Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Serving subpoenas by mail?

Common practice (and the majority approach in the case law) requires that subpoenas served under Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure be personally served. There is, however, a minority of cases (including several from the SDNY) that hold that service by mail/certified mail is sufficient "delivery" under Rule 45. I spoke with an attorney from NYC the other day who acted like it was blasphemy to suggest that service by mail was anything but acceptable. Although the service by mail approach is the emerging minority trend (see e.g., 51 Buff. L. Rev. 337, 380 n. 214 (2003)), I am curious as to how common the practice is in the WDNY or the NDNY.

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