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You Got Served: Dealing with Indiana Subpoenas

Imagine that you have received a subpoena. Your initial reaction might be one of shock, might be an urge to do whatever it says immediately, or might be the desire to run and hide. However, the best reaction is to take a moment to read and understand the subpoena.

A subpoena is a court order that requires the recipient to take some action. There are two main kinds of subpoenas.  One kind of subpoena requires the recipient to personally appear, usually in court, and provide testimony. The other kind of subpoena requires the recipient to produce documents by a certain date. If you receive a subpoena, first decide what kind of subpoena you have received in order to determine the kind of response that will be appropriate.

Next, determine to whom the subpoena is directed. Is the subpoena directed to you individually? If so, then you personally need to comply. Is the subpoena addressed to a company? If so, then compliance with the subpoena should be made by an officer or other designated representative of the company.

Read the title of the court action listed in the subpoena and the subject matter that may be described in the subpoena. This should give you some context about the matter that the subpoena relates to.

Check to see the date, time and location where you will be required to appear or produce documents. If you have a conflict with the date listed in a subpoena that requires your personal appearance or if you are unable to provide the requested documents by the deadline in the subpoena, you should contact the attorney that issued the subpoena. The attorney's name is usually listed at the bottom of the subpoena or may be found on a letter that may accompany the subpoena.

Finally, a subpoena does not need to be signed by judge, nor does a subpoena have to be delivered by a sheriff. Subpoenas are often signed by a court clerk, or even an attorney appearing in the case. Subpoenas may be delivered by any person and may be considered valid service.

If you have any questions regarding how to appropriately respond to a subpoena, contact your attorney for assistance.