The rules in relation to issuing a subpoena were recently
amended by the Family Law Amended (Arbitration & Other
Measures) Rules 2016.
In summary, these changes are:
Rule 13.07A – Use of documents - A
person who inspects or copies subpoenaed documents, under the Rules
or a Court Order, must use the documents for the purpose of the
case only and must not otherwise disclose the contents of the
documents, or give copies of the documents, to any other person,
without the Court's permission.
Rule 15.17 (3A) – A party must not
request the issue of a subpoena for production and to give evidence
if production would be sufficient in the circumstances.
Rule 15.29 (4) – the definition of
'copy' may include 'any other electronic
form' as indicated by the issuing party is
Service of subpoenas
Rule 15.22 has been replaced with the following
The issuing party must serve the named party (recipient) by
The brochure, approved by the Principal Registrar, containing
information about subpoenas
The issuing party must serve by ordinary service, each other
parties, each other 'interest person' and ICL (if
Unless otherwise directed by the Court the Subpoena must be
In relation to a Subpoena for production, at least 10 days
before the day on which production is required.
In relation to a Subpoena to give evidence, at least 7 days
before the day on which attendance in accordance with the Subpoena
is required; and
In relation to a subpoena for production and to give evidence,
at least 10 days before the day on which production is
Arguably, the largest change to the issuing of Subpoena in the
Family Court is that there is no longer a requirement to attend
court in respect to production of subpoenas, provided the criteria
set out below is met, so the process will operate in the same
manner as the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
Rule 5.30 has been repealed and a new
Rule 15.30 included – Right to Inspect and
Copy Documents. If this Rule has been complied with and there is no
objection to the production of the documents, then the parties have
leave to inspect and photocopy the documents produced (with the
exception of child welfare record, criminal records, medical
records and police records), provided the following documents are
filed with the Court:
Notice of Request To Inspect is filed with the Court
An Affidavit of Service setting out service details in
accordance with r 15.30(b).
However, if an objection is made pursuant Rule 15.26 the
subpoena must be referred to the court for the hearing and
determination of the objection which requires attendance.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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