New Jersey Subpoena Rules

Disclaimer Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, there may be times when the material on this page is not current. We have made every effort to provide a complete and accurate list of rules governing the service of process in New Jersey. We regret, however, that we cannot guarantee the current accuracy of the below listed content, it is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. We assume no liability whatsoever and will not be held responsible directly or indirectly for any damages resulting from any errors, omissions, inaccuracies or your reliance on this partial list of rules.


1:9-1. For Attendance of Witnesses; Forms; Issuance; Notice in Lieu of Subpoena

A subpoena may be issued by the clerk of the court or by an attorney or party in the name of the clerk or as provided by R. R. 7:7-8 (subpoenas in certain cases in the municipal court). It shall state the name of the court and the title of the action and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at the time and place specified therein. If the witness is to testify in a criminal action for the State or an indigent defendant, the subpoena shall so note, and shall contain an order to appear without the prepayment of any witness fee. The testimony of a party who could be subpoenaed may be compelled by a notice in lieu of subpoena served upon the party’s attorney demanding that the attorney produce the client at trial. If the party is a corporation or other organization, the testimony of any person deposable on its behalf, under R. 4:14-2, may be compelled by like notice. The notice shall be served in accordance with R. 1:5-2 at least 5 days before trial. The sanctions of R. 1:2-4 shall apply to a failure to respond to a notice in lieu of a subpoena.

Note: Source – R.R. 3:5-10(a)(b), 4:46-1, 6:3-7(a), 7:4-3 (second paragraph), 8:4-9(a)(b); caption and text amended November 27, 1974 to be effective April 1, 1975; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; amended January 5, 1998 to be effective February 1, 1998.

1:9-3. Service

A subpoena may be served by any person 18 or more years of age. Service of a subpoena shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to the person named together with tender of the fee allowed by law, except that if the person is a witness in a criminal action for the State or an indigent defendant, the fee shall be paid before leaving the court at the conclusion of the trial by the sheriff or, in the municipal court, by the clerk thereof.

Note: Source – R.R. 3:5-10(b) (last sentence), 3:5-10(d), 4:46-3, 5:2-2, 6:3-7(c), 7:4-6(a) (last sentence), 8:4-9(d); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.

1:9-4. Place of Service

A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a hearing in any court may be served at any place within the State of New Jersey.

Note: Source – R.R. 3:5-10(e), 6:3-7(d), 7:4-6(b), 8:4-9(e).

1:9-5. Failure to Appear

Failure without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon any person may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena issued.

Note: Source – R.R. 3:5-10(f), 6:3-7(e), 8:4-9(f); amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.

4:14-7. Subpoena for Taking Depositions

Service of summons, writs and complaints shall be made as follows:

        • (a) Form; Contents; Scope. The attendance of a witness at the taking of depositions may be compelled by subpoena, issued and served as prescribed by R. 1:9 insofar as applicable, and subject to the protective provisions of R. 1:9-2 and R. 4:10-3. The subpoena may command the person to whom is directed to produce designated books, papers, documents or other objects which constitute or contain evidence relating to all matters within the scope of examination permitted by R. 4:10-2.
        • (b) Time and Place of Examination by Subpoena; Witness’ Expenses.
        • (1) Fact Witnesses. A resident of this State subpoenaed for the taking of a deposition may be required to attend an examination only at a reasonably convenient time and only in the county of this State in which he or she resides, is employed or transacts business in person, or at such other convenient place fixed by court order. A nonresident of this State subpoenaed within this State my be required to attend only at a reasonably convenient time and only in the county in which he or she is served, at a place within this State not more than 40 miles from the place of service, or at such other convenient place fixed by court order. The party subpoenaing a witness, other than one subject to deposition on notice, shall reimburse the witness for the out-of-pocket expenses and loss of pay, if any, incurred in attending at the taking of depositions.
        • 2) Expert Witnesses and Treating Physicians. If the expert or treating resides or works in New Jersey, but the deposition is taken at a place other than the witness’ residence or place of business, the party taking the shall pay for the witness’ travel time and expenses, unless otherwise ordered by the court. If the expert or treating physician does not reside or work in New Jersey, the proponent of the witness shall either (A) produce the witness, at the proponent’s expense, in the county in which the action is pending or at such other place in New Jersey upon which all parties shall agree, or (B) pay all reasonable travel and lodging expenses incurred by all parties in attending the witness’ out-of-state deposition, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
        • (c) Notice; Limitations. A subpoena commanding a person to produce evidence for discovery purposes may be issued only to a person whose attendance at a designated time and place for the taking of a deposition is simultaneously compelled. The subpoena shall state that the subpoenaed evidence shall not be produced or released until the date specified for the taking of the deposition and that if the deponent is notified that a motion to quash the subpoena has been filed, the deponent shall not produce or release the subpoenaed evidence until ordered to do so by the court or the release is consented to by all parties to the action. The subpoena shall be simultaneously served no less than 10 days prior to the date therein scheduled on the witness and on all parties, who shall have the right at the taking of the deposition to inspect and copy the subpoenaed evidence produced. If evidence is produced by a subpoenaed witness who does not attend the taking of the deposition, the parties to whom the evidence is so furnished shall forthwith provide notice to all other parties of the receipt thereof and of its specific nature and contents, and shall make it available to all other parties for inspection and copying.

Note: Source – R.R. 4:20-1 (last sentence), 4:46-4(a) (b). Paragraphs (a) and (b) amended July 14, 1972, to be effective September 5, 1972; paragraph (c) adopted November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; paragraph (b) recaptioned paragraph (b)(1) and amended, paragraph (b)(2) adopted and paragraph (c) amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992.

4:14-8. Failure to Attend or Serve Subpoena; Expenses

If the party giving notice of the taking of a deposition fails to attend and proceed therewith and another party attends in person or by attorney pursuant to the notice, or if the party giving the notice fails to serve a subpoena upon a witness who because of such failure does not attend and another party attends in person or by attorney because that party expects the deposition of that witness to be taken, the court may order the party giving the notice to pay to such other party the reasonable expenses incurred as a result of attendance either by the attending party or that party’s attorney, including reasonable attorney’s fees.

Note: Source – R.R 4:20-7(a)(b). Amended July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.

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