What You Need To Know About Subpoenas But Probably Don’t

A ‘subpoena’ is a legal document issued by the Court at the request of a party. A subpoena compels a person to produce documents and/or give evidence at a hearing or trial.

There are three types of subpoenas:
1. What is a Subpoena?Subpoena for production of documents;
2. Subpoena to give evidence; and
3. Subpoena for production of documents and to give evidence.

Documents or evidence produced under subpoena is protected by the principle of ‘implied undertaking’ (or legal promise) founded in the High Court decision of Hearne v Street [2008] HCA 36. This common law principle provides that production of and access to documents under subpoena is subject to an implied undertaking that those documents will not be used for any purpose other than the proceedings.

What happens if you are served with a subpoena?

In most cases, subpoenas come as a surprise and recipients will be unlikely to know what to do. The first thing to know is that ignoring subpoenas may result in sanctions for contempt of court, including arrest. On the other hand, over-enthusiastically complying with subpoenas and delivering every document in your possession to the court is also an inappropriate response.

If you are needing to issue a subpoena or have been served with a subpoena in a family law matter, please contact – 1800 662 535 the Brisbane Family lawyers team at James Noble Law today for a FREE, no-obligation 20-minute consultation. To schedule an appointment with one of our Qualified and experienced Family lawyers Brisbane.