Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Duces Tecum Definition:

Latin: bring with you.

Related Terms: Subpoena

Used most frequently for a species of subpoena (as in "subpoena duces tecum") which seeks not so much the appearance of a person before a court of law, but the surrender of a thing (eg. a document or some other evidence) by its holder, to the court, to be available if required as evidence in a trial.

In Amey v. Long, the subpoena duces tecum was described as follows:

"The writ of subpoena duces tecum is of compulsory obligation on a witness to produce papers thereby demanded which he has in his possession, and which he has no lawful or reasonable excuse for withholding; of the validity of which excuse the Court, and not the witness, is to judge."

The procedure to issue a subpoena duces tecum (a demand of a witness that he or she produces a certain document at a trial), is usually set out in the relevant Rules of Court. For example, in the Canadian province of Alberta, Rule 8.8, circa 2012:

"A party may serve notice in Form 40 on any person, including a party, to attend and give evidence at trial.... The notice ... may require the person to bring any records that the person could be required to produce at trial."

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