Hunt & Associates P.C.

LATIN LESSONS: Subpoena and Subpoena Duces Tecum

The legal world still hangs on tight to their archaic Latin terms and some terms have even become part of our modern lexicon such as “subpoena” and “subpoena duces tecum”.

A subpoena is a writ ordering someone to attend a court proceeding. The word subpoena originated in Latin as “sub poena” which means under penalty – words still utilized in subpoenas issued today.

A subpoena duces tecum is a writ ordering someone to attend a court proceeding and bring specified relevant documents. The Latin origin “sub poena duces tecum” means under penalty you shall bring with you.  Sometimes a subpoena duces tecum will allow the receiver to produce documents in lieu of appearing in person with the requested documents.

If you receive a subpoena or a subpoena duces tecum, make sure you read through it thoroughly so that you will understand what you are being ordered to do and/or provide so that you can properly comply with it.

© 4/5/2018 Heather M. Carr of Hunt & Associates, P.C.  All rights reserved.





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