The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA) is a useful way to request discoverable documents which are located in another state via subpoena duces tecum. While most states have adopted some form of UIDDA, others lag behind. As of February 2017, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Wyoming and Puerto Rico have not enacted it. Some other states (such as Massachusetts) have rules which permit foreign states to request documents and other information in-state but do not use UIDDA language and may not be as complete as UIDDA. Legislation has been introduced in Arkansas.
Where the party that maintains the record is a corporation with a registered NC agent, see the 2014 Formal Ethics Opinion about subpoenaing those records.
HOW TO USE IT
- Determine if the state where the record is located has adopted the UIDDA. See this list.
- If so, prepare a NC Subpoena using the AOC-G-100 form. State on the NC subpoena that it is not enforceable but is being provided for the purpose of obtaining a UIDDA subpoena. A request for the issuance of a subpoena under the UIDDA does not constitute an appearance in the courts of the state in which the record is maintained.
- Send the NC subpoena, a draft subpoena which complies with the other state’s rules of discovery, and a letter to the clerk of court where the record is maintained requesting that they issue the subpoena. Some states also have an application to submit along with those documents. The subpoena should contain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all counsel of record and any party not represented by counsel. A clerk’s office will usually have a web page explaining its forms and procedures that should be consulted in preparing the draft subpoena.
- Remember that any motion directly affecting the subpoena (to quash, enforce, modify) is governed by the rules of the state where the subpoena will be issued. Additionally, there is a presumption that the rules of discovery of the state where the subpoena is to be issued apply, though some states reverse this presumption.
- Receive the requested documents.
Again, it is important to understand that the subpoena submitted to the out-of-state clerk’s office in the jurisdiction complies with their rules. A copy of the UIDDA is here and should be read in its entirety along with any statutes or local rule of the issuing state related to the adoption of the UIDDA.