​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Subpoenas

There are three different kinds of subpoena (pronounced supeena):

  1. ​Subpoena to produce - an​ order tha​t the person give documents to the court.​
  2. Subpoena to attend to give evidence – an order that the person go to court and give evidence at a hearing.
  3. Subpoena to give evidence and produce - an order that the person go to court and give evidence at a hearing, and also give documents to the court.

If you want to apply to issue a subpoena, follow the steps in the guide on this page.

AlertThe Local Court does not normally issue subpoenas for cases in the Small Claims Division. You should get legal advice​ before applying for applying for a subpoena in the Small Claims Division.

Icon: Page with numbered listSubpoenas - Step by step guide​​​​ 

​Step 1: Ask for leave (permission) at the pre-trial review

In the Small Claims Division of the Local Court, you cannot file and serve a subpoena unless the court has given you leave (permission) to do this.

If you want a subpoena, you should ask for leave at the pre-trial review. You will need to explain why you need the subpoena. If you are not sure whether you need a subpoena you should get legal advice.

Step 2: Get the form 

If the court grants leave to file and serve a subpoena, you will need to complete one of the forms listed below, depending on the type of subpoena you need: 

  • Form 25 - Subpoena to attend to give evidence
  • Form 26A - Subpoena to produce with subpoena notice and declaration
  • Form 27A - Subpoena to give evidence and produce with subpoena notice and declaration. 

You can get copies of the forms from:

You can also complete and file this form online using the NSW Online Registry​. ​​​

Step 3: Fill out the form 

The subpoena must be addressed to a person. If you want to get documents from an organisation or a company you will need to use the words 'To the Proper Officer' followed by the name and registered address of the organisation or company.

You can contact the organisation or company to find out their registered address. For more information on finding a company's registered address, see Finding and naming the defendant.

If the subpoena is for the production of documents, you need to clearly describe which document or documents you are asking for.  

Instructions: 

Samples: 

Step 4: File the form

When you have filled out the subpoena form, you need to make three copies of the subpoena and send or take it to the court.

The filing fee is $102.00 for an individual and $204.00 for a corporation (as at 1 July 2017).

The court will fill in the date the documents have to be provided and/or the date to attend the hearing. The court will also fill in the last date for serving the subpoena.  

Step 5: Serve the form

A subpoena must be served on or before the last date for service that the court has written on the subpoena.

The subpoena must be personally served on the person it is addressed to. You can do this by:

  • handing it to them or to someone at their residential or business address who is over the age of 16, or
  • leaving it with them and telling them what it is, or
  • posting it to the residential or business address of the person being subpoenaed, if it is a subpoena to produce. 

​You can pay for a professional process server to serve the subpoena or do it yourself.

When you serve the subpoena you must also give the person or organisation you are serving with the subpoena some money, called 'conduct money'. The amount must be enough to cover the cost of travelling to and from the court or the cost of looking for, photocopying and sending the documents to the court. 

Many organisations will have a set amount for conduct money. You should contact the organisation before serving the subpoena to make sure you provide enough conduct money. 

A copy of the subpoena must also be served on the plaintiff. You can do this by:

  • ​​handing it to them, or
  • leaving it with a person over the age of 16 at the home or business of the plaintiff, or
  • posting it to the plaintiff's address for service.  

If you win the case, you may claim costs for witness expenses.

Step 6: Fill out an affidavit of service

It may be necessary at some stage to show evidence that the subpoena was served. To do this you will need an affidavit of service, which is written and sworn evidence about how the subpoena was served. If a professional process server serves the subpoena, they should also prepare an affidavit of service.

If you served the subpoena yourself or arranged for someone else to do it, the person who served the subpoena needs to fill out and sign an affidavit of service. 

Instructions: Instructi​ons for filling out an affidavit of service​.
Sample: ​Sample affidavit of service​. 

Step 7: Go to court 

If you have issued a subpoena to produce you will need to go to court on the 'return of subpoena date'. This is the date the court told the person or organisation in the subpoena to bring the documents to court. The documents can also be posted to the court but they have to arrive by the return of subpoena date. 

The return of subpoena date is written on the subpoena by the court.

On the return of subpoena date you should:

  • ​​go to court
  • check the court lists to see which courtroom the return of subpoena is in
  • go into the courtroom and wait for your case to be called
  • when your case is called, ask the registrar or magistrate for leave to look at and/or make copies of the documents. 

You cannot take the documents away from the court. You should check with the court how much they will charge to make photocopies.

If the person or organi​sation that has been served with the subpoena cannot find the documents you are asking for, they will need to tell the court that they have not been able to find the documents.

The person the subpoena is addressed to may object to providing the documents or attending court to give evidence. They can make an application to the court asking for the subpoena to be set aside. If this happens, you will get a chance to explain to the court why you need the documents and/or witness. If someone objects to a subpoena you have served on them, you should get legal advice. 

AlertThere are penalties for not complying with a subpoena.