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Illinois has a law called the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act, codified as 735 ILCS 35/1 et seq., that helps streamline subpoenas and depositions in other states. Nearly all states have enacted similar statutes and adopted the UIDDA. As of October 2019, the only states that have not are Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
The law allows for out of state attorneys to issue a subpoena to the clerk of court in any circuit court in Illinois. Once received, the clerk of court in the Illinois circuit court then issues an Illinois version of the original subpoena. This allows the out of state attorney to then serve a valid Illinois subpoena in accordance with Illinois local and procedural rules.
It is important to remember that Illinois requires everything to be electronically filed with the Circuit Court of the County in which the case is pending.
Subpoenas are issued for mainly two purposes: the production of documents or other evidence; or the compelling of oral testimony.
If the subpoena is for the production of documents, then, generally, no appearance is required. If the subpoena is for testimony, it could be for either a deposition or testimony in front of a judge and jury. It is important that you ascertain what kind of subpoena it is so that you can comply with the subpoena in a timely and appropriate fashion.
If your presence is required, and you don’t show, the Judge may issue a rule to show cause or possibly a warrant for your arrest. Attorneys and, most importantly, Judges take subpoenas very seriously so it is in your best interest to try to comply with it.
If your presence is needed, and you have obligations on the date listed on the subpoena, it might be a good idea to reach out to the attorney or the office issuing the subpoena to work out an agreed date that works best for everyone.
Cook County follows the same procedures that apply all throughout the state of Illinois. An out of state attorney must send their subpoena to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. That Clerk will then serve the valid Illinois version of the original out of state subpoena to the recipient in Cook County. And just as it applies to the rest of the state everything must also be filed electronically.
The UIDDA means that if you live in Illinois, you can be properly served with a subpoena from an out of state attorney. This means that your obligation to respond to an out of state subpoena is the same as if the subpoena originated from Illinois.
You will need to make arrangements with the issuer to arrange for a deposition whether that is around where you live or by telephone. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, depositions by ZOOM or other video chat applications have been proving to be successful and useful and might help facilitate out of state depositions for easier compliance.
If a settlement is not reached during claims and a lawsuit needs to be filed, it is common that a few years can pass between the date of the accident and when discovery actually commences. During this time, witnesses or treating physicians could relocate to different parts of the country.
Assuming the person you are trying to subpoena is not in one of the states listed above that do not participate in the UIDDA, your attorneys can utilize this law to help prove your claim for injuries.
Sometimes an insurance company can dispute your version of how an accident happened. Using the UIDDA to secure the testimony of an unbiased witness could mean the difference between recovering your just compensation and possibly losing.
The UIDDA provides the necessary tools for an attorney to best represent his or her clients’ interests.
The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act gives attorneys in other states the tools they need to help push their cases forward. It allows for a subpoena to be validly served across state lines in jurisdictions where, normally, their local subpoena would have no valid effect.
Subpoenas carry with it the force of law and they can be enforced by a court order if they are validly served. If you have any questions about subpoenas or legal questions, consider contacting the attorneys at The Kryder Law Group and we will be happy to discuss the issues with you.
The personal injury process is a stressful one. The adjuster will use aggressive tactics to try to minimize your case’s value.
The Kryder Law Group is a leading Chicago personal injury law firm that handles cases involving employees of the federal government, as well as other matters that may require litigation in the federal courts system.
The Kryder Law Group’s lawyers will deal directly with the adjuster or defense firm so that you have the peace of mind that your lawyers are working to maximize the compensation you deserve.
The firm has already helped thousands of Illinois clients recover the benefits they deserve. Call us to set up a free and confidential consultation.