Subpena Duces Tecum Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Subpena Duces Tecum, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Subpena Duces Tecum?

(n) Subpena Duces tecum is defined as the court order directing a witness who is in custody of the documents to produce them before the court for verification. This is a potential method of bringing documents which are not generally available to the parties especially when the documents are in the custody of the opponents

History and Meaning of Subpena Duces Tecum

Subpena Duces Tecum is a Latin term that literally translates to "under penalty, bring with you." It is a type of subpoena that commands a witness to bring specific documents or evidence to a legal proceeding or trial. This court order is issued when the requested documents, papers or things are not with either party but are in the possession of a third-party witness.

The purpose of Subpena Duces Tecum is to ensure that all relevant evidence is available to both parties in a legal dispute, even if the evidence is not accessible or available through other means. This helps to ensure that trials and legal proceedings are fair and that all parties have access to the same relevant evidence.

Examples of Subpena Duces Tecum

  1. A plaintiff in a lawsuit may file a Subpena Duces Tecum to obtain financial records from a bank that is not a party to the lawsuit.
  2. A prosecutor may issue a Subpena Duces Tecum to obtain medical records from a hospital that are relevant to a criminal investigation.
  3. In a divorce case, one spouse may request a Subpena Duces Tecum to obtain financial records from a business partner that is not a party to the divorce proceedings.

Legal Terms Similar to Subpena Duces Tecum

  1. Subpoena - A court order commanding a person to appear in court or to produce evidence.
  2. Discovery - A legal process by which litigants obtain evidence from each other or from third parties before trial.
  3. Writ of Certiorari - A document issued by a higher court that grants review of a case that has already been tried or is being heard in a lower court.