I am a resident of Arizona and have been sent a deposition subpoena for a case in California state court. Am I compelled to comply?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Generally under CA rules, a deponent [you] can not be required to travel to another state, or travel extended distances in his state. And, there are specific rules on how and when you must be served with that notice. You should consult an attorney local to you about the protections you have under those rules, and have him [if necessary] contact the attorney who wants to depose you, to discuss your rights to refuse and/or requirements for being paid to travel., and/or the requirements that compel that attorney to conduct the deposition in your local area, and/or the possibilty of doing the deposition in writing with you answering written questions under oath.
Whether you must comply depends on details of the subpoena you did not provide. For example, if the subpoena orders you to appear for a deposition within a reasonable distance of your home or business, and was issued under authority of AZ law, you are required to appear. There is a very simple process for attorneys in one state to have subpoenas issued under the authority of the state in which a witness resides to take a deposition where the witness is. If the subpoena was only issued on a standard California form, with no accompanying AZ authorization, however, it is not effective and you need not appear. You also cannot be compelled to travel to CA for the deposition unless you live close to the border and the location is in CA but near you.