Judicial code (42 pa. C. S.) Foreign depositions and subpoenas

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Act of Oct. 24, 2012, P.L. 1459, No. 183

Cl. 42

Session of 2012

No. 2012-183


SB 79




Amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in bases of jurisdiction and interstate and international procedure, providing for foreign depositions and subpoenas; and repealing provisions relating to foreign depositions.


The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:


Section 1.   Section 5326 of Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is repealed:

[§ 5326.   Assistance to tribunals and litigants outside this Commonwealth with respect to depositions.

(a)   General rule.--A court of record of this Commonwealth may order a person who is domiciled or is found within this Commonwealth to give his testimony or statement or to produce documents or other things for use in a matter pending in a tribunal outside this Commonwealth. The order may be made upon the application of any interested person or in response to a letter rogatory and may prescribe the practice and procedure, which may be wholly or in part the practice and procedure of the tribunal outside this Commonwealth, for taking the testimony or statement or producing the documents or other things. To the extent that the order does not prescribe otherwise, the practice and procedure shall be in accordance with that of the court of this Commonwealth issuing the order. The order may direct that the testimony or statement be given, or document or other thing produced, before a person appointed by the court. The person appointed shall have power to administer any necessary oath.

(b)   Voluntary compliance.--A person within this Commonwealth may voluntarily give his testimony or statement or produce documents or other things for use in a matter before a tribunal outside this Commonwealth.]

Section 2.   Chapter 53 of Title 42 is amended by adding a subchapter to read:




5331.   Short title of subchapter.

5332.   Scope of subchapter.

5333.   Definitions.

5334.   Principles of construction.

5335.   Issuance of subpoena.

5336.   Pennsylvania rules applicable.

5337.   Application to court.

§ 5331.   Short title of subchapter.

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act.

§ 5332.   Scope of subchapter.

This subchapter shall apply to any civil action or proceeding in a foreign jurisdiction where discovery is sought in this Commonwealth.

§ 5333.   Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Foreign jurisdiction."   A state other than Pennsylvania.

"Foreign subpoena."   A subpoena issued under authority of a court of record of a foreign jurisdiction.

"Person."   An individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality or any other legal or commercial entity.

"Prothonotary."   The term includes a clerk of court, where applicable.

"State."   A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, a federally recognized Indian tribe or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

"Subpoena."   A document, however denominated, issued under authority of a court of record requiring a person to:

(1)   attend and give testimony at a deposition, hearing or trial;

(2)   produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, documents, records, electronically stored information or tangible things in the possession, custody or control of the person; or

(3)   permit inspection of premises under the control of the person.

§ 5334.   Principles of construction.

In applying and construing this subchapter, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

§ 5335.   Issuance of subpoena.

(a)   General rule.--To request issuance of a subpoena under this section, a party must submit a foreign subpoena to a prothonotary in the jurisdiction in which the person who is the subject of the order resides, is employed or regularly transacts business in person. A request for the issuance of a subpoena under this subchapter does not constitute an appearance in the courts of this Commonwealth.

(b)   Duty of prothonotary.--A prothonotary in receipt of a foreign subpoena shall, in accordance with that court's procedure, promptly issue a subpoena for service upon the person to whom the foreign subpoena is directed.

(c)   Contents of subpoena.--A subpoena under subsection (b) must:

(1)   Incorporate the terms used in the foreign subpoena.

(2)   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.

(d)   Voluntary compliance.--A person within this Commonwealth not served with a subpoena under this section may voluntarily give his testimony or statement or produce documents or other things for use in a matter before a tribunal outside this Commonwealth.

§ 5336.   Pennsylvania rules applicable.

The Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure and any statutes relating to service of subpoenas and compliance with subpoenas shall apply to all subpoenas issued under this subchapter. Such rules shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

No. 4009.21 (relating to Subpoena Upon a Person Not a Party for Production of Documents and Things. Prior Notice. Objections).

No. 4009.22 (relating to Service of Subpoena).

No. 4009.23 (relating to Certificate of Compliance By a Person Not a Party. Notice of Documents or Things Received).

No. 4009.24 (relating to Notice of Intent to Serve Subpoena. Objection to Subpoena. Forms).

No. 4009.25 (relating to Certificate Prerequisite to Service of Subpoena. Form).

No. 4009.26 (relating to Subpoena to Produce Documents or Things. Form).

No. 4009.27 (relating to Certificate of Compliance. Form).

§ 5337.   Application to court.

(a)   General rule.--An application to a court for a protective order or to enforce, quash or modify a subpoena issued by a prothonotary under section 5335 (relating to issuance of subpoena) must comply with the rules and statutes of this Commonwealth and be submitted to the court that ordered service of the subpoena.

(b)   Authority for order.--Upon application, the court may proceed as provided by the applicable rules and laws of this Commonwealth, including, but not limited to: section 4132 (relating to attachment and summary punishment for contempts); Chapter 59 (relating to depositions and witnesses); Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 4011 (relating to Limitation of Scope of Discovery and Deposition) and 4012 (relating to Protective Orders).

Section 3.   The addition of 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 53 Subch. B.1 applies to requests for discovery in cases pending on the effective date of this section.

Section 4.   This act shall take effect in 60 days.


APPROVED--The 24th day of October, A.D. 2012.



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