How Can I Get Relevant Documents And Information From A Non-Party Witness Located In Manhattan?
The Manhattan Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act, N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3119 (the “NYUIDDA”) provides two methods of seeking discovery in Manhattan in aid of an out-of-state lawsuit.
The first method is to submit a subpoena to a county clerk. The subpoena may require the person to whom it is directed both (i) to produce documents and (ii) appear and give testimony at a deposition. The litigant must submit an out-of-state subpoena to the county clerk in the county in which discovery is sought to be conducted in Manhattan. When a litigant submits an out-of-state subpoena to the county clerk, the clerk must promptly issue a subpoena for service upon the person to whom the out-of-state subpoena is directed.
The subpoena issued by the county clerk must incorporate the terms used in the out-of-state subpoena and must contain or be accompanied by the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all counsel of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by counsel.
This first means of seeking discovery in Manhattan in aid of an out-of-state lawsuit involves minimal judicial oversight. However, there is a second method that involves no judicial oversight. For that reason, litigants often prefer the second method.
Specifically, if a party to an out-of-state proceeding retains an attorney licensed to practice in Manhattan, and that attorney receives the original or a true copy of an out-of-state subpoena, the attorney may issue a subpoena under the NY UIDDA. That subpoena may require the individual to whom it is directed either to appear and testify at a deposition in Manhattan, or to produce books and records, or both.
The individual or entity to whom the subpoena is directed may serve objections to the subpoena. So, too, the subpoena’s recipient may file, in the Manhattan courts, an application for a protective order or to quash or modify the subpoena.
Conversely, if a person in Manhattan who is served with a subpoena issued under the NY UIDDA does not comply with that subpoena, then the out-of-state litigant who issued the subpoena, through his Manhattan attorney, may apply to the Manhattan courts to enforce the subpoena.
If your company wants to bring, or needs a lawyer to defend it in, business litigation and you are located in the Manhattan, NY area, call Manhattan Business Litigation Attorney David S. Rich at (347) 941-0760.
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