Practice Note No. 51
REPEALED - Subpoena for Production
1. This Practice Note does not apply to -
(1) defamation proceedings (as to which see Murphy v Nationwide News Ltd, Hunt J, 26.10.84);
(2) proceedings in the Commercial Division;
(3) proceedings in the Building and Engineering List.
2. Part 37 rule 2 has been amended so that a subpoena may, with the leave of the Court, require production of documents before
(1) the trial, or
(2) any other occasion such as, in the Common Law Division, a listing hearing date under Practice Note 41 Part 3(5) and Part 4(3).
3. It will not normally be necessary to serve on any party notice of the motion for leave.
4. The Court may, on granting leave, require notice to the following effect to be served on parties other than the applicant:
"To the defendant (or as the case may be):
A subpoena has with the leave of the Court been issued at the request of the plaintiff (or as the case may be) requiring production of documents to the Court on (date) 1988.
You may, with the leave of the Court, request that subpoenas issue requiring production of documents to the Court on the same date."
They may then seek leave to issue subpoenas for production on the same day. Wednesday will usually be the day on which a subpoena will require production before a registrar.
Leave will not be given where the application is merely a "fishing expedition". It is desirable, however, in order to facilitate settlement and to reduce time spent disputing documents at the trial, that the parties should be familiar, before the trial, with all relevant documents, either through the discovery process or by having subpoenas requiring production before the trial. Part 37 rule 2(2) will assist this purpose. It will, of course, still be necessary to obtain leave to inspect subpoenaed documents (Part 37 rule 10); this can be granted by a registrar.
23 September 1988