California Subpoena Company: The Subpoena Response Process and Frequently Asked Questions

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A subpoena is an order given by a judge, court clerk, or attorney to get information and records from entities or people who are not participating in a lawsuit. 

Typically, a subpoena demands appearance at a particular place, time, and date to testify to a specific case or present documents stipulated in the summons. There is usually no need to panic when served with it. 

The reason you might receive a subpoena is that individuals, businesses, and professionals might have information,  whether documents or personal knowledge, that will be useful in a lawsuit. 

Mostly, there is no legal risk to you when served a subpoena; you simply have to share the information you possess. However, taking subpoena response unseriously can result in potential spoliation sanctions or contempt holdings for non-compliance. 

Therefore, an understanding of the necessary tools or process is essential in responding to a subpoena. California Subpoena Company put in their best during the subpoena and discovery process to help you lay hands on the documents or information you need to win your case. We’ve outlined what the subpoena response process is and the frequently asked questions to ensure you’re appropriately informed.

The Subpoena Response Process 

Subpoenas to testify are less common than a subpoena to produce documents. The documents relevant to a lawsuit include notes, emails, account statements, business, medical, and phone records. 

Often, some witnesses and companies may be uncooperative, preventing you from getting the required documents for a lawsuit. However, this California subpoena company can take up the responsibility of serving your subpoena in California since the agency has decades of experience in the legal processing field. 

The use of online legal document processing services provides an electronic document management solution that goes beyond storing documents to helping increase the efficiency and productivity of staff and attorneys. 

Furthermore, a California subpoena company helps in filing and serving your paperwork quickly and smoothly. The following is the subpoena response process:

1. Notify Relevant Parties 

The first step is to inform members of the served party like the in-house legal department and general counsel, corporate officers, and every party participating in the response process.

2. Issue a Legal Hold

The second step involves issuing a litigation hold for a subpoena response. After triggering a preservation obligation, eliminating electronically stored information can result in the evidence destruction or sanctions for spoliation. 

The litigation hold process identifies all staff or individuals controlling electronically stored information that could aid response to the subpoena request. Also, issue a written hold notice to every custodian, telling them to keep potentially responsive documents safe. 

3. Document Review 

This step involves the collection and reviewing of data. Review the document to check for privilege, responsiveness, and confidentiality. 

Although the document review is usually the most resource-intensive aspect of the response process, applying adequate review strategies can reduce cost and time.

4. Producing Documents in Response to a Subpoena 

After completing the document review, the next thing is to produce the document to the issuing party. How do you present the information? According to Civil Procedure Federal Rules, a responding third party can deliver the materials in any reasonable usage form if a document subpoena doesn’t have a specific production form. 

The documents could be shown on physical media like thumb drives, paper, or DVD and given to the issuing party.

Frequently Asked Questions on Subpoena 

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about subpoenas and their process.

1. What Is a Subpoena? 

A subpoena is a legal document commanding an entity or person to speak as a witness at a specific place (trial, deposition, or other hearing) and time or to produce documents in a legal proceeding or other tangible objects. Court-imposed deadlines make subpoenas for business records in California time-sensitive.

2. Are There Different Types of Subpoenas?

Yes, three subpoena types exist. A witness subpoena is a court order requesting a person to show up in court and testify as a witness on a specific date, usually in a trial.

Subpoena duces tecum (subpoena for production of evidence) is a court order demanding the person subpoenaed bring documents, books, or other records under their supervision in a deposition or a court hearing at a given time.

A deposition subpoena is a court order requesting someone not involved in a lawsuit to appear at a deposition to answer questions and produce copies of business records.

The difference between a deposition subpoena and a subpoena duces is that the documents and testimony required in a deposition subpoena are part of the discovery process before the trial and might be useless in the court hearing.

3. What Is a Service of Process?

Service of process involves giving a particular court order type to a company or an individual. The service of process could either be a “subpoena” demanding to present business records or personal appearance or that personal testimony or “summons and complaints” initiating a lawsuit. 

Service of subpoena in California is carried out by process servers in different counties registered to deliver legal documents.

4. What Are the Deadlines for Responding to a Subpoena?

Usually, individuals served with a deposition subpoena or subpoena duces tecum in California have a reasonable response time. Following the statute, a valid subpoena provides a location and response time. 

Typically, a subpoena duces given in a civil action requires the records to be presented either within the agreed time by the custodian of documents and the party serving the subpoena or within 15 days after receiving the summons. 

5. What Are the Penalties for Ignoring or Not Complying With a Subpoena?

Not responding to a subpoena is regarded as contempt by either the agency issuing the warrant or the court and is punishable. Typically, the party charged with non-compliance will attend a court hearing to explain their part of the story. 

Afterward, considering the presented circumstances, the agency or court determines an appropriate punishment. The punishment might involve monetary sanctions. 


Subpoenas are usually challenging for lawyers to handle and can take up much time. Though attorneys can deal with documents and administrative projects, it is burdensome, particularly for solo practitioners and smaller law firms who need to commit much time to meet their client’s needs. 

Are you a California law firm or attorney? A California subpoena company will be your best bet for serving subpoena papers.