A "Subpoena Ducus Tecum" is a formal request for the production of documents such as bank statements or employment records.
Subpoena Ducus Tecum, pronounced "du-kuss tee-kum", is Latin for "bring with you." A Subpoena Ducus Tecum can also be used to force the production of objects as well as paperwork.
For example, you might use a Subpoena Ducus Tecum to obtain records that would allow you to prove or disprove certain expenses, like daycare costs or medical fees. Filing a Subpoena Ducus Tecum isn't difficult once you know how to do it, and doing it yourself can save you the considerable expense of having an attorney do it. Follow the steps below to file a Subpoena Ducus Tecum. Keep in mind that the exact procedure may vary depending upon the State you file in.
Obtain the Subpoena Ducus Tecum form. Contact the court clerk at the local courthouse and ask them if they have Subpoena Ducus Tecum forms that you can use. If they don't, then go to the county law library (usually right by or in the county courthouse) and ask the librarian to show you where the books of standard legal pleading forms are.
Once you have the blank form, you will fill in the name of the case (Mr. Smith vs. Ms. Smith, or whatever) your case number, and underneath the case number in the large blank space, you will type Subpoena Ducus Tecum (unless the form has it there already).
In the body section you will fill in something similar to this:
"From the People of the State of (YOUR STATE), TO:"
After the "TO:" you have a choice: If you know the name of the person you wish to subpoena, fill their name in. If you DON'T know their name, find out the official name of the business or corporation that employs your ex and type that name in. Following that, type:
On (TODAY'S DATE) at ??:?? AM/PM, in Department ?? of the (YOUR COUNTY) Court of the State of (YOUR STATE), you are hereby ordered to produce as a witness, the supervisor or manager of the person in your employ named "JANET MARY SMITH," and the person most knowledgeable regarding this employee's benefits, as well as the following records:
Employee Benefits manual
Employment and payroll records for JANET MARY SMITH
Attendance records for JANET MARY SMITH
(Essentially, you should subpoena whatever documentation you need to prove or verify whatever it is you're trying to find out.)
This document can be issued by the court clerk, and then must be served by you with a Proof Of Service (another form that you can get at the courthouse or law library) by having someone other than a party to the case deliver it to the corporate headquarters in the state of the business you're trying to serve. If it's a small business, you can hand it to anyone that is an employee, but preferably a manager or other executive officer.
You can Subpoena Ducus Tecum your ex by serving her at her house or at work, ordering her (for example) to bring all of her cancelled checks and bank records for the last year.
Depending on your State's rules of civil procedure, you may have to pay witness fees (usually around $50 a person), but you can normally do this after they appear.
Alternatively, if this seems too complex you can hire an attorney to issue the Subpoena Ducus Tecum for you. It'll probably cost you a couple of hours of the attorney's time to do it, because the attorney is going to want you to explain enough of the situation to be able to fill out the subpoena accurately.