§5112.1. Subpoena duces tecum issued on a governmental entity
Terms Used In This Law
- complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
- evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- in forma pauperis: In the manner of a pauper. Permission given to a person to sue without payment of court fees on claim of indigence or poverty.
- litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
- person: includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not. See Louisiana Revised Statutes 1:10
- subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
- subpoena duces tecum: A command to a witness to produce documents.
- trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
A. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, upon a showing of good cause therefore, a subpoena duces tecum issued to any governmental entity shall be requested at least fifteen days prior to the return date specified in the subpoena.
B. Whether a governmental entity is a party to any based on a complaint litigation or not, no governmental entity shall be obligated pursuant to a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum or otherwise to provide any document, record, or any other item for which a reasonable cost or fee has not been paid, as provided in R.S. 44:32(C).
C. Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection B, when a party to litigation in a civil action is allowed to proceed in forma pauperis and a defendant in a criminal action is designated as an indigent, the documents requested by such parties shall be furnished without the advance payment of costs or fees. In such instances, the copies of the requested documents shall contain a certificate indicating the cost of reproduction of the documents. This certificate shall be filed into the court record and in civil proceedings such costs shall be paid by the party cast in judgment and in criminal proceedings such costs shall be paid by the defendant upon conviction.
D. Unless the subpoena duces tecum is accompanied by a separate court order which explicitly specifies otherwise, it shall be sufficient compliance therewith if the governmental entity delivers to the requesting party, by registered or certified mail at least forty-eight hours prior to the date upon which production is due, or delivers by hand on the date upon which production is due, a true and correct copy of all records described in such subpoena duces tecum. However, no subpoena or court order shall require the production of original, non-reproducible materials and records unless accompanied by a court order or stipulation of the parties and the governmental entity which specifies the person who will be responsible for the care of the items to be produced, the date and manner of the return to the provider of the items to be produced, and that the items to be produced are not to be destroyed or subject to destructive testing. Any subpoena duces tecum not timely served shall be quashed by the trial court without the necessity of an appearance by the governmental entity.
E. Certified copies of documents produced pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum issued in accordance with this Section and certified copies of documents produced pursuant to the Louisiana Public Records Act, R.S. 44:1 et seq. may be deemed authentic and admissible into evidence in accordance with Code of Evidence Article 905, and Code of Evidence Article 1002 shall not be applicable to these documents.
F. The term “governmental entity” as used in this Section shall mean any political subdivision as defined in R.S. 13:5102(B) and any officer or employee of a political subdivision acting within his official duties or within the course and scope of his employment.
G. Nothing in this Section shall preclude a party to litigation from making a request for appropriate documents pursuant to R.S. 44:1 et seq. and being furnished with certified copies in accordance with R.S. 44:32, or preclude a governmental entity from affording a party, upon request, the opportunity to copy or duplicate, at the party’s expense, any document or record pursuant to R.S. 44:1 et seq., in lieu of issuing a subpoena duces tecum.
H. Nothing in this Section shall preclude a party to litigation from issuing a separate subpoena to the custodian of the records or any other person for the purpose of questioning about the documents and any other relevant matters.
I. Nothing in this Section shall preclude any affected party to the litigation or the governmental entity from filing a motion to quash or raising any objection to the issuance of a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, or the production of any document in accordance with the provisions of any law governing the rules applicable to discovery, the issuance of a subpoena or a subpoena duces tecum, production of documents, or introduction of evidence, including but not limited to Code of Civil Procedure Article 1354, Code of Criminal Procedure Article 732, or R.S. 13:4870 or 4871.
Acts 2004, No. 500, §1, eff. June 25, 2004.