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Legal Memorandum: Issuing Subpoena for Taking Depositions

Issue: Whether a subpoena issued by the Hennepin County District Court will be sufficient to compel attendance at a deposition in Minnesota by an out-of-state employee of a non-party.

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Deposition; Out-of-state employee of a non-party; Subpoenas
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Civ. P. Rule 45.04, Rule 45.04(a); Minnesota Practice Series, Civil Rules Annotated R. 45.04
Date: 12/01/2005

  No Minnesota cases appear to address this question.  Rule 45.04 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure governs the issuance of subpoenas for the taking of depositions.  Rule 45.04(a) provides that

[p]roof of service of notice to take a deposition, as provided in . . . the rules of a state where the action is pending, constitutes a sufficient authorization for the issuance of subpoenas for the persons named or described therein. 

The Advisory Committee notes to this section state that the purpose of the Rule is “to permit use of the Minnesota subpoena power to assist in taking depositions in Minnesota where the trial is pending in another state.”  In other words, a notice of taking deposition that would be sufficient in the New York Supreme Court will authorize the issuance of a subpoena by the Hennepin County District Court.  Issuance of a subpoena in these circumstances is “routine.”  1A, Herr & Haydock, Minnesota Practice Series, Civil Rules Annotated R. 45.04 (2003).

The rules allow a subpoena to be issued to a person not a resident of Minnesota.  Rule 45.04(c) states that a nonresident of Minnesota “may be required to attend in any county of the state.”  The Rule does not limit the court’s authority to compel attendance at a Minnesota deposition to depositions related to actions venued in Minnesota.  In other words, Minn. R. Civ. P. 45.04 appears to allow the issuance of a subpoena to a nonresident to attend a deposition […]

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