Recent amendments to issuing a subpoena

Karina Ralston

The rules in relation to issuing a subpoena were recently amended by the Family Law Amended (Arbitration & Other Measures) Rules 2016

In summary, these changes are:

Service of subpoenas

Rule 15.22 has been replaced with the following (in summary):

- The subpoena
The brochure, approved by the Principal Registrar, containing information about subpoenas 

In relation to a Subpoena for production, at least 10 days before the day on which production is required. 
In relation to a Subpoena to give evidence, at least 7 days before the day on which attendance in accordance with the Subpoena is required; and 
In relation to a subpoena for production and to give evidence, at least 10 days before the day on which production is required.

Arguably, the largest change to the issuing of Subpoena in the Family Court is that there is no longer a requirement to attend court in respect to production of subpoenas, provided the criteria set out below is met, so the process will operate in the same manner as the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. 

Rule 5.30 has been repealed and a new Rule 15.30 included – Right to Inspect and Copy Documents. If this Rule has been complied with and there is no objection to the production of the documents, then the parties have leave to inspect and photocopy the documents produced (with the exception of child welfare record, criminal records, medical records and police records), provided the following documents are filed with the Court: 

However, if an objection is made pursuant Rule 15.26 the subpoena must be referred to the court for the hearing and determination of the objection which requires attendance.