Service of Process
A subpoena commands the appearance of an
individual and/or the production of specified items on a specific date,
time, and place. The rules for service of a subpoena in bankruptcy cases
follow the rules for service of a civil subpoena.
Generally, a civil subpoena may be served
within the issuing district or outside of the district but within 100
miles of the place where the deposition, hearing, trial, or production
is to take place. However, pursuant to
Rule of Civil Procedure 45(c)(3)(B))(iii), the court may, upon
proper showing of need by the requesting party, require a person to
travel more than 100 miles to attend trial provided that the individual
subpoenaed is reasonably compensated. A subpoena for the attendance of a
witness at a deposition must be issued from the court in which the
deposition is to be taken. A subpoena for the attendance of a witness at
a trial must be issued by the court in which the trial is to be held.
The clerk of the U.S. District or Bankruptcy Court signs and issues the
subpoena to the requesting party, who will complete it before service.
An attorney, as an officer of the court, may also issue and sign a
A subpoena may be served by any person who is not a party and is at
least 18 years of age. Service by a U.S. Marshal is rare, occurring only
when ordered by the court or the U.S. attorney.
Manner of Service:
A copy of the subpoena must be personally served upon the within-named
individual unless local rules permit registered or certified mail
Return on service of a civil subpoena is to
be filed with the clerk of the issuing court by the individual who
effects service. Return should be executed on a copy of the subpoena,
either in a designated space on the form or as otherwise required by
local rules. No fees must be tendered if the subpoena is issued on
behalf of the United States.
Note: The information related to the service of
court process that is contained on this web site is general information
and not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive explanation or depiction
of Federal rules of procedures for the service of process.
Readers are directed to the Federal Rules of Criminal and
Civil Procedure; personal legal counsel; the United States Code, Titles 18 and 28;
U.S. Attorney's Office and District Court for
specific, authoritative guidance.