The subpoenaing party can request a vast range of evidence, up to and including testimony from an in-person witness that a court ordered subpoena compels to appear at a deposition, trial or hearing.
The subpoena is a notice ordering the requested parties to produce documents, records, data, testimony — anything that might be admissible as evidence in the case against the individual or entities involved in a lawsuit.
The Two Types Of California Subpoenas
As per California law, the subpoenaing parties can request one of two types of evidence.
California Records Subpoena
This is a request that compels a party to produce documents, records, data or other written accounts of some items or evidence related to the case.
An issuing court or the attorney of record can issue one of these to the witness to obtain the required records.
A production of business records subpoena in California requires a witness fee of $15.00 to be tendered at the time of service at least 15 days prior to the production date.
California Personal Appearance Subpoena
This is a request that compels a witness to appear in person at a deposition, a trial or hearing to give their testimony.
An issuing court or the attorney of record issues the court order to compel the witness to appear in person and give their statement to the court under oath.
A witness fee of $35.00, per day and $0.20 per mile, round trip from the subjects residential address is NOT required to be paid at the time of service, BUT can be requested from the attorney and paid upon or before their appearance at the trial or deposition.
Government Agents (Police, Fire, etc.) will require a $275.00, per day witness fee and is required at the time of service, at least 5 days prior to the appearance.
Criminal and Juvenal Case Subpoenas require that no witness fee be paid at all and can only compel an appearance within 150 miles of their residence address.
An appearance subpoena is served on the witness according to “Reasonable Notice”, this is generally agreed upon as 10 days prior to the appearance but can be served as short as the same day as the trial or hearing.
A California witness can only be compelled for a deposition to travel up to 75 miles from their residential address and up to 150 miles from their home address if the court is in the same county as the witness (San Bernardino County, etc.).