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Minnesota Rules of Adoption Procedure

Rule 13.Subpoenas

13.01Subpoena for a Hearing or Trial

At the request of any party, the court administrator shall issue a subpoena for a witness in an adoption matter pending before the court. Alternatively, an attorney as an officer of the court may issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of the court where the matter is pending.

(Amended effective September 1, 2019.)

13.02Form; Purpose; Notice

Subdivision 1.Form.

Every subpoena shall state the name of the court and the title of the action.

Subd. 2.Purpose.

A subpoena shall command each person to whom it is directed to, at a specified time and place:

(a) attend and give testimony at a final hearing pursuant to Rule 41, a deposition pursuant to Rule 17, or trial pursuant to Rule 44;

(b) bring the child to court; or

(c) produce books, papers, documents, or other tangible things designated in the subpoena.

Subd. 3.Notice.

Every subpoena shall contain a notice to the person to whom it is directed advising the person of the right to reimbursement for certain expenses pursuant to Rule 13.07.

(Amended effective January 1, 2007; amended effective September 1, 2019.)


A subpoena may be served by the sheriff, a deputy sheriff, or any other person over the age of eighteen (18) who is not a party to the proceeding. Service of a subpoena upon a person named in the subpoena shall be made by delivering a copy of the subpoena to the named person or by leaving a copy at the person's usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at such abode. Upon written agreement of the witness, a subpoena may be served by U.S. mail, through the E-Filing System, or by e-mail or other electronic means.

(Amended effective July 1, 2015.)

13.04Motion to Quash a Subpoena

Upon motion pursuant to Rule 15, a person served with a subpoena may move to quash or modify the subpoena. Upon hearing a motion to quash a subpoena, the court may:

(a) direct compliance with the subpoena;

(b) modify the subpoena if it is unreasonable or oppressive;

(c) deny the motion to quash the subpoena on the condition that the person requesting the subpoena prepay the reasonable cost of producing the books, papers, documents, or tangible things; or

(d) quash the subpoena.


The person to whom the subpoena is directed may, within five (5) days after service of the subpoena or on or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance if such time is less than five (5) days after service, serve upon the party serving the subpoena a written objection to the taking of the deposition or the production, inspection, or copying of any or all of the designated materials. If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena shall not be entitled to inspect or copy the materials, except pursuant to an order of the court from which the subpoena was issued. If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena may, at any time before or during the taking of the deposition, and upon notice of motion and motion to the deponent, request an order requiring compliance with the subpoena.

13.06Subpoena for Taking Deposition; Place of Deposition

Subdivision 1.Proof of Service.

Proof of service of notice to take a deposition, as provided in Rule 17, constitutes a sufficient authorization for the issuance of a subpoena for the person named or described in the subpoena.

Subd. 2.Location.

A resident of the state may be required to attend a deposition only in the county in which the resident resides or is employed or transacts business in person, or at such other convenient place as is designated by order of the court. A nonresident of the state may be required to attend in any county of the state.


Subdivision 1.Witnesses.

If the subpoena is issued at the request of the State of Minnesota, a political subdivision of the State, or an officer or agency of the State, witness fees and mileage shall be paid by public funds. If the subpoena is issued at the request of a party who is unable to pay witness fees and mileage, these costs shall upon order of the court be paid in whole or in part at public expense, depending upon the ability of the party to pay. All other fees and mileage shall be paid by the requesting party, unless otherwise ordered by the court upon motion.

Subd. 2.Expenses of Experts.

Subject to the provisions of Rule 17, a witness who is not a party to the action or an employee of a party and who is required to give testimony or produce documents relating to a profession, business, or trade, or relating to knowledge, information, or facts obtained as a result of activities in such profession, business, or trade, is entitled to reasonable compensation for the time and expense involved in preparing for and giving such testimony or producing such documents. The party serving the subpoena shall make arrangements for such reasonable compensation prior to the time of the taking of the testimony. If such arrangements are not made, the person subpoenaed may proceed pursuant to Rule 13.04 or Rule 13.05. If the deponent has moved to quash or otherwise objected to the subpoena, the party serving the subpoena may, upon notice and motion to the deponent and all parties, move for an order directing the amount of such compensation at any time before the taking of the deposition.

13.08Failure to Appear

If any person personally served with a subpoena fails, without reasonable cause, to appear or bring the child if ordered to do so, or if the court has reason to believe the person is avoiding personal service, the court may sua sponte or upon the motion of a party pursuant to Rule 15 proceed against the person for civil contempt of court pursuant to Rule 14, or the court may issue a warrant for the person's arrest, or both.