 (Tex.App—Houston 1996, orig. proceeding).

When seeking the production of documents from a nonparty without a deposition, the Notice and the Subpoena must be served a “reasonable time” before the response is due. Tex. R. Civ. P. 205.3(a). However, it is important to note that the Notice to produce documents must be served at least ten (10) days before the service of the Subpoena. Tex. R. Civ. P. 205.2. It is also crucial to note that the Notice and Subpoena cannot be served within thirty (30) days of the end of any applicable discovery period. These rules have tripped up more than one practitioner.

A notice of a deposition on written questions with or without a request for documents must be served at least 20 days before the deposition is taken (TRCP 200.1(a)). The subpoena may be served at the same time as or after the notice is served (205.2).

The Notice of an oral deposition must be served a “reasonable time” before the deposition.

Tex. R. Civ. P. 199.2(a). The Subpoena may be served along with or after the notice is served.

Tex. R. Civ. P. 205.2.