Issuing a Subpoena

Official Procedure Last Change June 25, 2018

B2540 Subpoena for Rule 2004 Examination

B2550 Subpoena to Appear and Testify at a Hearing or Trial

B2560 Subpoena to Testify at a Deposition

B2570 Subpoena to Produce Documents, Information or Objects or to Permit Inspection of Premises

  • FRCP 45 made applicable by FRBP 9016
  • Official Forms B2540, B2550, B2560, B2570

General Information

  • A subpoena is a tool to aid in discovery and to compel presentation of witnesses in a trial.
  • The court in which the matter is pending issues the subpoena, no matter what type of action is commanded by the subpoena.
  • The clerk must issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise blank, to a party who requests it.
  • The clerk is not involved in service of a subpoena.

Subpoena Requests from an Attorney

  • An attorney may sign and issue a subpoena as an officer of a court if the attorney is authorized to practice in the court where the matter is pending.
  • The Clerk’s Office will provide signed subpoenas to requesting counsel but counsel should be encouraged to proceed without involvement of the clerk’s office.
  • If necessary, the Deputy Clerk may attach their electronic signature (/s/) to a blank subpoena and email the PDF file to the requesting counsel.

Subpoena Requests from Pro Se Party

  • A pro se party wishing to request a signed subpoena from the Clerk's office must do so in person, at the counter.
  • The Deputy Clerk must print hard copies of the desired subpoena form and hand to the requesting party with a wet signature.

Request for Subpoena for 2004 examination

When a subpoena is issued by another court and must be served on a party in the Southern District of Indiana:

  • The attorney must send the subpoena along with the order authorizing the 2004 examination and the fee to open a miscellaneous proceeding. View current fees
  • The Clerk's Office will open a miscellaneous proceeding and filemark the subpoena, which will be returned to the attorney for service.

Service of Subpoena by an Attorney or Pro Se Party

  • A subpoena may be served anywhere within the United States by anyone at least 18 years old and who is not a party.
  • The clerk is not involved in service of a subpoena. 
  • A pro se party needs to have someone else serve the subpoena.

Docketing Guidance – Service of a Subpoena

  • Even if the court does not require a proof of service, a pro se party may still want to submit a certificate of service regarding service of the subpoena to the court.
  • Use Notice of Submission and add text regarding whom was served.

Miscellaneous Proceedings

While a subpoena is issued by the court in which the matter is pending, other issues may arise that must be addressed by the court for the district where compliance with the subpoena is required.  Those issues may be addressed by opening a miscellaneous proceeding and by filing one of the following:

  • Motion for Contempt
  • Motion for Protective Order
  • Motion for Sanctions
  • Motion to Compel
  • Motion to Modify
  • Motion to Seal

There is a fee required to open a miscellaneous proceeding. View current fees