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: (suh-pea-nah dooh-chess-take-uhm or dooh-kess-take-uhm): a court order requiring a witness to bring documents in the possession or under the control of the witness to a certain place at a certain time. this subpena must be served personally on the person subpenaed. it is the common way to obtain potentially useful evidence, such as documents and business records, in the possession of a third party. a subpena duces tecum must specify the documents or types of documents (e.g. “profit and loss statements of abc corporation for years 1987 through 1995, all correspondence in regard to the contract between abc corporation and merritt”) or it will be subject to an objection that the request is “too broad and burdensome.” to obtain documents from the opposing party, a “request for production of documents” is more commonly used. failure to respond to a subpena duces tecum may subject the party served with the subpena to punishment for contempt of court for disobeying a court order.

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