A subpoena duces tecum is a legal document that requires a person to appear and testify in court. Attorneys use subpoenas to obtain information. It is a court-ordered command to the recipient to testify in court and/or produce documents, records or other evidence that may support or dispute the facts at issue in a lawsuit. Sometimes the appearance of the witness may not be required if the documents and/or records are produced at the time and place indicated on the subpoena.

Service of Subpoenas at UCSB

When a subpoena seeks the production of University records, it is generally addressed to the “custodian of records”. At UCSB, the Risk Management office has been delegated the responsibility of responding to subpoenas that are addressed to the “custodian of records” and whose principal concern is the production of University records. If a process server arrives on campus to serve a subpoena duces tecum at your department, please advise them that your office is not authorized to accept service and direct the process server to:

          Risk Management Office
          Environmental Health & Safety
          565 Mesa Rd.
          University of California
          Santa Barbara, CA 93106
          tel. (805) 893-2029
          email: ehs-subpoena@ucsb.edu

Subpoenas for the personal appearance of police officers and/or the production of Police Department records are an exception. These are served directly on the UCSB Police Department.

Processing Subpoenas at UCSB

The University must respond to subpoenas as required by law. It must collect the relevant records from the appropriate “custodian of records”, respond in a certain time frame, make certain that specific individuals have been given notice, respond to motions to quash, etc. At UCSB, the Risk Management Office logs subpoenas, distributes them to the offices on campus that have the relevant records, collects the records, sends them out when they have been collected, tracks notices, responds to motions to quash, collects fees, etc. To make certain the University complies with all the legal requirements, departments should direct process servers to the Risk Management office so that it can respond on behalf of the campus.

If You Accept Service by Mistake

If, by mistake, someone in your department accepts service from a process server instead of referring the process server to the Risk Management office, it will not place the recipient or the University in any jeopardy. In the event you or someone in your department accepts service, it is important that the subpoena be emailed to the Risk Management office immediately so that it can be handled in a timely manner and in accordance with the law. In addition the original subpoena should be sent to the Risk Management office via inter-departmental mail. The acceptance of the subpoena by someone not authorized to accept it does not concede the adequacy of the subpoena or prejudice the University's right to refuse to disclose the documents requested. Once the subpoena has been turned over to the Risk Management office, it will respond as required on behalf of the University.

Subpoena for Named Individual

Upon occasion the intent of a subpoena is to command the appearance of a specific individual at a deposition or in court. In that case, it must be served on the person. Absent authority granted by the individual being subpoenaed to accept service on their behalf, the Risk Management office is not authorized to accept service of a subpoena on behalf of an individual. If an individual is being subpoenaed to provide testimony about their duties as a University employee, they should immediately contact their supervisor and the Risk Management office to inform them that they have been subpoenaed for reasons related to their job. The Risk Management office and University Counsel will advise and counsel the subpoenaed employee and University Counsel will represent them at deposition or in court as necessary.

Questions about Subpoenas

Questions regarding a subpoena duces tecum or the disclosure of information and documents requested by a subpoena duces tecum should be directed to Elena Grozeva in the campus Risk Management office at (805) 893-2029; email ehs-subpoena@ucsb.edu.

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