Prior to the introduction of the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA) in 2007, deposing individuals or conducting discovery outside of the state a case originated in was daunting task. Since it’s passing, there now exists a streamlined way to make a subpoena enforceable in another state by serving the subpoena through the UIDDA. Because of the slight variations in procedure by state and strict format requirements, it’s helpful to have a process server handle the process to save you time and money.
The UIDDA was created due to the many variances in state rules and cumbersome procedures required to serve subpoena in another jurisdiction. Every state had its own laws and it was necessary to be familiar with each state’s particular requirements. While not every state has adopted the UIDDA, it’s a useful way to request discoverable documents and schedule depositions where permitted.
The process through the UIDDA is much more efficient and removes the need for local council in the state of deposition or discovery. It also eliminates the need for letters rogatory or a commission from the discovery state. Most importantly, it saves judicial resources as previously it took significant time for the courts to handle domesticating a subpoena.
To serve a subpoena through the UIDDA, a draft subpoena which complies with the rules of the other state must be created. It’s important to remember any motion such as to quash or modify is governed by the rules of state where the subpoena will be domesticated. Applying for the reissued subpoena can only be done in person, which makes it difficult and costly for lawyers to handle this themselves.
The reissuing of the subpoena is handled by the clerk or prothonotary depending on the state. In most commonwealth states, the prothonotary will handle this. Once the subpoena is reissued it will either receive a new index number or be signed by the clerk.
If scheduling a deposition, this must happen in the same county where the document is being served. The domestication of the subpoena must take place in that county in order for it to be enforceable. Otherwise it will need to be reissued.
After the subpoena is domesticated, it can then be served according to the rules and laws of that state. There are particular requirements for what documents must be served along with the reissued subpoena. Be sure these are included or else the service will be not be considered valid.
You can read the full act in its entirety here: Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act