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Issuing and Serving Foreign Subpoenas in North Carolina – Here’s What You Need to Know

July 12, 2018 Thomas A. Gray

North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 1F: Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act

North Carolina courts allow out-of-state subpoenas to be issued and served against North Carolina citizens (including individuals, corporations, governments, other entities, etc.), provided certain steps are followed. Subpoenas from other states may be used to compel the attendance and testimony of North Carolina citizens, or for the production of documents or the inspection of premises. Following is a step-by-step guide to issuing and serving an out-of-state subpoena to compel someone located in North Carolina to appear before the court in another state.

First Subpoena

  1. Issue a subpoena in your state where the trial will be taking place in accordance with the laws set out by that state
  2. Make several copies of the subpoena once issued by the clerk in your state; you may need to send additional copies to the Clerk of Court or process server/local counsel in North Carolina

North Carolina Subpoena–Preliminary Issues

  1. Obtain a copy of a subpoena from the county in North Carolina the person you wish to serve is currently residing. Obtaining a subpoena form document can sometimes require calling the Clerk of Court for that county.
  2. Complete the North Carolina subpoena to correspond with the subpoena previously issued in your state
  3. Hire a process server or local counsel in North Carolina. Local counsel may be able to help you complete the North Carolina subpoena.
  4. Mail hard copies of the issued subpoena from your state to the process server/local counsel in North Carolina

NC Subpoena–Issuance and Service

  1. The process server/local counsel will deliver both the executed subpoena from your state and the completed (but not yet issued) North Carolina subpoena to the clerk of court in the county where the person to be served currently resides. You or your local counsel should include a transmittal letter to the clerk of court that identifies a North Carolina subpoena is being sought pursuant to N.C.G.S Chapter 1F.
  2. The Clerk of Court will issue the subpoena; issuance will typically mean signing, stamping, and assigning a case/docket number to the subpoena. Local counsel will be required to pay any filing fees.

The North Carolina subpoena will be served on the party. Fees associated with service by the local sheriff’s department may apply. You may wish to contact the local Clerk of Court for a complete listing of these fees and information regarding any other local rules.

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