Ohio adopted the Uniform Foreign Depositions Act in 1953 and it remains in effect today. O.R.C. 2319.09 states:
“[w]henever any mandate, writ, or commission is issued out of any court of record in any other state, territory, district, or foreign jurisdiction, or whenever upon notice or agreement it is required to take the testimony of a witness in this state, witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify in the same manner and by the same process and proceedings as are employed for the purpose of taking testimony in proceedings pending in this state.”
While not necessarily “testimony,” Ohio courts have permitted this section of the O.R.C. to be utilized in the domestication of foreign states’ subpoenas. Franklin County has a specific procedure in place already if an attorney would like to domesticate a foreign subpoena for records from an entity in Ohio. Other counties may have alternative methods of filing, domesticating, and issuing a foreign subpoena, so you would be advised to inquire about your local county’s procedures before filing anything. In Franklin County, you need to file the following: (1) a Petition for the Issuance of Subpoenas pursuant to O.R.C. 2319.09; (2) the original, issued subpoena from a foreign state and 3 copies; (3) a new original Ohio subpoena that is identical in content to the foreign state subpoena and 3 copies; (4) If you are using a process server, you will need a motion for the appointment of a process server; and (5) finally a proposed court order for a Franklin County Common Pleas judge to sign, directing the Clerk of Courts to issue the subpoenas.
This process will domesticate a foreign subpoena and make it valid and enforceable in Ohio. The subpoena will be issued a miscellaneous case number and any enforcement actions will need to be filed under this case number. If you are looking to domesticate an Ohio subpoena in a foreign state, you should first check to see if the foreign state has adopted the Uniform Foreign Depositions Act (UFDA) or the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA). If the foreign state has adopted either Act, chances are that the process of domesticating a subpoena should be similar to Franklin County’s procedure.
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