A Massachusetts Notary Public is empowered by law to issue subpoenas in all cases pending before courts, magistrates, auditors, referees, arbitrators or other persons authorized to examine witnesses, and at all hearings upong applications for complaints wherein a person may be charged with the commission of a crime (M.G.L. c. 233 § 1). Furthermore, in accordance with Rule 45 of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure, "[e]very subpoena shall be issued by the clerk of court, a notary public, or by a justice of the peace, shall state the name of the court and the title of the action, and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at a time and place therein specified"

Although the authority to issue subpoenas is vested in every Massachusetts Notary Public, not all notaries should issue a subpoena as the subpoenas must be in a specific format and must comply with the law. Issuing subpoenas is a task that should be handled by experienced notaries who are familiar with the law and court procedures. A notary who is a paralegal, attorney licensed to practice law, or other legal professional should be the ones issuing subpoenas.

At Independent Paralegal Services (IPS), we have degreed paralegals on staff who are also commissioned notaries public. We (1) draft, (2) issue and (3) serve subpoenas throughout Massachusetts. We specialize in drafting and issuing the following types of subpoenas:
  • Subpoena Duces Tecum
  • Subpoena Ad Testificandum (Trial Subpoena)
  • Deposition Subpoena
  • Witness Summons
  • Department of Transitional Assistance Subpoena
  • Division of Administrative Law Appeals (DALA) Subpoena
  • Agency Subpoenas


What kind of records or things can I subpoena?
You can have a subpoena issued to obtain the payroll records of your soon-to-be ex-spouse in your divorce case. Or, as another example, you can subpoena photos, business records, and/or other tangible items that are needed as evidence in your case.

I have a case pending out of Massachusetts and need to take the deposition of a witness residing in Massachusetts. Can I request a deposition subpoena to be issued by a notary public to compel the witness to appear and testify at a deposition?
Yes, a Massachusetts Notary Public can issue a subpoena to compel a person in Massachusetts to appear and give his deposition for a case pending in other foreign jurisdictions. Specifically, pursuant to M.G.L. 233 § 45: "
[a] person may be summoned and compelled, in like manner and under the same penalties as are provided for a witness before a court, to give his deposition in a cause pending in a court of any other state or government. Such deposition may be taken before a justice of the peace or a notary public in the commonwealth, or before a commissioner appointed under the authority of the state or government in which the action is pending. If the deposition is taken before such commissioner, the witness may be summoned and compelled to appear before him by process from a justice of the peace or a notary public in the commonwealth".

            Please visit:  for more information on foreign subpoenas.

What is a Witness Summons?
A witness summons is equivalent to a subpoena. A subpoena or witness summons commands a witness to appear at a time and place to testify about what he or she knows.

What happens if a person fails to obey a subpoena?
Failure by any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena that has been served upon him may be deemed a contempt of court where the action is pending. In other words, if a person does not obey a subpoena, he or she will be found in contempt of court and can be arrested and be brought before the court to answer for his or her contempt. A contempt may result in jail time or hefty fines.

I want to have a deposition subpoena issued. Must I give a Notice of Deposition before I serve the deposition subpoena?
Yes, you must serve a 'Notice of Deposition' on the witness before a deposition can be held. This 'Notice of Deposition' can be served at the same time a deposition subpoena is served.

I need a witness to appear at a deposition to testify AND produce records. Since it's a deposition, can I compel the witness to produce evidence?
Yes, you can compel the witness to appear at a deposition AND produce records. You must, however, give the deponent 30 days to comply after he is served with a subpoena and 'Notice of Deposition'. This is commonly referred to as the "30 Day Rule".

How can I have your office draft, issue and serve my subpoena?
At IPS we draft, issue and serve subpoenas in Massachusetts. To obtain one, all you have to do is fill out the Request a Subpoena Online form below or visit our Subpoena Request webpage . Once the information is sent to us, we will use it to type out and issue a subpoena. A copy of the issued subpoena will be emailed to you for your review/records. Then, another copy will be served by a process server or constable.


IMPORTANT:  We will email you to confirm that you want us to draft, issue and serve a subpoena. We draft, issue (notarize), attach witness fee to, and serve subpoenas in Massachusetts for all cases. Most subpoenas are served on the same day or within 2-3 days. If you want us to guarantee that the subpoena will be served within 6-24 hours, you should request a "rush service" in the 'Additional Info/Msg' box below. A copy of the subpoena will be emailed to you for your records and review. Then, after a copy is served, the Return of Service will also be emailed or faxed to you.

AFTER YOU SEND US THE INFORMATION in the form, we will determine the total cost. This total cost will include the required witness fee that must be paid at the time the subpoena is served in-hand.

PAYMENT MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE the original Subpoena and Return of Service is returned to you. The email we will send you will contain the information on where to send the payment by check or money order.

For deposition subpoenas for out-of-state cases (G.L. c. 233 § 45), most law firms overnight a check with the Commission via FedEx Overnight Delievery.


Type of Subpoena Needed *
E-Mail Address *
Remember, we will email you with additional information shortly.
Your Name *
Is This a Law Firm? *
Your Mailing Address *
Phone # *
Fax #
Type of Case *
Is it a civil, criminal
housing or out-of-state case?

Name or Address of Court *
If you're from Massachusetts and don't know the address, just type in the name of the court.
Docket # *
The Court assigned your case a number, what is it?
Plaintiff(s) Name *
Defendant(s) Name *
Subpoena Issued to *
Who do you want the subpoena to go to? For businesses, you can give a specific name or have it issued to the Keeper of Records.
Address of Person(s) *
DATE of Appearance *
Even if you don't need anyone to appear, you should put the date of your next court event. In the subpoena, we will stipulate that records must be sent to you on or before a certain date.
TIME of Appearance *
PLACE of Appearance *
What Should Witness Bring?
A Subpoena Duces Tecum commands a person to appear at a certain time and place (unless appearance is waived) and produce documents, photos or other evidence.

List what you need here. BE SPECIFIC.
We will cut and paste this into the subpoena.
Which Do You Prefer? *
 I need the person(s) I want subpoenaed to appear in Court or at a deposition so he can testify about what he knows.  
  I need the person(s) I want subpoenaed to appear in Court or at a deposition to testify AND produce documents, records, books and/or other tangible items.  
  I only need the evidence (i.e.; documents, records, etc). Therefore, please advise the person being subpoenaed that he can send the evidence to my mailing address instead of having to appear in Court or at the deposition. If they comply, they don't need to appear. If they fail to comply, however, they will have to appear. 
Additional Info/Msg
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